Decomposing the Work Packages

Yep, more decomposition. You know that the project scope is decomposed into deliverables and then those deliverables are continued to be decomposed into work packages. Work packages, of course, are the smallest item in the WBS. Now that you and your project team are focused on defining the project activities, you'll be breaking down the work packages into the labor needed to create each work package.

Some project managers follow a sequential pattern to this process. First, they'll decompose the project scope into first-tier deliverables, then decompose those project deliverables into second-tier deliverables, and so on, until they've created the work packages. Armed with the work packages, they'll decompose those into the schedule activities we're discussing here. Other project managers will decompose the project scope, then the work packages, and then create the schedule activities in one swoop.

Either approach, in fact, is just fine—even with our pals at PMI. Complete decomposition of the project scope down to the schedule activities is needed—how you get there doesn't matter. It only matters that all of the work packages are decomposed and that the project management team follows the internal policies and procedures (if they exist) to create the schedule activities.

EXAM TIP Use a logical approach to defining the activities: project scope statement, WBS, work packages, and then schedule activities.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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