Project Exclusions, Assumptions, and Constraints

Posted on April 23, 2009 by



Gourmet Cookies!

Project exclusions, assumptions, and constraints (among other information) are included in a Project Scope Statement.  They’re also referenced in the Project Charter and Project Plan.

Here’s a simple example to help you lock in the differences among exclusion, assumption and constraints. Anna has a project to make exotic papaya honey cookies to enter in her city’s bake-off competition. The scope of the project is to make and enter one dozen cookies for the competition. Here are some examples of exclusions, assumptions, and constraints for this project.

Project exclusions are those things that outside of the project boundaries. It explicitly states what is not included in the project. This project does not include making enough cookies for Anna to eat some herself.  Well OK – she’ll likely sneak one or two!  This project does not include submitting her recipe to the judges.

Project assumptions are those things that are believed to be true. Anna believes that she’ll be able to obtain the cookie ingredients from her local grocery store.  If they aren’t available at her local grocery store, she feels she can borrow some from a neighbor.  She also believes that her car will reliably transport her and the cookies to the competition.  We’ll omit the slang term for what a bad assumption makes someone!

Project constraints are limitations placed upon the project team. Anna must have the cookies delivered to the competition one hour before the judging starts. Her budget insists that she spend no more than fifty dollars on exotic ingredients for the cookies.