Scope management using project definition rating index

Peter R. Dumont, G. Edward Gibson, John R. Fish

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


It is widely accepted that poor scope definition is one of the leading causes of project failure in the U.S. construction industry. Many owner and contractor companies understand this, however, they share the misconception that it is not economically feasible to spend the time or money necessary to adequately define the scope of work early in a project's life cycle. In other cases project participants are ignorant about the requirements for an adequately defined scope of work. A tool called the project definition rating index (PDRI) was created to address these problems. The PDRI is an easy-to-use, weighted checklist of 70 scope definition elements allowing the user to measure and manage the level of scope definition as project planning progresses. Results from 40 pilot projects will be presented showing that a specific PDRI point threshold provides some measure of confidence in project outcome. The implications of this tool in the project scope management process will be explored. Conclusions and recommendations about the PDRI will be made for project management professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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