Define Scope

With excerpts from my Project Management Novel, I will illustrate the many processes of the PMBOK.  Here is the fifth one: Define Scope. Use this map to see how this process fits into the scheme of processes.  scope

“Now let’s draw what this tower looks like.”

The men all gathered around the second parchment. The overall placement and dimensions of the tower set by Kay caused no dispute. The placement and dimensions of the silo were argued over. Half of the tower meant different things to the workers than to Gwilym. The workers expected that the interior dimensions of the silo should equal half the exterior dimensions of the tower and they couldn’t be made to understand that the walls took up space. Their bickering was giving Gwilym a headache.

Fred spoke up. “This drawin’ shows a cross-section of th’tower, right Gwilym?”

Gwilym agreed.

“Then how about if I draw th’wall separatin’ th’barracks from th’silo and tha pick which side tha want?”

The workers were suspicious and refused this trickery.

“All right then, tha draw the wall and Gwilym will pick which side goes to th’barracks.”

The workers, farmer and shipper squatted on the ground next to the table and scratched out various options in the dirt until they realized what Fred was proposing: the only fair way to divide the tower.

Athelstan spoke to Gwilym. “You are de best writer here. You draw de separating vall and ve vill pick our side.”


Gwilym drew a wall from corner to corner that divided the tower into barracks and silo. Athelstan picked one side and Gwilym drew the location of the stairs on the barracks side. Then he drew interior walls on the rest of the silo’s triangular section, indicating a smooth surface covering the wooden supports. There was still some grumbling as the men saw that their interior dimensions were smaller but Athelstan explained the fairness to them and they stopped arguing.

Gwilym and the farmer decided where the road should go and where they should place openings in the side to pour in the grain. Then he worked with the shipper on the placement of the openings leading to the channel. After computing in his head for a while, Gwilym wrote out a series of numbers, showing how much extra stone and clay they would need to line the silo and the channel to the water. “This you will need to supply,” he told Athelstan.

“Dis tower vill take all vinter to build,” replied Athelstan. “How do ve protect our grain until den?”

“Gather some building materials and build a temporary shelter here. Then, as we build the silo you can add grain as we go. You can use a temporary roof to protect it.”

When all had reached agreement on every detail of the tower, Gwilym signed the bottom of both parchments and asked all men present to do the same.

He titled the first: Requirements of the Airmyn Watchtower.

He titled the second: Scope of the Airmyn Watchtower.

Fred stared off into the distance, moving his lips. Gwilym realized that he was composing another verse or two of his Project Management Guide song. Bleddyn brought more ale and then everyone broke off for dinner.