Establish and maintain the overall work plan.


A documented plan that addresses all relevant planning items is necessary to achieve the mutual understanding and commitment of individuals, groups, and organizations that execute or support the plans.

The plan generated for the work defines all aspects of the effort, tying together the following in a logical manner:

  • Work lifecycle considerations
  • Tasks
  • Budgets and schedules
  • Milestones
  • Data management
  • Risk identification
  • Resource and skill requirements
  • Stakeholder identification and interaction
  • Infrastructure considerations

Infrastructure considerations include responsibility and authority relationships for work group members, management, and support organizations.

Example Work Products

  1. Overall work plan


1. Document the work plan.

Work groups can consist of other, lower level work groups. A service can consist of a service system development work group and a service delivery work group. Service delivery can consist of several services that can benefit from separate planning and the practices of this process area. When work groups consist of other groups, the overall work plan should refer to the plans of the lower level work groups and all related plans should be compatible and appropriately support one another.

2. Include, reference, and reconcile the results of planning activities as appropriate.

To gain the support of relevant stakeholders, the work plan should document a realistic and sensible approach to meeting their needs, expectations, and constraints. Such a plan requires various planning elements to be reasonably complete and consistent (at least until the next plan revision, which may be weeks or months away).

If implemented appropriately, the specific practices of this process area address the Plan the Process generic practice as applied to other process areas within the scope of the process improvement effort, but otherwise the results of implementing that generic practice should also be considered in this.

3. Review the work plan with relevant stakeholders and get its agreement.

The specific practices of the next specific goal, Obtain Commitment to the Plan, describe activities to help ensure that the work plan describes a realistic approach for meeting the needs, expectations, and constraints of relevant stakeholders and to help ensure that these relevant stakeholders will fulfill their roles as described in the work plan, including the provision of resources and other forms of support during work execution.

4. Revise the work plan as necessary.

In general, when revising the work plan, it may be necessary to repeat many of the planning activities described in this process area to help ensure that relevant stakeholder commitments to the plan are maintained.