Project Planning 3 – Write Activity Specifications


Each activity in your Work Breakdown Structure now needs a precise specification. This should detail exactly what is to be achieved and who is responsible.

The levels of competence and motivation on your project team will decide how much detail these specifications require. Where confidence and motivation are low the specification needs to be very detailed stating not only what outcome is required but also how it is to be achieved. If you judge competence and motivation to be high then all you will have to do is describe the outcome that you desire, let the individual team members take responsibility for delivering it.

As a general rule, no matter how complex the project is, always try to keep the WBS activity specification brief to a minimum, you should aim at no more than one side of A4 per activity.

Here is an example Activity Specifications for project:

activity specification

A good activity specification will have the following characteristics.

  • the person responsible for completion is clearly identified.
  • the result required written in objective, specific and measurable terms
  • details of reporting or liaison with other managers / staff (including outside

Now is the time to meet with each of the project team individually and to discuss the specifications
your aim is to:

  • ensure they understand the reasons for the project and the responsibilities they will have. In short,
    to ensure buy in and professional investment.
  • to pre-empt / discuss any potential problems that they may encounter.
  • agree realistic timings for each activity and event
  • identify cost and resource limits
  • agree levels of authority required for the person to be able to discharge other activities.


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