10 terms you need to know.
by William Livoti
January 4, 2019

I have been writing extensively about the general scope document (GSD) as applied to pumping systems. Those of you that have been following the series of articles discussing the GSD are most likely up to speed on the concept of such an important document when preparing a project. For those of you just tuning in, and for those that may have missed a few issues, I offer a brief overview.

The GSD (also referred to as a project scope document) provides a baseline understanding of the parameters of a project, including the project’s scope and deliverables, the work required to complete the deliverables and ensure a common understanding of the extent of the project by all stakeholders.

The GSD defines the following:

Purpose & Justification of the Project

This is a statement of why the project is under development, along with the reasons it is needed.

For example, the statement may read: “The purpose of the system upgrade is to increase the megawatt (MW) output of our plant by increasing the capacity of our circulating water pumps. The upgrade will increase our net MW output by 10 percent, thus reducing the need to use the simple cycle peaker plant during peak demand events.”

A simple, one-paragraph explanation addresses the purpose and justification of the project.

Scope Description

The scope description includes all known characteristics of the project’s product or service.

Define the components and services required for the project. There is no need to go into any detail in the description, just make sure all the services, components and equipment are stated in this section.

High-Level Project Requirements

This section describes the capabilities to be met by successful completion of the project. Include the expected result.

Using the previous example, the expected result might be: “With the increased flow the net MW output would be increased by 10 percent as a result of the circulating water pump upgrade.”

This would also be addressed in greater detail in the owners’ acceptance criteria (OAC) portion of the GSD.

Project Boundaries

Project boundaries are an important part of the scope statement as they identify what should and should not be included in the project. Now we are getting into a bit more detail. In this section, clearly define the equipment and services included as well as those not included.

Example: “Install complete pump package to include (but not limited to) pump, motor, coupling, external lube system, flush lines and filters. Repair intake structure (epoxy material) as necessary to ensure structurally sound installation.”

Not included: “Existing pump removal and disposal will be handled by others.”

Project Strategy

This section of the project scope statement describes the strategy the project team will use in executing the project.

Define how the project will be executed, i.e., during an outage with a specific window of opportunity, working around the clock to complete the project on time. This section may include contingency plans to prepare for something unexpected occurring during the project.

Project Deliverables

Project deliverables are the products or outputs that the project is intended to produce. This is somewhat redundant but bears repeating. Define the result of successful completion of the project.

Using the aforementioned example, “The plant expects a 10 percent increase in net MW output due to the increased flow (define flow rate) from the new circulating water pumps.”

This section of the project should also include a statement regarding overall system efficiency, reliability, and a clearly defined mean time between repairs (MTBR) for the pumps.

Acceptance Criteria (Owner)

The acceptance criteria lists the conditions that must be met for the project to be considered complete and accepted by management.

This portion of the GSD is important because it sets the expectations of what management will and will not accept. Without clear definition of these criteria, you have no way of determining if the project has been completed to meet the team’s expectations.

It should also be noted the OAC may be both qualitative and quantitative. I will explain more on this important segment in future articles.

Project Constraints

Project constraints are limitations the project may be faced with due to funding, scheduling/time, technology or resources. These constraints may also be physical, such as logistics or perhaps equipment availability.

Project Assumptions

Project assumptions include factors affecting the project that we believe to be true, but that we have not verified to be true.

It is important to document our assumptions because there is a level of uncertainty associated with them that introduces risk to a project.

For the example we are working with: “An anticipated system efficiency over a range of operation is assumed.”

Cost Estimates

The last two segments in the GSD are cost estimates and cost benefit analysis. Whether or not these two items are addressed is dependent on the team members and their job descriptions.

Cost estimates provide the anticipated cost of the project based on research by the team, i.e., budgetary pricing.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

This is a simple return on investment (ROI) analysis. It can take many forms depending on the type of project.

Using the power plant example, the cost benefit analysis would be quite simple. If the project involves addressing an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issue or perhaps a safety issue, the cost benefit analysis will take an entirely different form.

The next “Pump System Standards” column will continue to focus on the scope description since we have already discussed the pump and developed a spreadsheet.

Until next time, remember: Clarity is power!

To read more Pump System Standards articles, go here.