Work Packages are a way for the Project Manager to group work activities together and assign work to a team or Team Manager to produce one or more products. A Work Package is therefore a set of information about one or more required products. A Work Package can contain the following: a Work Package description, product descriptions, techniques to be used, tolerances, date of agreement between PM and TM, how the TM will report to the PM, and Quality information.
A Work Package is a set of information about one or more required products collated by the Project Manager to pass responsibility for work or delivery formally to a Team Manager or team member.
A Work Package can take a number of formats, including: Document; Oral conversation between the Project Manager and a Team Manager; Entry in a project management tool. The Work Package will vary in content and in degree of formality, depending on circumstances. Where the work is being conducted by a team working directly under the Project Manager, the Work Package may be an oral instruction - although there are good reasons for putting it in writing, such as avoidance of misunderstanding and providing a link to performance assessment ( Progress ). Where the work is being carried out by a supplier under a contract and the Project Manager is part of the customer organization, there is a need for a formal written instruction in line with standards laid down in that contract.
The following quality criteria should be observed:
- The required Work Package is clearly defined and understood by the assigned resource
- There is a Product Description for each required product, with clearly identified and acceptable quality criteria
- The Product Description(s) matches up with the other Work Package documentation
- Standards for the work are agreed
- The defined standards are in line with those applied to similar products
- All necessary interfaces have been defined
- The reporting arrangements include the provision for raising issues and risks
- There is agreement between the Project Manager and the recipient on exactly what is to be done
- There is agreement on the constraints, including effort, cost and targets
- The dates and effort are in line with those shown in the Stage Plan for the current management stage
- Reporting arrangements are defined
- Any requirement for independent attendance at, and participation in, quality activities is defined.