Step 2] Define Activities

Let us revisit Work Break Down structure (WBS) in brief now. WBS is a hierarchical representation of all the work required to complete the project. WBS represents Project scope through "Deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition of the Project Scope". It can be decomposed either based on "Project Phases" or based on "Major Deliverables". The lowest leaf of WBS is called Work Package. Thumb Rule suggests to leave Work Packages of tentative duration 40 to 80 person hours. 

In this, section, we will discuss on how to detail the work Packages through identifying all the activities involved. This is to ensure team defines all the activities involved to achieve the work package and thus provides framework to estimate the time required to carry out the work package. This is accomplished through below deliverables:

Activity List:  Consists of Activity Identifier - Activity Title 
Activity Attributes:  Contains any additional information pertaining to each activity i.e. Predecessors - Successors - Logical Relationships - Leads- Lags - Resource Requirements - Imposed Date Constraints - Assumptions - Person Responsible for executing the work - Geographic Area - Project Calendar assigned to.
Milestone List: Milestones are significant events in the project's journey that are of interest to stakeholders. Stakeholders may take significant decisions based on the accomplishment of milestones - In Scheduling framework, milestones are usually represented as Zero Duration tasks. Milestones can be of two types (1) Mandatory Milestones - Mandated by contract/external obligation (2) Optional Milestones - Usally set by project teams based on the experience accumulated by team from similar projects executed.

Tools and Techniques:

Tool-1] Decomposition - Decompose WBS into activities through expert Judgment - Involve team to get the knowledge and more importantly to get thier buy-in

Tool-2] Rolling Wave Planning - Plan the nearest waves in detail- Limit to high-level for farthest waves till they come nearer

Tool-3] Templates - Reference activity list from previous similar in fact projects.

Tool-4] Expert Judgment: Guided by Historical Information and expertize In the required application area/ Knowledge Area/Industry discipline, experts provide valuable inputs.


I-1] Schedule Management Plan
I-2] Scope baseline
I-3] Enterprise Environmental Factors
I-4] Org Process Assets


As part of scope management, we have drilled down till Work Package (40 to 80 hours worth of work) level. Now, we need to analyze activities are involved to complete those work packages.

Generally Work packages relate to Scope (thus usually coded with Nouns) where as Activities are coded with Verbs (i.e. to be done on time scale)


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