Disciplined Agile

Explore Scope

This Inception process goal describes how we will elicit and capture the initial requirements for our solution. We want to do just enough work to understand what our stakeholders want so that we can confidently begin Construction. To be effective, we need to consider several important questions:

  • What is the purpose of our solution?
  • How will we explore the ways that people will potentially use the solution?
  • How will we explore domain concepts, the business process(es) to be supported by the solution, user experience needs, and general requirements?
  • How will we capture non-functional requirements?
  • How will we approach modeling activities?
  • What level of detail do we need to capture?
  • How will changing requirements be managed?
2021 Project Management Institute Explore Scope v5.3 Explore Purpose Ideathon Ideation board Impact map Mind map Modified impact map Outcome Really round robin Value proposition canvas Explore Usage Design sprint (User experience (UX)) Epic Persona Unified Modeling Language (UML) use case diagram Usage scenario Use case User story User story map Explore the Domain Domain/conceptual model Event storming Glossary Logical data model (LDM) UML class diagram Explore the Process Business process diagram Data flow diagram (DFD) Flowchart UML activity diagram UML state chart Value stream map Explore User Experience (UX) Design sprint (user experience (UX)) User interface (UI) flow diagram UI prototype (high fidelity) UI prototype (low fidelity) UI specification Explore General Requirements Business rule Context diagram Feature statements Impact map Mind map Modified impact map Shall statement Value proposition canvas Explore Quality Requirements Acceptance criteria Explicit list Technical stories Apply Modeling Strategy(ies) Agile Modeling (informal) sessions Open space Joint application requirement (JAR) sessions Interviews Choose a Backlog Management Strategy Lean backlog Agile backlog Requirements (product) backlog Unsequenced backlog None Level of Detail of the Scope Document Outcome driven Requirements envisioning (light specification) Detailed specification No document

Figure 1. The Explore Scope process goal diagram (click to enlarge)

You can use the DA Browser to learn more about the options in the goal diagram of Figure 1. 

Why This is Important?

There are several reasons why we need explore the initial scope in a bit more detail:

  • We need to answer common stakeholder questions. Before providing funding for the rest of the effort, our stakeholders are likely to ask us fundamental questions such as: What are you going to deliver? How much will it cost? and When will you deliver it? To answer these questions we will need to work through what we believe the initial scope of our next release will be.
  • We need to know what to work on initially. You want to do just enough requirements elicitation to understand what our stakeholders want so that we can confidently begin Construction.
  • We want to set reasonable expectations as to what we’ll deliver. Both the team and your stakeholders need to come to an agreement around a reasonable scope for the current effort that is being funded so that you’re all working towards the same vision.

Key Points

  • We need to do just enough requirements exploration so that we understand what we’re trying to achieve as a team.
  • User stories and epics often need to be supplemented with other models to explore domain, user experience, and business process concerns.
  • You should have a strategy to agree upon and manage quality requirements.
  • Consider what techniques and tools you will need to prioritize and manage your work.