A primary technique in scope management is to establish a high-level requirements baseline for the project (Figure 18-2). We'll define the baseline as
Figure 18-2. Requirements baseline
This baseline for the next release must be agreed to by both the customer and the development team. In other words, the baseline must
The first step in creating the baseline is simply to list the features that have been defined for the application. Controlling the level of detail in this process is an important key to success. In Team Skill 3, we suggested that any new system, no matter how complex, can be described by a list of 25 “50 features. With any more than that, you are viewing the project at a level of detail that is too complex to communicate effectively with the customers and the development team. With fewer than that, the level of detail may be too simplified to provide a sufficient understanding of the application and the associated level of effort necessary for implementation.
If we followed the requirements workshop process (Chapter 11) or any process that creates a similar outcome, we will have at our disposal a list of proposed features. This list provides an itemized high-level description of the capabilities of a new or revised system. This features list is the primary project artifact we will use to manage the scope of the project before significant investments are made in requirements refinement, design, code, testing, or other project activities.
For our example, let's consider a shrink-wrapped software product with the following eight features.