“A work plan is an argument; it is written to plan the activities for a given period of time, first so as to convince decision makers for its approval, then as a guiding document for the activities to be carried out during that time period.” (from GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING A WORK PLAN). In this class scenario, I am the decision maker that your work plan needs to convince.
The basic questions that a work plan asks include
- What activities will be undertaken in order to reach program objectives?
- Who will carry out these activities?
- When will the activities be conducted?
- What resources will be needed? (from Developing & Using Work Plans)
Although some of these website resources suggest that a work plan needs to be a long and involved document (which it can be), for the purposes of this class, your work plan should focus on the individual steps you plan to take as you proceed to completing your project as a group. That is, I am concerned with the timeline of your activities and who is responsible for what andwhen. A work plan like this is usually around a page or two single-spaced.
You should work backwards from the project’s due date. Major deadlines include
- Nov. 11 is the workshop due date. You need a functioning version of your project ready by the beginning of class on this date
- Dec. 2 is the revisions due date. You need to have revised your project by the beginning of this class period.
In the work plan, you need to detail the activities, responsibilities for those activities, due dates, and resources needed for completing the project by these date. The format you use is totally up to you (e.g., table, flow-chart, bulleted or numbered list, etc.). At this point, your work plan might be a little general if you are unsure what technologies you need to learn to accomplish the project, so leave room in your timeline for such learning, as you will need to revise your work plan as you proceed on the project.
Also, be specific about activities. Don’t just write “Cheryl will research avatars.” Instead, write something that is specific to the brainstorming you need to have done for next week regarding what about avatars and gender (as one example) you need to research and how you need to collect that data. Research includes ANYTHING that you need to learn, collect/gather, or study — so be specific. If you plan on researching one particular angle of your topic for two days using a specific set of library databases and online journals, then list it as specifically as that. After that, if you plan on creating a set of questions based on that research/reading that you will ask your interviewees, then plan for that question-creation time in your work plan. Also list in your work plan when you will figure out who your interviewees are, who will contact them from the group, how you will contact them, when you will arrange (given a spread of dates) to interview them, what technical resources you need to interview them, etc.
All students need to do a work plan, either as a group or, in the case of graduate students, individually. Graduate students, however, do not need to complete the team contracts. That is only for the undergraduate students.
Let me know if you have questions.