Work Package versus Activity in MS PROJECT 2013



another question from one of my Blog Readers:


I have a question about “work package”. Is work package the same as “activity” or “activity” is more detailed than a work package?

Thank you”

Theory first. Suppose that you are going to build a wall. Than the Work Package will be Wall. Work Package is the Lowest branch in WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) for which you can estimate Costs, Resources, and Activities. Remember this: Work Package is always noun. So, in my example it will be The wall. Here is the Picture of WBS, and Work Package in it:


Inside of red rectangles you can see Work Packages. One important thing! You can not see dependencies in WBS, and that means that you san not say how long will take for Project to finish. For that, you should use Activity diagram. Activity is always verb. Activities are explanation of what do you have to do to finish Work Package. In PMBOK, WBS is made in Scope Management, and Activities are created in Time Management. Here is the Picture of Activity Diagram:


So for my example, Work Package is The wall. Activities can be: Find the cheapest Bricks, Build the wall, and Paint the Wall.

I’ll show that in MS PROJECT 2013:


I will put Activities:

  1. Find the cheapest Bricks – 1 day
  2. Build the Wall – 2 days
  3. Paint the Wall – 2 day


I will select all Activities for Work Package The Wall, and I’ll Indent them:


and I’ll get:


As you can see Work Package: The wall will have 5 days of Duration, because in network Diagram the longest duration for Activities will take 5 days (together).


Hope that helps1



About Nenad Trajkovski

Location: Zagreb, Croatia Occupation: Project Manager Interests: Project Management and MS PROJECT He was born in Zagreb, Croatia at 1963. After completing his college he started working on projects in different business areas (banking, manufacturing, automotive industry, distribution, oil companies, etc.) developing and implementing ERP systems into different companies. He has got a lot of experience working with people in different business processes and also possesses great knowledge in information technologies and financial services. Today he works as a business consultant, adn Project Manager in PERPETUUM MOBILE d.o.o. Zagreb. He is a regular lecturer for Project Management in MS Innovation Center in Varaždin, Logosoft Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEAVUS GROUP in Skopje Macedonia. He was named the best lecturer of WINDAYS 2008 while his lecture was also voted as the best. In addition, he was in TOP 10 lecturers at the MS SINERGY 2009 and MS VISIA 2009, 2010. Shares first place as the best lecturer of KulenDays 2009 and 2010 and PMI Conference 2009 in Zagreb. He is also a regular lecturer in the MS Community. He is a Certified Accountant and a PMP (Project Manager Professional) and a PMI-RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP, MCT, and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist - Microsoft Project 2010. From 01.01.2012 awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Proffesional - Microsoft Project)!
This entry was posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft PRoject 2010, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Work Package versus Activity in MS PROJECT 2013

  1. Max says:

    Very informative.
    A question: and a ‘workstream’, where would it fit?

  2. Joseph says:

    Can you describe how did you draw the picture of activity diagram shown in this post?
    Did you use any specific software?
    Is that representation manual or automatic?
    Thank you very much for your contributions. I’m learning a lot from your blog.

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