Identification of the Activities

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Simply identifying products/ deliverables may be insufficient for scheduling and control purposes. The activities implied in the delivery of each of the products/deliverables need to be identified to give a fuller picture of the plan’s workload.

For this purpose a step by step approach for the preparation of a detailed activity schedule can be followed.

The first step of this approach is to list the Main Activities. In order to do this use as basis the WBS you have developed. Identify all the activities required to create the products or develop the deliverables that have been identified and presented in level 1 and then list them. The list of Activities should normally include management activities as well.

The second step is to Break Activities down into Manageable Tasks. The purpose of breaking activities down into tasks is to make them sufficiently simple to be organized and managed easily. Normally the tasks identified should lead to the products/ deliverables presented in the WBS in level 2.

You have to be careful in getting the level of detail right. The most common mistake is to break the activities down into too much detail. The subdivision should stop as soon as you have sufficient detail to estimate the time and resources required to implement the work.

The major difference between subdivision here and in the development of the WBS is that the final outputs here are described as activities and not as deliverables.

When using the WBS to identify which activities are needed, the Project Manager may find out that has forgotten to incorporate one deliverable in the WBS or that the deliverable descriptions have to be corrected to indicate the exact outputs of the project. In this case the WBS must be updated.

It is noted that as has already been described the WBS and the Activity List are being prepared sequentially; first the WBS and then the Activity List. However, sometimes it is convenient to develop them simultaneously.


Example 7-4: Identification of activities for the Project “Improving the implementing capacity of the Cypriot Authorities”

Project: “Improving the implementing capacity of the Cypriot Authorities”.

After the preparation of the Work Breakdown Structure (refer to of the Project dealing with the improvement of the implementing capacity of the Cypriot Authorities, the Activities leading to the defined outputs must be identified.

In order to prepare the Activities List:

You have to identify the major activities leading to the major deliverables of the project

The major Activities are:

oImplementation of Project Management processes
oCompilation of the Action Plan for the PPD in order to be ready to undertake its new role
oCompilation of the Public Procurement Best Practice Guide
oTraining design and execution
You have to break these activities down to tasks.
oImplementation of Project Management processes:
Design and production of a comprehensive work programme
Monitoring and Control the Projects Progress
Closing the Project
Evaluation of the Project
oFor the Action Plan:
Formulation of proposal for PPDs new role and responsibilities
Identification of all individual actions and compilation of an action plan
Preparation of PPDs internal procedures manual
oFor the Public Procurement Best Practice Guide:
Compilation of Chapter 1 of the Guide (Project and Procurement Initiation)
Compilation of Chapter 2 of the Guide (Procurement Strategy)
Compilation of Chapter 3 of the Guide (Preparation of Tender Documents)
Compilation of Chapter 4 of the Guide (Evaluation of the bids and award of tenders)
Compilation of Chapter 5 of the Guide (Negotiated Procedure)
Compilation of Chapter 6 of the Guide (Implementation of the contract & contract management)
Compilation of Chapter 7 of the Guide (Project Management tools and techniques)
Development of Web based solution for the Guide
Compilation of Code of Ethics in Public Procurement
o For the Training:
Training Strategy development
Training Programme Preparation
Preparation of Training Material
Delivery of Training
Repeat the previous step on task and check whether further analysis is needed.

Further Analysis is needed only in case of the Delivery of Training, since there are three discrete groups of trainees (with different number of participants each) and PPD wants to monitor the cost of training for each group. The new decomposition leads to:

Training of trainers
Training of main purchasers
Training of other staff involved in public procurement.





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