Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

last edited by: Joe Tinger on Jul 2, 2019 11:47 AM login/register to edit this page


A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a "deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team" (PMBOK). The WBS visually defines the scope into manageable chunks that a project team can understand, as each level of the WBS provides further definition and detail.

The project team creates the project WBS by identifying the major functional deliverables and subdividing those deliverables into smaller systems and sub-deliverables. These sub-deliverables are further decomposed until the specific work packages required to produce the sub- deliverable are identified.

Each work packages must be mutually exclusive (e.g. any piece of work is only identified once in one work package), and the sum of all work packages must cover 100% of the scope (e.g. if it is not in the WBS, it is not in the scope of the project).

The scope is the basis of the project that calculates the activities, resources, cost and other areas of knowledge. The purpose of the WBS facilitates the management of the project in a meaningful way.

Limit the breakdown to work package level by defining unwork package as being made up of work equating to more than 8 hours of work but less than or equal to 80 hours/units. NOTE: Work defined down to the "Activity" level should be 8 hours of work or less. Mostly, 4 hours of project work and 4 hours of other details to the project should be obtained giving the WBS elements to different elements reviewed.


last edited by: Joe Tinger on Jul 2, 2019 11:47 AM login/register to edit this page


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