Work Authorization System: A work authorization system is a method used in conjunction with project management. The work authorization system is used by the project manager and his or her designees in order to approve all project work throughout the course of the current project management venture. The work authorization system is sometimes referred to as a “WAS.” The work authorization system will typically be in the form of a list of formally adopted and well- documented procedures. Work authorization procedures specifically detail who may authorize work to be completed and how those authorizations may be obtained. These procedures will include which documents must be completed prior to work being initialized, and whether there are any other prerequisites to work being performed at any particular level during the project. To better assist the efficiency of project management in larger projects, work authorization systems also sometimes detail the timeline of the project. For instance, the work authorization system might include at which points in time certain portions of the project should be completed, in which order those tasks are to be completed, and by whom.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.