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Scope Your Area of Analysis

Scoping is the process of defining the boundaries of a product, program, project, or iteration. Depending on your viewpoint and your involvement in the project, the components within the scope you’re analyzing may be slightly different; i.e. budget, time, resource, quality or features and functions; or stakeholders, interfaces, data flows, and processes. For purposes of this class, the viewpoint considered is from the business analysis scope perspective to identify the stakeholders (external agents or actors), interfaces, data flows, and high-level processes of concern in order to effectively determine the area for which analysis needs to be performed.

Business Analysis Scope

Business analysis scope is defined using a context diagram.

business analysis scope
This course covers scoping techniques and best practices to ensure that you are eliciting and analyzing the right requirements based on the problem statement and that you have a framework for staying within the boundaries of the project. It also provides a technique to facilitate enough analysis so that requirements aren’t missed, but aren’t overdone either. The scope diagram provides a baseline and a primary reference for measuring all future project changes and project performance.

Classroom Experience

Over 60% of the day is conducting interactive exercises which provide students an opportunity to practice the techniques they’ve learned in a reinforcing and safe environment. Extensive debriefs are conducted with individual feedback for improvement and job aids are used during class then provided as a reference for participants to use after class. We encourage students to bring their projects so that the practice is within their context. A case study is provided for students without a project or they may work in a group with a project.  The course supports the standards in the IIBA BABOK® Guide and the PMI-PBA certification. This course is appropriate as a 1 day class or as part of the 4-day Essential Skills for Business Analysis course. Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom however. View our approach to see what else is included.

Learning Objectives

  • Determine WHY a project is being done to ensure the correct analysis effort is planned and to prioritize requirements efforts appropriately
  • Practice an approach to ensure that the problem your project is supposed to address is clearly understood
  • Analyze and scope the area of analysis, collaboratively with project managers and business stakeholders, to clarify the level and complexity of the business analysis effort needed for the project
  • Review enterprise analysis  concepts to more fully understand the project’s context in relationship to the organization’s strategic goals
  • Identify interfaces, data flows, and high-level processes associated with the project by creating a context level diagram. An invaluable tool for planning and communications



  • Define solution scope and explain its applicability and purpose
  • Differentiate between solution scope and project scope
  • Identify the components of scope and explain the purpose of a project initiation document
  • Describe the value of scoping your area of analysis
.5 hour

Define Project Context and Purpose

  • Survey the Project
    • Explain how to assess a project within the larger context of the enterprise
    • Identify the documents and information valuable to summarizing project objectives
  • Create a Statement of Purpose
    • Differentiate business drivers from the problem to solve
    • Compose a well-defined problem statement
    • Formulate a project statement of purpose
  • Define Project Objectives
    • Define project approach and clearly state business objectives
    • Construct a project glossary and illustrate its value
2.5 hours
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Depict Other Key Scope Parameters

  • Distinguish and express key scope parameters and explain their importance
    • Risks
    • Assumptions
    • Constraints
  • Plan for detailed scope elicitation
1 hour

Scope Your Area of Analysis

  • Express scope with graphical representation (Context Data Flow Diagram)
    • Illustrate components of graphical scope & order of definition
      • Identify external agents
      • Analyze and identify data flows
      • Distinguish project boundary
      • Formulate purpose-driven name
  • Complete scope with text representation
    • Detect stakeholders from scope context
    • Analyze scope parameters for impacts on analysis planning
1 hour

Prepare to Communicate Scope

  • Evaluate and prepare scoping results
    • Indicate newly identified project information
    • Identify important actions performing a final quality check
    • Produce formal context DFD (scope diagram)
  • Validate Scope with Stakeholders
    • Explain process of validating your area of analysis
    • Describe considerations when planning communications about scope and impacts
    • Explain the importance and describe an approach to gaining stakeholder agreement on scope
1.5 hours

Course Summary

  • Define a baseline
  • Describe the value and purpose of baselining the results of the scoping effort
  • Explain how scope is used throughout the project
  • Develop an Action Plan with next steps, based on the student’s current project
.5 hour

Appendix – Job Aid

  • Tips for Ensuring Quality in the Context DFD
  • Risk Responses and Planning