Work Packages in Enterprise Architecture and Innovation Management

Whether working in innovation management and/or enterprise architecture, work packages provide the context for getting things done. In general project management terms, a work package is often viewed as a subset of a project. In ArchiMate®, a central concept is a work package. It is part of the implementation and migration extension.

In this article, we refer to a work package in theArchiMate® sense. It has a clearly defined start and end date, and has a set of well defined goals anddeliverables.

ArchiMateThe work package can represent any of the following types of work (and others):

  • Epic
  • Initiative
  • Portfolio
  • Project
  • Program
  • Spike
  • Sprint
  • Story
  • Work package
  • Work stream

From the work package categories, we can have hierarchical work packages. For example a program of work can decompose into a project and a project into a series of sprints. A work package is a series of tasks that are designed to achieve a goal within a set period of time.

Work packages produce deliverables that should be of some business benefit. Work packages also include budgets, resource and costs allocated to them.

ArchiMate project view

Figure 1: ArchiMate® project view

Consider the ArchiMate® Project View in Figure 1. It shows a Claims handling program, which consists of three projects: Upgrade Claims Handling, Back-up server realization project and Hardware consolidation project. You can see the order of the projects and the goals they achieve.

For each project, you can see the set of expected deliverables. Where roles are assigned to projects, you can see these.

Detail and Techniques

There are various approaches to managing work packages including Agile, Lean and Prince2.

Agile management is an iterative and incremental method of managing work packages. It is based around creating small increments of deliverables and includes other stakeholders such as customers and users.

Lean management is the method used to plan and implement a lean project. sometimes users of lean practices follow the 6-sigma DMAIC method or use the Deming cycle.

PRINCE2 (an acronym for projects IN Controlled environments) is a de facto process-based method for effective project management. Used extensively by the UK Government, PRINCE2 is also widely recognized and used in the private sector, both in the UK and internationally.

Most techniques use the concept of a work package (project) within the context of their own framework. All of these techniques have participants and roles.

In PRINCE2, the overall result of a project is described in a ‘project product description’; the hierarchical decomposition of this product into sub-products is shown in a product breakdown structure. Product breakdown structures are represented in ArchiMate® as deliverables with composition or aggregation associations. Projects produce deliverables.

Work product breakdown structure

Figure 2: Work product breakdown structure

Roles and Stakeholders

There are typical work package roles that exist for projects. These include:

Project Manager – is usually a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, whether based around innovation management, enterprise architecture or portfolio management.

Project Stakeholders – are those people within an enterprise that sponsor a project or, have an interest or a gain upon a successful completion of the goals of a project.

Project Team – is the management team leading the project, and provide services to the project.

Project Management Office – The PMO in an enterprise is the group that defines and maintains the standards of process, generally related to project management, within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and manage the commercials of the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution.

Stakeholders and roles can be modeled with ArchiMate. When defining Kanban boards, it’s useful to assign the roles of users to the stages of the Kanban, so that they become part of the workflow.

Risk Register

A risk register is a risk management tool commonly used in risk management and compliance. It acts as a central repository for all risks identified by the organization and, for each risk, includes information such as source, nature, treatment option, existing counter-measures, recommended counter-measures and so on. It can sometimes be referred to as a risk log (for example in PRINCE2).

Risk registers are normally associated with a work package or project. They help catalog and quantify any risks for the project. They are reviewed at project meetings and stand ups.

Innovation Management and Work Packages

Work packages can be created to manage work for moving ideas through the innovation funnel. A campaign is the place-holder for concepts related to an innovation challenge. It is natural to have work packages created to handle the decision-making and justification of high value ideas.

Idea to delivery viewpoint

Figure 3: Idea to delivery viewpoint

Ideas and requirements stemming from ideation can also be assigned to work packages. A work package may span the entire ideas to delivery framework and involve many stakeholders.

In Figure 3, Upgrade Claims Handling is associated with the Automatically pay claims <$100 idea and All claims shall be submitted online requirement.

Enterprise Architecture and Work Packages

A work package consists of a set of related tasks, aimed at producing a well-defined result.

Architecture change requires work packages to drive it. Work packages representing programs and projects can be associated with the parts of the architecture that they implement. The work package allows an architect to scope the programs, projects and project activities that are realized by workspaces (plateaus) or the individual architecture concepts that are affected.

Work packages provide the bridge between enterprise Architecture and Portfolio Management.

Using enterprise architecture, it is possible to analyze potential overlap between work package activities or to analyze the consistency between project dependencies and dependencies among workspaces (plateaus) or architecture elements.

The ArchiMate® implementation and migration viewpoints provide diagrammatic representation of work packages and associated meta-types.

Implementation and migration viewpoint

Figure 4: Implementation and migration viewpoint


A work package is an endeavor undertaken to create a result that provides benefit. The temporary nature of work packages dictates that a work package has a definite beginning and end. The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists.

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the work package requirements. Project management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of the following project management process groups:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

Managing a work package typically includes, but is not limited to:

  • Identifying needs and requirements;
  • Addressing the various needs, concerns, and expectations of the stakeholders in planning and executing the work package;
  • Setting up, maintaining, and carrying out collaboration among stakeholders;
  • Guiding stakeholders towards meeting work package requirements and creating work package deliverables;

Balancing the competing work package constraints, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Scope
  • Quality
  • Schedule
  • Budget
  • Resources
  • Risks

The specific work package characteristics and circumstances can influence the constraints on which the project management team needs to focus. The ArchiMate® motivation extension provides a meta-model and meta-types that support the motivational elements of work packages.

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