Addressing the fourth component of a GSD

This month, we will address the fourth portion of the general scope document (GSD): project boundaries.

Components of a General Scope Document

  1. purpose and justification of the project
  2. scope description
  3. high-level project requirements
  4. project boundaries
  5. project strategy
  6. project deliverables
  7. acceptance criteria (owner)
  8. project constraints
  9. project assumptions
  10. cost estimates
  11. cost-benefit analysis

Now, we are getting into a bit more detail. In the project boundary section, clearly define the equipment and services included, as well as those not included.

Project boundaries represent one of the components of the scope statement. This component is also referred to as “the project boundaries identification.” This section should clearly define the extent of the project scope (the scope baseline) and serves as an effective method for making decisions on the content of project work.

Project Boundaries Statement

According to one source,, the project boundaries statement explains that: “in terms of project implementation, the boundaries of a project are the reasonable limits of project work to determine what is included in the project and what’s not. The boundaries are defined as measurable and auditable characteristics and closely linked to project objectives. They create a holistic project perception, determine limits and exclusions of the project, and form the content of project scope in terms of expected results.”

As stated early on in this series of articles on GSD, it is a team effort. This section is no exception as several factors must be addressed that require input from various disciplines within the stakeholder facility or operation. The factors are:

  • Project goals—Extent of project work and overall duration
  • Project phases—There are five phases defined by the project phasing process: measure, plan, produce, introduce and manage
  • Product scope—Address function and features of the equipment (pump, motor, variable speed drive, piping, valves, etc). This is a team effort.
  • Group accountability—This bears repeating: it requires a team effort. All parties with a vested interest in the project should be involved in the development of the GSD and especially in this section.

The benefits to identifying and clarifying project boundaries include:

  • Define where the project starts and stops
  • Plan human resources, job requirements, vendor surveillance and site visits, to name a few
  • Roles and responsibilities, accountability of team members and workforce

At the conclusion of this General Scope Document series, I will provide a detailed case study where an extensive root cause failure analysis was performed on three vertical turbine pumps in a water filtration plant.

Spoiler Alert

The root cause is that the end user failed to develop a GSD. The case study will demonstrate the importance of developing a solid, well-developed GSD, as well as the financial impact on various vendors involved in the project.

Next month we will discuss the project strategy section.

Read more Pump System Standards by William Livoti here.