Addressing the first component of a GSD.

I have been writing articles for Pumps & Systems magazine regarding the General Scope Document (GSD) since November 2017. For the past year I have addressed various items that should be addressed in said document when planning a pumping system project. Those of you who have been reading these columns hopefully have a fairly clear understanding as to why an end user or equipment owner must take the responsibility of preparing a GSD for a given project.

At this point, I would like to devote future columns addressing each individual component of the scope document in detail. As a review from the December 2018 article (CLICK HERE TO READ), the GSD consists of 11 components or tasks. Here they are in order of priority:

  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

The process as defined above should be followed when preparing a scope document for any project. Do not restrict this process to pumping systems. The first step in preparing a GSD for any project, not just a pumping system, is establishing the purpose and justification for the project. This may sound like a no-brainer, but this critical piece of information is often left out by the end user when submitting their request to the engineering design firm.

What information should be included in the purpose and justification portion of the scope document? As the category states, why are we initiating this project and what is the justification? Justification should include downtime, lost production and the financial impact to the facility.

As an example, let us use a pump system upgrade project. This example is a combined cycle power plant that requires a condensate system redesign.


This project is being initiated due to the unacceptable frequency of failures of the condensate pumps resulting in forced outages and lost revenue as well as excessive maintenance cost and lost production. The failure or repair rate of condensate pumps has increased from two failures per year to nine failures over a four-year period. The industry standard for mean time between repair (MTBR) is 15 years.

Therefore, the purpose is to eliminate failures and bring the reliability and MTBR of the condensate pumps within the industry standard.


The condensate pumps have experienced a total of 21 failures over the past four years, and this failure rate is well above industry standard. According to plant maintenance records, condensate pumps failures have cost the plant $1.5 million dollars in repairs.

This cost includes motor and pump repair as well as removal and installation cost. Lost production and downtime over the past four years has totaled $11.5 million dollars.

One can see from the maintenance and operations history that this project’s purpose and justification was well documented and easily justified primarily due to good maintenance records.

Detailed maintenance records can be a huge advantage when developing project justification.

In conclusion, preparing the purpose and justification is the first step in developing the scope document and requires participation of all parties with a vested interest in the system under evaluation. Team work is key to developing a successful scope document.

Next month, we will address scope description.

To read more Pump System Standards articles, go here.