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Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Sixth Edition by Robert K. Wysocki

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Writing Work Packages

The work package is a statement by each task manager as to how he or she plans to complete the task within the scheduled start and finish dates. It is like an insurance policy. For the project manager, the work package is a document that describes the work at a level of detail such that if the task manager or anyone working on the task were not available (if he or she were fired, hit by a bus on the way to work, or otherwise not available), someone else could use the work package to figure out how to continue the work of the task with minimal lost time. This safeguard is especially important for critical path tasks for which schedule delays are to be avoided.

A work package can consist of one or several tasks. On the one hand, this may be nothing more than a to-do list, which can be completed in any order. On the other hand, the work package can consist of tasks that take the form of a mini-project, with a network diagram that describes it. In this case, work packages are assigned to a single individual, called a task manager or work package manager. This manager is responsible for completing the task on time, within budget, and according to specification. Sounds like a project manager, doesn't it? That person has the authority and the access to the resources needed to complete the assignment.

Purpose of a Work Package

The work package becomes the bedrock for all project work. It describes in detail the tasks that need to be done to complete the work for a ...

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