Product scope. What is it and how to define it

Product scope. What is it and how to define it

Natalia Figas
May 31, 2021  | 3 min read

If you are new to project management, you might want to know what the difference between product scope and project scope is. The word scope describes a full range of goals in your project. But product and project refer to different things - although they work together too.

What are the differences? What product scope refers to in IT? And how to define it? Find out in the article!

What is product scope

The product scope refers to the end product or service (treated as a product). Defining scope is delivering:

Or, when it comes to the service:

  • tasks that make up the delivery of services,
  • personnel working on the service and their responsibilities,
  • as well as KPIs.

But that is not all. Product scoping is also answering questions about how much it will cost, how the product/service works, how it is delivered or how it can be iterated in order to develop the business in the future.

In addition to traditional products and services, known in the offline world, product scope is an important part of software development.

Product scope in Software Requirement Specification

Developers who work on the software need specific guidance on how the software should behave. Software Requirement Specification (SRS) must contain all of them.

  • The purpose of the software
  • Its description
  • How the software works
  • Its functionality
  • Its behaviour
  • Non-functional requirements
  • Description of connections to other software or hardware
  • Design or functional limitations
elements of srs document

Additional SRS may include a set of use cases of user interactions with the software and what should it provide.

Non-functional requirements

Functional requirements describe what your system does. Non-functional requirements specify how the system will do it. They do not influence functionality. Therefore, skipping those requirements will not cause the system not to work.

Why are non-functional requirements important then? With those specifications, it is easier to ensure a good user experience. Also, it is easier to follow best practices in cases of performance, security, reliability, availability, and usability.

How to define the scope of SRS

As with any document, writing SRS should be broken down into stages. By going from the bottom line to the detail, you can work quickly and efficiently.

  1. Write an outline
    The outline contains the most general plan for the SRS document. Do not go into details at this stage. Thanks to the outline, you will not forget about anything while further defining the product scope.
    write an outline - product scope
  2. Describe the purpose
    In the introduction section, put a brief description of the software’s purpose (the scope). Add information on the users - who and how will use the software. Underline the values, so programmers who code the application know your overall goal.
  3. Give an overview
    The third step in the process is to describe the software’s features and how do you want to address the user’s needs. It is also important to outline your assumptions about the product’s functionality and its dependencies on the current tech structure.
  4. Fill in the details
    The fourth step of writing a product scope is to focus on the functional and non-functional requirements. Developers need to get from you a detailed description of your requirements. Write down everything about features and the ecosystem around them (e.g., security specifications), so the developers understand what to analyse and code.
    It is also a good practice to add use cases and show how your users could use the application. This will serve as your referring point during development.
  5. Supporting knowledge
    Add any helpful appendixes, glossaries of terms, and references to help developers understand their job.
  6. Control
    Check if you included in the document all of the following points:
    • Product name
    • Product scope description
    • Target audience
    • Project Requirements
    • Project Assumptions
    • Project Deliverables
  7. Consult with the stakeholders
    Do not forget to get the document’s approval from the stakeholders. In most cases, you will present the document in front of a development team, business team or your boss.
    This is the precious time to gather feedback, answer questions and make changes in the SRS document.

Summary

If you want your product to meet the user's needs, you need to create an SRS document for all the people involved in the project. It is an important part of a software development project.

Having a complete SRS document will make it possible for you to:

  • estimate time needed to develop your project
  • assign tasks efficiently
  • tell how the development is going
  • see if you have all the app's features in place
  • tell when a project is finished

Are you lacking experience in creating an SRS document?

Skyrise.tech's team is happy to help! We have created SRS documents for projects of every size! Over 50 great businesses have trusted our services. Contact us to get a piece of advice and start your project.