Breaking Down the WBS

Vincent is a Senior Project Management Consultant and e-Learning Developer.

The work breakdown structure is a critical element of the project plan, yet many project managers have difficulty creating an adequate WBS, or even understanding how it can help them. Here is an overview of what a WBS is, and the work that goes into it — you might call it a WBS of a WBS.

In my new book, Schedule Centered Planning: An Incremental Approach for Plan Driven Projects, I created a breakdown structure of what goes into a work breakdown structure — you might call it a WBS of a WBS. Below is an excerpt from the chapter on the WBS. It refers to the Schedule Centered Planning Process introduced in a previous article “Deadlines or Delusions.”

What is the WBS?

Planning begins with the Work Breakdown Structure – WBS. This is where we dissect the project to truly understand what has to be done. The WBS can be defined more formally as a deliverables-oriented, hierarchical breakdown of project scope that defines the total work to be performed. From this definition we can define its key attributes:

  • The WBS focuses on deliverables — not the tasks to create them;
  • It is usually presented as a hierarchy or tree diagram;
  • It is a breakdown of scope into smaller pieces; and
  • It must define all work.

As the Schedule Centered Planning process flow shows, the WBS is one of the key elements in your project plan. …

Please log in or sign up below to read the rest of the article.

ADVERTISEMENT

Continue reading...

Log In
OR
Sign Up
ADVERTISEMENTS

"It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head."

- Sally Kempton

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors