Work packages involve a process in which a project manager arranges a sequence of work activities using a work breakdown structure and assign these tasks to the team members to generate deliverables.
Therefore, a work package is a pile of information regarding one or more desired products. It is the lowest element in a WBS- work breakdown structure and is occasionally known as the terminal component of a WBS. By decomposing a deliverable into fractions while creating a WBS, you can form a work package.
What is a PRINCE2 Work Package?
A work package is very helpful in understanding both budget and time duration and also helps in managing these things.
In order to report, a work package is usually controlled by an individual and it includes all the work that can be accomplished within a reporting time period. Cut down the work package further and you can have the activities that form a mini-project.
Elements Of PRINCE2 Project Work Package Template
The typical elements of a work package are mentioned below:
DATE: This part includes the date on which the project manager allotted the work package or it can be the date on which it was agreed.
PERSON AUTHORIZED: This element will tell who will make the work package product. It can also be a team.
DESCRIPTION: It deals with the details of the deliverable to be manufactured.
PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES: It includes processes and techniques utilized to create the desired products.
PROGRESS INTERFACES: This component deals with the communication interfaces, for instance, the people who have to be kept aware of the current situations.
EXECUTION AND MAINTENANCE INTERFACES: This portion includes product interfaces that can attain many forms like electrical or physical.
ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS: It describes the way requirements, version control, and configuration management are to be executed. In case multiple organizations are involved, it will be described in this section how they will interact to achieve a common goal.
JOINT AGREEMENT: Highlight the time durations and resources for completing a work package.
CONSTRAINTS: It describes anything that can come in the way to obstruct the delivery of the desired work package.
TOLERANCES: This component is optional and can be added to the wish of the project
manager. In case it becomes part of a work package, a predicted deviation is determined that would be beyond tolerance and then can be raised as an issue by the team or project manager.
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: It deals with the content, frequency, and procedure of regular transmission of Checkpoint reports. Some non- PRINCE2 reports can also be required.
PROBLEM MANAGING AND ESCALATION: This component briefs the way work package tolerances can be escalated if forecast to be outstripped.
REFERENCES: It covers an opportunity to reference in addition to relevant documents; specifically it can be an extract from the Stage plan.
APPROVAL PROCESS: It deals with two aspects, firstly, how each deliverable will be approved after passing a quality check, and secondly, how the accomplished work package will be approved by the manager.
Work Packages in Prince2 Project Management
Splitting up your project can create a lot of chaos and confusion when your team and you want to get the job done, but work packages serve a genuine purpose. Some of the benefits of work packages in managing a project are mentioned below:
PLANNING AND BUDGETING
Right after you split the work packages into tasks, and then a task list is created by compiling all the activities that enable you to make your schedule and the budget of your project. By doing this, you are able to track the key metrics of the project like cost variances, earned value measurement, and more.
Also Review: Prince2 PID Template
When work packages are broken down then you can spot opportunities for concurrent activities and different teams can perform multiple activities simultaneously.
On a small scale, it is rather easy to estimate budget, staff, time, and resources. You need to be well aware of the costs of all the materials related to your product and consumption.
After the identification of all the work packages, you can figure out the interdependencies of tasks. This will help you in further organizing the activities based on priority.
CONTROL AND HANDLING
Just like estimates, it is not difficult to monitor and manage things when you are well aware of all the details that concern you. It can serve you in two ways if your project is highly risky, for instance, an inexperienced team working in a new field then you definitely require that level of management but in case you are working with an experienced team familiar with the field then you may be relatively at ease. All of this depends on how better you understand your work package.
A comprehensive schedule and work demand recorded in a RAM- Responsibility Assignment Matrix can assist your team to see their duties, responsibilities, and deadlines at a single glance. Completing activities and work packages frequently and successfully can enhance their morale.
The upper management and the stakeholders should be more focused on those deliverables that are up in the hierarchy of WBS. Moreover, the work package serves as a good view to determine and show incremental accomplishments.
WORK PACKAGE VERSUS PLANNING PACKAGE
A work package is the lowest division of the work breakdown structure that helps in the estimation of the cost and duration of the project. Moreover, in a work package further division is not possible.
Whereas a planning package can be the lowest component in WBS when comprehensive schedule information is not available. It can be called a phase between the work page and the control account. In the planning package, schedule details are not clear that’s why estimations can’t be made accurately. In the absence of details, the planning package can be split into work packages.
The Role Of PRINCE2 Work Packages In The Work Breakdown Structure
According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, the WBS template is a hierarchical breakdown of all the activities involved in the project to achieve the desired goals and manufacture the required products. The WBS is a result-oriented tool for determining all the tasks and deliverables needed for a project.
It is a hierarchical and visible way of presenting work that enables you and your crew to access all the data related to the project at a glance.
At three levels, a breakdown is done at least and the lowest among all levels in the work package. All the elements and levels included in a work breakdown structure are numbered so that the work is shown can be identified without any problem and can be traced by various graphical representations utilized in the life cycle of the project.
A critical portion of the work breakdown structure is the WBS- dictionary. However, the work breakdown structure is itself a graphical representation of the project that provides references rapidly, the WBS dictionary gives a comprehensive background about all the components of WBS.
Information for example a description of the product for that component, the number of the element from the WBS chart, the cost, and the materials needed may be mentioned. For instance, you were constructing a shed that would possibly have metal walls. All the materials and people involved in this task will be included in the WBS dictionary like the dimensions of the metal sheets, the manufacturer, name, and the number of all the washers and bolts.
The resources shown by the components of WBS all sum up to make a total of 100%. It can also be stated that if you have to build a house with a budget of $50,000 and you have 3 components: electrical, plumbing, and foundation and the expense for all these three must not exceed $50,000.
The same will be applied to the materials and work hours. By doing this, you can be sure that you are not over-committing the resources of any project.
How To Make A Project Management PRINCE2 Work Package
Just like other tools involved in project planning including WBS, it is a team effort to define work packages. A project manager needs to have the insight of an expert in subject matter and professional workers to determine which tasks are required to accomplish a work package. Follow the steps mentioned below to create an efficient work package:
Don’t Over Decompose
To find the appropriate size of the work package, the 8/80 rule can be used, according to that a work package should not be completed before eight hours or it should not take more than 80 hours. Another tried and true technique can be used to see whether a work package can be accomplished within reporting periods.
Keep Estimates in Mind
Make sure that the breakdown you did should assist you while estimating money and time for the project.
A work package should be allotted to one person for better reporting and management.
Make it Unique
It is not good to repeat the work package somewhere else in WBS.