Thursday 1 August 2019

Work Breakdown Structure

The Work Breakdown Structure is a hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. The WBS is a key tool that can be used by PMs to define and manage scope, it is used to break down a project into smaller workable sections (work packages)

A WBS can be represented as a hierarchical tree diagram

Based on the complexity of the project the hierarchical tree could have more or less levels

Our WBS can also be represented as an outline

1         Project

1.1         Deliverable

1.1.1        Work Package         Activity A         Activity B         Activity C

1.1.2        Work Package         Activity D         Activity E         Activity F         Activity G

1.1.3        Work Package         Activity H         Activity I

1.2         Deliverable

1.2.1        Work Package         Activity J

1.2.2        Work Package         Activity K         Activity L

Both represent the same work breakdown structure.

When defining activities which represent the work that needs to be completed at a granular level within a WBS the order of each activity is the order it should be completed in. The rule of thumb for activities is that they should represent 1 to 2 weeks worth of effort for 1 resource, if they're out side of the 5 to 10 working day range then either they are too granular or too broad.