Know The Difference Between A Planning Package And A Work Package
PMP® Exam Tip: Know the Difference
Between a Planning Package and a Work Package
Many Project Management Professional (PMP)® students
have trouble understanding the difference between a
planning package and a work package. Let’s turn first to A
Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK® Guide) to clear up any confusion:
Planning Package = A work breakdown structure component
below the control account with known work content but
without detailed schedule activities (see also control
account; control account [Tool] = A management control
point where scope, budget (resource plans), actual cost, and
schedule are integrated and compared to earned value for
Work Package = A deliverable or project work component at
the lowest level of each branch of the work breakdown
All clear? I thought so. Let’s try this…a planning package is created to describe or “hold” work
that will be completed in the future. It is larger and more general than a work package in terms
of time, scope, and budget. Although it lacks the detail of a work package, a planning package is
still associated with specific project work scope. A planning package includes work that will be
completed; it just hasn’t been scheduled or put on anyone’s plate yet.
A planning package may be converted to a work package when the lowest-level details of the
work are defined, budgeted, and scheduled. Individual work packages are the building blocks of
all project deliverables and form the basis by which the project is monitored, measured, and
assessed. In sum, a planning package stores future work until the work can be broken down
into specific tasks and assigned to actual resources, when it becomes part of the Work
Breakdown Structure (WBS) in the form of work breakdown packages.
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