Work plans organize tasks. A task is a job, a single unit of work
that is easily identifiable and measurable: either it is done or
it is not done. Tasks are listed sequentially with other tasks,
which is called scheduling; some tasks may also occur simultaneously
with other tasks.
the end-points reached after completing several related tasks. For
example, host a river festival might be a milestone within a work
plan. To accomplish it, there are major tasks, subtasks, and minor
tasks. "Advertise" is a major task; "Distribute Posters" is a subtask;
and "Design Poster" and "Print Posters" are two separate minor tasks,
and they may have many steps within them.
down the work, the amount of time (hours or workdays) needed to
complete each task is estimated and deadlines are set. The final
task list is then used for identifying needed resources: people,
equipment and materials, and funding.
To learn more
about work plans, refer to books on project management. There are
also several different software programs that simplify the mechanics
of creating work plans. The programs range in functions and features,
and cost, so it is worth looking at several different ones.
Using the defined
purpose of the project, ask the question, "What needs to be done
in order to complete this project?" Make your answers the milestones
of the project. After looking at the big picture, begin to breakdown
each milestone into tasks. This first step can be done by the project
leader alone, with a group like a task force, or by the leader and
then reviewed with a group including key stakeholders. It is important
to note that identifying tasks is not the same as developing a vision
or goals. In fact, if the project has strong public involvement,
each of those would probably be a task: define vision with task
force, hold public meeting to brainstorm goals, etc.
2. Make a
When the tasks
are identified, begin to assign relationships among them. What needs
to happen first? What can happen simultaneously?
it to share
A diagram like
a "flow chart" or "time line" indicating milestones and associated
tasks is great information to share with others. Consider printing
a brochure to include it, background information, pictures of the
resource, and how people can get involved. Write a press release
highlighting the work that will be done. Hold an informational meeting
to give community members a chance to raise questions and learn
more about the project.
4. Use it
the complexity of the project, the work plan may need to go through
several revisions. With each new modification, clearly indicate
the date and version number both in the electronic file name and
on the printed document. This keeps a history, makes it easy to
trace changes, and helps everyone to stay working on the same page.
As work progresses, make sure deadlines are being met, or if not,
determine why. Also make sure that time and efforts are being expended
just on those activit ies that directly relate to achieving each
of the milestones and thus completing the project.