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In some projects it is necessary to plan work packages (WP) or sub-tasks based on the work breakdown structure (WBS) [13].

Indications that it is necessary to create a WBS and define WPs are

  • overlapping, cost or time-intensive phases in the project,
  • concerns that it may not be possible to implement the project,
  • expected, possibly substantial risks.

Creation of the WBS as a team
Date of WBS creation, participants (if possible, involve staff who can contribute knowledge and experience i.e. competence from their specialist field).

Workshop procedure
The question for this workshop is "What do we have to do to solve the problem?" Remember that the answers to the question do not initially provide any information about expected costs or time required. This information is obtained on the basis of the defined work packages, which will be dealt with later on. Every team member writes down the answers, ensuring that they don't just write keywords, but phrases (wrong: "list", right: "create list"). This is a classic creativity technique called brainwriting. The first step of the process can also be supported by mind mapping or similar methods. All answers are then written on MetaPlan cards.
Individual work: 20 min

A moderator is nominated. He or she has to compile the individual team members' answers into clusters and define headings for each cluster. When all the topics have been clustered, another check is made to see whether any more headings or tasks will be necessary to ensure completeness.
Moderated team work: 25 min

In particularly critical projects, it can be helpful to create WBSs with different emphases (phase, function or object-oriented) to close any gaps that may exist.
Moderated team work: 25 min

Workshop follow-up
The work packages are delegated to the team members for precise definition [14].