Dear PM Advisor. February 4, 2013

Dear PM Advisor, What is a 'Work Package?' Different people within my organization call it different things. Is it a part of an activity or a big collection of activities within the Work Breakdown Structure

Two Minds in Brooklyn, New York.

Dear Two Minds,

The Project Management Institute has made a change in the last few years on its definition of a Work Package. The levels of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) used to be titled this from top to bottom:

Level 1: Project Name

Level 2: Tracks

Level 3: Deliverables

Level 4: Tasks

Level 5: Sub-tasks

Level 6: Work Packages

Now that they want you to conduct the Work Breakdown Structure and then define activities as a second step, here are the new levels:

Level 1: Project Name

Level 2: Tracks

Level 3: Deliverables

Level 4: Work Packages

Then you break down the Work Packages during Activity Definition into Activities. PMI doesn't want these activities showing up on the WBS so they define the Work Package as the lowest level on the WBS.

I'm not sure why they did this. But that's the way the PMI now wants it so, if you want to pass your PMP test, you need to know this terminology.

I still do my WBS the old fashioned way as shown above and do it in one shot unless the project is huge and needs to be broken down by different groups. Here's theĀ methodĀ I use.

Good luck,

PM Advisor.

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