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A WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE

Milestones

All of the important checkpoints of your project are tracked as milestones. Some of them could be listed in your contract as requirements of successful completion; some could just be significant points in the project that you want to keep track of. The milestone list needs to let everyone know which milestones are required and which are not.

Some milestones for Susan and Steve’s wedding might be:

  • Invitations sent
  • Menu finalized
  • Location booked
  • Bridesmaids’ dresses fitted

As you figure out which activities will need to be done, you may realize that the scope needs to change. When that happens, you need to create a change request and send it through the change control system.

Some things that could go wrong:

Wedding plannerWe just got the programs back from the printer and they’re all wrong.
SteveThe quartet cancelled. They had another wedding that day.
SusanAunt Jane is supposed to sing at the service, but after what happened at her uncle’s funeral, I think I want someone else to do it.
SteveShould we really have a pan flute player? I’m beginning to think it might be overkill.
SusanApparently! Maybe we should hold off on printing the invitations until these things are worked out.
Wedding PlannerOK, let’s think about exactly how we want to do this. I think we need to be sure about how we want the service to go before we do any more printing.

The Activity Sequencing Process

Now that we know what we have to do to make the wedding a success, we need to focus on the order of the work. Sally sat down with all of the activities she had defined for the wedding and decided to figure out exactly how they needed to happen. That’s where she used the activity sequencing process.

The activity attribute list Sally created had most of the predecessors and successors necessary written in it. This is where she thought of what comes first, second, third, etc. Sally’s milestone list had major pieces of work written down, and there were a couple of changes to the scope she had discovered along the way that were approved and ready to go.

Example milestone list: Steve and Susan had asked that the invitations be printed at least three months in advance to be sure that everyone had time to RSVP. That’s a milestone on Sally’s list.
Example change request: When Sally realized that Steve and Susan were going to need another limo to take the bridesmaids to the reception hall, she put that change through change control, including running everything by Susan’s mother, and it was approved.