Task Descriptions are the statements of scope for each of the project activities. They are written in the format of “Action – Completion Point.”
When to use
Task Descriptions are used during project planning, project execution and project control. During project planning the task descriptions are used for scope planning and creating estimates. During project execution the task description is used by those doing the activities to ensure they are doing the work correctly. As part of project control, task descriptions are used to measure completion of tasks and measure project progress.
- Starting with the scope statement, list of project deliverables, and deliverable deployment, the project activities are identified.
- Each project activity is written using the format of “Action – Completion Point.”
- Action is needed to know what type of activity is required so that the proper resources can be assigned.
- Completion Point is needed so that the individual or team doing the activity knows when they have completed the activity successfully.
Hints & tips
- Task Descriptions need to be actions, not departments or locations. Stating who or where the work will be done does not describe the type of work or the completion point.
- If the activity is very large and complex, it is often best to break it into a set of smaller actions and completion points.
- Poorly written Task Descriptions lead to poor planning, execution, and control of projects because the work is uncertain.
- Activity Definition: “A distinct, scheduled portion of work performed during the course of a project.” PMBOK®Guide
This definition is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017.
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