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Topics: Scheduling
WBS
We are in the 2021 planning process and WBS is being defined.

Drawing and arranging the information boxes is cumbersome and time consuming

Can you recommend a free and practical software to make the WBS?
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Luis -

Why not use a virtual collaboration tool like Miro for this purpose?

Kiron
Excel is a common tool for creating a WBS. It's free if you have MS Office already. You don't need to draw a tree to create a hierarchy.

Graphical depictions are nice for visualizing things at a high level, but you are immediately constrained by your page size. Even with tools like Visio which automatically expand your page size, massive tree structures quickly become unreadable unless you can put it on a big war room wall.
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1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Dec 16, 2020 3:12 PM
Kiron Bondale
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With an infinite canvas tool like Miro this is less of a concern as you can very easily pan and zoom around the WBS. The only downside with it is the CSV export provides only a flat structure so you'd have to explicitly enter WBS IDs to be able to properly migrate it to some other tool.
You can easily obtain a WBS elaborating a list format structure in Microsoft Project, with main phases and subphases, and exporting it to Visio, in which you need to pre-install a Wbs Add-in.
Dec 16, 2020 12:14 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
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Excel is a common tool for creating a WBS. It's free if you have MS Office already. You don't need to draw a tree to create a hierarchy.

Graphical depictions are nice for visualizing things at a high level, but you are immediately constrained by your page size. Even with tools like Visio which automatically expand your page size, massive tree structures quickly become unreadable unless you can put it on a big war room wall.
With an infinite canvas tool like Miro this is less of a concern as you can very easily pan and zoom around the WBS. The only downside with it is the CSV export provides only a flat structure so you'd have to explicitly enter WBS IDs to be able to properly migrate it to some other tool.
The question from my side is: which is the result you expect? A graphical representation? Just a list of items? Depending on that you can use things stated above or you can use a free mindmapping tool. @Veronica gave a good piece of advice above.
Thanks everyone for advices and suggestions. We are moving forward 2021 planning process
One of the tools that I recently started using for some of my recent projects is Microsoft Teams. If your organization is already using this, then it is free. I use this as a one stop solution for all my project communication needs. The tool offers some good options to layout the WBS. The tool also allows you allocate resources, start dates, end dates for each activity and allows to track % completion. If you also have Microsoft To Do, it adds an advantage as the activities set up in the Teams site get auto-populated for each team member (thanks to AI) that they can track towards completion.
You can you Mind Map tools to create and organize your WBS. Most of tools (e.g. XMind) have Excel export feature that helps to export to Excel for adding more infos. The excel file then can be imported to MS Project for scheduling.
I am a PMI Volunteer from Barcelona Chapter involved in a education project schools (15-17 year's old students) to teach project management fundamentals. So I would need, if possible, a free WBS solution, in order that students can get access.
I need if possible that WBS represent workpackage status (box color or flag), responsible, start-end and cost. If calculations have to be made manually, is it right.
I personally like to use a mindmap application to create the first cut of a WBS. Don't worry about the numbering at first; i.e., just get all the pieces down and build the hierarchy with the mind map. A good mind map tool will allow you to add notes and comments to each node, which can also serve as the beginning of a WBS dictionary, too. When you're pretty confident you've captured everything, you can export the mindmap output into a program like OmniOutliner, which can produce the numbering for you. (Note: OmniOutliner is a Mac application.) Alternatively, you can export to a CSV and then use a spreadsheet app like Excel or Google Sheets to number and formally track the WBS. Here's more on the topic if you're interested: https://www.theprojectmanagementblueprint....n-structure-wbs

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