Process 2: Write the Vision/Scope Document


In this process, the project team writes the vision/scope document and performs a risk assessment.

Figure 5. Write the vision/scope document

Activities: Write the Vision/Scope Document

During this process, the project team completes the first draft of the vision/scope document and distributes it to the team, customers, and stakeholders for review. During the review process, the document undergoes multiple iterations of feedback, discussion, and change.

The vision/scope document is usually written at a strategic level of detail and the project team uses it during planning as the context for developing technical specifications and project management plans in greater detail. It provides clear direction for the project team; outlines explicit project goals, priorities, and constraints; and sets customer expectations.

Project vision and project scope are distinct concepts, and successful projects require both. Project vision is an unlimited view of the solution. Project scope identifies the parts of the vision that a project team can accomplish within its constraints. The vision/scope document defines both concepts.

Another key activity of this process is for the team to assess and document the project risks. This is done using the Risk Template.

The following table lists the activities involved in this process. These activities include:

  • Writing the vision/scope document.
  • Assessing and documenting project risks.

Table 5. Activities and Considerations for Writing the Vision/Scope Document



Write the vision/scope document

Key questions:

  • Does the customer have a clear vision for the project?
  • What are the business goals that the project is trying to accomplish?
  • What constraints (time or resources) must be placed on the vision?
  • Does the project team understand the profiles of the solution’s users?
  • Does the organization have documentation standards for similar projects?
  • Does the organization have a change control process? For information about change control, see the Change and Configuration SMF.



  • Vision/scope document, which includes:
    • Business opportunity.
    • Solutions concept.
    • Scope.
    • Solution design strategies.

Assess and document project risks

Key questions:

  • Can the project team identify any known risks to the project?
  • How can the probability of each risk be estimated?
  • Can the team estimate the impact of each risk if it manifests?


  • None


  • Risk assessment using the Risk Template

Best practices:

  • Plan and anticipate risks to avoid surprises that have a negative impact.
  • If the team uses a numeric scale to assess the probability and impact of a risk, it can compare the severity of each risk by multiplying the two numbers. For more information about risk management, see the Governance, Risk, and Compliance SMF.

This accelerator is part of a larger series of tools and guidance from Solution Accelerators.


Get the Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0

Solution Accelerators Notifications

Sign up to learn about updates and new releases


Send us your comments or suggestions