Shipyards face tough problems such as ineffective production control and poor planning. Identifying appropriate work packages is one of the challenges of ship production planning. Work packages consist of a group of sub-works. The activities of block production that must be completed at each work station are referred to as sub-works. This study proposes a two-stage hierarchical model for assessing work packages in a balanced way. The paper focuses on providing a predetermined completion time rather than minimising the project's completion time. Work packages are determined within the two stages. The first stage is developed to identify the boundaries of the metaheuristic search. A metaheuristic search procedure is implemented in the second stage. The simulated annealing (SA) optimisation algorithm is the foundation of this procedure. The findings reveal a link between sub-work size and work package configuration. Accordingly, smaller-sized sub-works provide a more balanced work package configuration.