Work Packages - Introduction

A work package is essentially a record of what someone has agreed with the project manager will be delivered and should contain, as a minimum, the following information:

  • What - A description of the final product / work to be done
  • Who - The person that agreed and has taken responsibility that they can arrange for the required work to be completed within all the agreed constraints e.g.
    • Cost
    • Time
    • Quality
  • When - The above was agreed

Work packages vary in content and degree of formality depending on circumstances i.e. whether the work is being carried out by an internal team or external contractors. When internal you may decide that you only need to log the oral instructions that were given.

A formal work package should include all the information required to achieve the required result, this can be in the form of references to specific documents (i.e. drawings, plans, specifications etc.)

It is VERY IMPORTANT that when referencing any documents the version of the document is specified and that checks have been made to ensure the quoted version is the correct one. Millions have been lost by big companies because the wrong version of a document was used.

Confirming What Was Agreed

Once a work package has been agreed simply click the Confirm button to save a copy of the agreed work package. If it is changed, click Confirm again to save a copy of the revised work package.

NB. Saved copies can be viewed by the person with whom the work package was agreed with, saved copies do not include any prices, just quantities and time.

View Confirmed

To view confirmed work package click the Confirmed button at the bottom of the page

Additional Sections (Optional)

PerformWork has the following additional sections that may be useful or necessary on certain projects

•   Agreements

If the work is subject to specific agreements whether formal or informal, ensure a record of those agreements is recorded here. Keeping such records helps reduce the risk of difficult "after the fact" disputes.

•   Approval

How do you agree when the work is finished? Who is going to decide? Are there any certification requirements? Are there agreed specific retentions? It should be made clear what constitutes completed work.

•   Change Control

What process has been agreed for handling all change requests, this should include whose authority is required before changes can be made.

•   Constraints

Both parties may want to apply constraints. It may be a simple one i.e. It may be that certain work can only be undertaken by a person holding a specific qualification or certification. There may be Health and Safety, security or safety requirements that must be adhered to.

•   Handling Problems

When things don't go to plan both parties should have a previously agreed approach for handling any issues. This can be as simple as "if there is an issue please email me straight away and CC to my boss, one of us will get back to you within [an agreed] time frame". Make sure all key team members know what the agreed process is, keeping the right people in the loop is the sign of good project management.

•   Interfaces

When the product of the work package interfaces with any other product, describe how it interfaces and all tests, conditions that apply.

•   Techniques

Specify any specific procedures, processes, techniques, tools etc. that are to be used in conjunction with this work package.

•   Tell and Ask

This is really a set of two contact lists for the team building the product

  • Tell - Details of everyone who needs to be kept informed of progress
  • Ask - Where to go for any additional technical advice that may be required.

These two lists are held in the same section as the people who need to be kept informed are frequently the people to go to for advice.

•   Tolerances

Detail agreed tolerances (i.e. cost, time, quality, scope etc.) that apply to either the production process or the final product.

You could include here any significant testing that is required.

Cancelling a Work Package

Click the Cancel button next to the Edit, View, Confirm buttons. Details of the the work package will be displayed. Click Confrim Cancellation and the work package will be cancelled. If it had been confirmed, it will still appear in the confirmed log, but at the bottom of the list of confirmed and marked cancelled.