IT projects tend to culminate into an event or series of events when the product or service that the project is creating is moved into Production, replaced, upgraded, or modified. These occasions are usually high-visibility and high-pressure and warrant the use of a “work plan” tool.
In this context, the work plan is a mini-project plan, or mini-SOW; it focuses on a time-boxed component of a project to produce a deliverable or meet a milestone. For instance, the work plan may describe a cutover to a new data circuit, a firewall implementation, deployment of a major software release, or installation of a new database server. For such endeavors, the timeline for an implementation is tight, and the nature of activities and their sequencing cannot be left to chance. The work plan acts as a script for action and gives all participants a central place for all relevant information and coordination. The work plan provides a mechanism for all parties to rehearse the work prior to start time and gives them a checklist to work from once the event has commenced.
The audience for this artifact is the project team or the particular subset of the project team producing this deliverable. Also, the audience may include service providers that have not been previously involved in the project and/or may only have had minor parts.