What You Should Know about Validate Scope for the PMP Certification Exam

For the PMP Certification Exam, you should know that Validate Scope means that you’re receiving formal acceptance of project deliverables. To accept the deliverables, the customer should look at the scope baseline and the requirements. These documents contain all the detailed information about each deliverable. As a refresher, you would have the following information:

  • Scope management plan: Contains information on how you will validate each deliverable

  • Scope statement: Describes product deliverables and their acceptance criteria

  • Work breakdown structure (WBS): Identifies all the deliverables

  • WBS dictionary: Provides a detailed technical description of each deliverable in the WBS

  • Requirements documentation: Lists all the technical requirements, product requirements, business requirements, and so forth

  • Requirements traceability matrix: Links requirements to their origin and may have information on how the requirement will be verified

The project manager (or the delegated representative) should inspect the verified deliverables and/or the work performance data and compare them with the information in the documents listed in the preceding list.

The only technique used for validating scope is inspection. Inspection entails reviewing the deliverables to make sure they meet the stakeholder needs. There are many ways to do this:

  • Test. For quantifiable requirements, you can measure. This is good for size, weight, and speed.

  • Examine. For those requirements you can validate by a visual inspection, you can examine the deliverable.

  • Analysis. This method is used if you can’t see what is happening, but you can infer from the result that things work correctly.

  • Demonstration. For deliverables that need to perform one or more steps, you can demonstrate the steps.

Take a look at how you could use each of these methods with a childcare center example:

  • You can test how the security system works by making sure the cameras cover the area you need and that the alarm company is notified when the perimeter is breached.

  • You can examine the furniture and equipment to make sure that it’s child-size and safe.

  • You can analyze the enrollment software to see that it performs as promised.

  • You can demonstrate that the security system cameras and motion detectors show up in the correct locations on the computer screens and that they correctly represent the physical layout of the childcare center.

You should conduct validation throughout the project. You can do it as deliverables are completed, at phase gates, or at milestones. For the childcare center, you could perform validation at the following points:

  1. Meet with the parents to gather requirements.

  2. After the blueprints are complete, show the parents how the blueprints meet the requirements.

  3. Do a walk-through when the rough construction work is done to validate that construction is consistent with the blueprints.

  4. Do a final walk-through to gain final acceptance that the final build-out is acceptable.

At each inspection, you would receive sign-off from a parent representative, the project team member in charge of engineering and construction, and the project manager. One tool that can help you is a Product Acceptance form, which can track verification information, such as

  • Requirement

  • Verification method

  • Acceptance criteria

  • Status

  • Signature

When all the deliverables are signed off, you can move to the Close Project or Phase process.

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Those deliverables that meet the acceptance criteria are formally signed off by the customer. Those that don’t will require a change request for defect repair. You should note why the deliverables were not accepted as well as the subsequent follow-up actions.

A defect repair is a type of change request. A defect repair is “A formally documented identification of a defect in a project component with a recommendation to either repair the defect or completely replace the component.”

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