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I've played around with a few different ways to do WBS, Kiron. One factor is how well your WBS lines up with your chart of accounts. This can be crucial if your attempting to do any kind of deliverable-based costing.
Good point, Stephane - alignment between various books of record can make reporting and monitoring a lot easier!
We use excel during initial part of project - where we set different column or row to derive tree structure.... DOORS/JIRA/Clearcase are the tools that are used in automotive industry for establishing WBS & revising it
I am convinced that, in this way, all members of this community (who access it during the period) have the opportunity to answer your questions.
It's a difficult question to answer in large functional organizations where functions have prime responsibility for the deliverables. When the org structure and product decomposition are aligned together, breaking it down by deliverable looks very close to breaking it down by responsibility.
The next iteration or revision could be in anyway... Project Manager will be aligning with Requirement Manager & setting up Scope management plan w.r.t WBS & its conditioning for revision based on nature of project
I use MS Project for WBS activities.
The WBS mainly is a communication tool to align stakeholders around a common model of project work and make it simple to understand how their work fits into the context.
So in an engineering environment I could start the first level product component based, in a schedule driven context like SW development the project life cycle would be seen on the first level.
Every stakeholder should see his work items easily (so they should not be scattered).
Technically, I start with a mindmap and discuss it with key stakeholders until a final version comes up (which is baselined and will change as we go along). This version is put on 1 page landscape (and yes, accompanied by a WBS dictionary in Excel). As a ROT: max 8 levels horizontally and 6 levels vertically.
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