Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The work breakdown structure (WBS) defines the total scope of the project, work not in the WBS is outside the scope of the project. The WBS should be developed in a project planning workshop and is often used to develop a common understanding of the scope of the project. It’s graphical nature, and ability to be created via post-it notes on a flip chart allows the structure to be easily developed in a group environment.

  • Each Level in the WBS represents an increasingly detailed description of the project. Each block in the WBS is assigned a unique number to identify it
  • The WBS should be explicit and easily understood
  • Take the output from the WBS and dump it into the designated scheduling tool.

Tips for developing a work breakdown structure (WBS)

Step 1: Identify tasks in the planning workshop
Step 2: Create task list
Step 3: Assign resources
Step 4: Estimate effort
Step 5: Work into graphical representation

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