Wideman Comparative Glossary of Common Project Management Terms v3.1 is copyright by R. Max Wideman, March 2002.

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Definition     Editor's Choice
Work Breakdown Structure Element
A discrete portion of a WBS at any level. A WBS element may be an identifiable product, a set of data, a service, or any combination. [D04671]

Work Category
A division of work according to some distinct characteristics, such as the trade involved, e.g. mechanical, electrical, etc. [D03405]

Work Definition
The process of describing or a description or specification expressing the essential nature of the work in question. See also Scope of Work, and Work Breakdown Structure. [D03406]

Work Effort
See Level of Effort. See also Work. [D03407]

Work Flow
The relationship of the activities in a project from start to finish. Work flow takes into consideration all types of activity relationships. [D02149]

Work Guideline
A description which provides practical guidance on how to perform an activity or set of activities. It usually considers techniques which are useful during the activity. [D04788]

Work Item
A portion of the project that can be clearly identified and isolated. [D02150]

See also Activity. [D02151]

Work Load
The amount of work units assigned to a resource over a period of time. [D02152]

Work Management
Techniques applied to the organization and conduct of work for purposes of maintaining efficiency or effecting improvement. [D03408]

Work Measurement
The use of labor-time standards to measure and control the time required to perform a particular task or group of tasks. [D03582]

Work Package ("WP")
A generic term for a unit within a work breakdown structure (WBS) at the lowest level of its branch, not necessarily at the lowest level of the whole WBS. It may be used to refer to a unit of work performed within the organization, while 'Commitment Package' may be used for work contracted or purchased outside the organization. [D02158]

A deliverable at the lowest level of the work breakdown structure. A work package may be divided into activities. [D02153]

A generic term for units of work as a sub-division of the total scope of a project. As a project progresses through the various stages, work packages will be identified at progressively lower (greater) levels of detail. At any given level the content of the work packages will be entirely contained within any given code item definition.

While an agreement or contract will contain one or more work packages, such work packages should be the responsibility of only one department, consultant, sub-consultant, contractor or trade contractor. The smallest work package should still be large enough to be a scope of work that could be competitively bid and awarded as a contract by itself. A Work Package may be further sub-divided into tasks and resources (labor and materials etc.) [D02154]

An accountable item of work. [D02155]

A term used to describe logical elements of work as sub-units of the total project Scope at the lowest level of any particular leg of the WBS and for which responsibility can be allocated, or which is required within a responsibility allocation, for purposes of supervision and control of the work. [D02157]

A group of related tasks that are defined at the same level within a work breakdown structure. In traditional cost/schedule systems, the criteria for defining work packages is as follows. Each work package:
  1. Is clearly distinguishable from all other work packages in the program.
  2. Has a scheduled start and finish date.
  3. Has an assigned budget that is time-phased over the duration of the work package.
  4. Either has a relatively short duration, or can be divided into a series of milestones whose status can be objectively measured.
  5. Has a schedule that is integrated with higher-level schedules.

Work Package Budgets
Resources which are formally assigned by the contractor to accomplish a work package, expressed in dollars, hours, standards or other definitive units. [D04672]

Work Package Leader
A functional department and project contributor level position responsible for integrating the work of individual contributors to each of their assigned work control packages within each project. [D04609]

Work Packages/Control Point
WBS elements of the project isolated for assignment to •work centersę for accomplishment. Production control is established at this element level. [D02160]

Work Pattern
An established and recognizable flow of work. [D03410]

Work Plan
In the design stage, the designer's schedule plan, budget and monitoring system. [D02161]

Work Products
The results or deliverables that need to be produced in order to complete the project and deliver the necessary changes. The work products may range from a new building to a completed training course. [D02162]

Work Release
In some organizations a work order system is used. Departments are forewarned of work contributions expected for a project for staff planning purposes, but must await authorization (i.e. release) before commencing. This enables proper sequencing, updating and coordination with the project work of others. A work release system may also be used where the project is being planned and managed by work package, and as each package passes through detailed design and becomes ready for separate tender and award (Fast Tracking). [D03411]

Work Remaining
The work tasks still to be done to complete the project. [D04301]

Work Sampling Study
A statistical sampling technique employed on human work to determine travel, handling, relaxation, etc. as well as productive work time, as a proportion of the whole for purposes of effecting overall improvement. [D03420]

Work Scope
The extent of the work. See also Scope of Work. [D02163]

Work Statements
The detailed descriptions of work content, i.e. scope of work, for each work package that together make up the whole project. [D03412]

Work Study
See Method Study. [D03075]

Work Unit
A calendar time unit when work may be performed on an activity. [D02164]

Work Units
The measurement of resources. For example, people as a resource can be measured by the number of hours they work. [D02165]

An alternative solution to a potential problem. [D02166]

An unplanned response to a negative event.
Editor's Note: More typically, the workaround is planned - but in crisis mode. [D02167]

A method of reducing the impact of a problem, risk or obstacle to progress by using a different approach that will accomplish virtually the same result. The development of workable solutions to overcome or circumvent problems and obstacles to progress in the work. When a risk assessment identifies potential problems, then the workaround can be planned well in advance, i.e. "If that happens, we will do this." [D03707]

Those who labor. [D03413]

The series of tasks together with their inputs and outputs that have some logical or intuitive basis for being considered together, typically because the tasks share data, have serial dependencies, involve the same people, are centered around processing a particular raw material or producing a particular deliverable. [D05144]

Working Calendar
The total calendar dates which cover all project activities , from start to finish. [D02168]

Working Capital
The assets needed for the running of an enterprise. [D02440]

Working Drawings
The detailed graphical representations resulting from the detailed design effort and which are necessary for the proper construction, assembly or creation of the thing designed. [D03414]

Working Period Flexibility
An employment arrangement in which employees my choose to work flexible hours (Flextime). This arrangement only works in cases where there is a fair degree of independence between the work of each individual. [D03415]

Review of planned work demand on resources over time spans versus acceptable limits and their availability. [D02169]

The art and skills of the operative performing the work and the resulting style and character of the work performed. [D05145]

A usually brief and intensive educational program for a relatively small group of people that focuses especially on techniques and skills in a particular field, e.g. a training workshop. Unlike a briefing or lecture, a workshop format encourages interaction and creative participation.
Editor's Note: Workshops are especially useful at the commencement of a project to "educate and motivate" team members by examining the project's goals, objectives, organization, etc. and promotes team building through development of schedules, coordination and problem solving activities. [D03416]

A configuration of input/output equipment at which an operator works. A terminal or microcomputer, usually one that is connected to a mainframe or a network, at which a user can perform applications. [D04901]

Includes actual and estimated value of all work from all sources chargeable to the project. [D02170]

The amount of work yet to be completed on a project, in man-hours or dollars, as measured from a specified cutoff date. [D05146]

The measure of value received for the resources expended. [D03708]

See Work Package

Information conveyed in hard copy. [D02171]

See What You See Is What You Get

Definitions for page W01: 50

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