Creating the Work Breakdown Structure

WBS structure can be broken down to any of these 3
-Phases (Research, Design, Production, etc)
-Major deliverables or sub-projects (Silicon base, circuitry diagram, computer chip, etc)
-External sub-projects (Tarmac, drainage pipes, etc)
WBS breakdown
– Should NOT include consumer response bc it does not fall within the scope
-Should include project management
-Include pre and post production work
-Use nouns instead of verbs
( Ex: Training materials instead of Develop training materials)
1st level of WBS
Name of product
2nd level of WBS
-Reflects key deliverables
or major processes
3rd level of WBS
-major deliverables
4th level of WBS
– tasks of deliverables
5th level of WBS
-Work packages
100% rule
Each level is 100% of the above level
Goals of WBS
-Define responsibilities
-Allows better control
-Facilitates project scheduling
-Facilitates accurate cost estimates
Outputs become inputs
The outputs from the initiating and planning processes become inputs for the Create WBS process
Inputs for Create WBS process
-Project scope statement
-Requirements documentation
-Scope management plan
-Enterprise environmental factors
-Organizational process assets
Detailed project scope statement includes:
– Product scope description
– Project deliverables
-Product acceptance criteria
-Project constraints
-Project assumptions
-Projects exclusions

Designed to give stakeholders a clear understanding of project scope and clear statements of expectations

Product scope description
Helps identify what work must go into creating project deliverables
Project deliverables
The list of work that needs to be done for the completion of the project deliverables
Product acceptance criteria
Assists in defining what goals must be met by the project before the stakeholders will approve project deliverables.
Project constraints
Influences how you structure WBS. These are like the budget or time limitations.
Project assumptions
WBS is structured in accordance with these, they lead to tasks being included or excluded from the WBS. You continually reassess the assumptions to ensure their validity.
Project exclusions
Assist in stipulating what tasks to include and exclude in project.
Use of requirements documentation
– Ensures the WBS reflects stakeholder expectations for project and its deliverables
-Identifies the relative importance of each requirement
-Helps structure WBS where high priority deliverables are done 1st
Examples of Organizational process asset
-Existing policies and procedures
-WBS templates
-Project files and documents from previous projects
– Lessons learned
Used to break down deliverables until they are defined at the lowest level of the WBS, the work package level.
Benefits of decomposition
– Makes it easier to assign controls and performance measures
– It makes estimating costs, time, and resources more accurate
Steps of Decomposition
– Identify main deliverables
– Decompose deliverables
-Assign identification
– Verify the WBS
Factors of deliverables
– Complexity of project
-Concurrent phases
– Interim deliverables
– the most logical way to organize the work
-the nature of product, service, or end result
A simple project requires less breakdown of deliverables than a complex one with many phases
Concurrent phases
The deliverables for a project with phases that take place concurrently can be divided according to these phases
Interim deliverables
These can be organized by release or version
Sub projects
EXAMPLE: for a construction project the sub projects could be building plans, site preparation, environmental impact assessment.
– Each sub project has its own distinct end product, service or result.
Degree of decomposition depends on 2 main factors:
1. complexity of project
2. experience of project manager and team
Questions to ask to determine if work packages are sufficiently broken down
1. Can cost and time be estimated?
2. Is the result verifiable or measurable?
3. Does duration exceed a reporting period?
Identification codes
Tracks costs, schedule and resources
– Usually uses identifiers that comply with companys standards
– you can use ones with dashes, dots, underscores, aplhanumeric
Each item in WBS should have an unique identifier bc:
– Facilitate monitoring and control of the project work
-Link specific project activities with an organizations accounting and management systems
Work package
Should be a result or a deliverable
-NOT an activity
-Manageable duration and measurable
What should you check when verifying a WBS?
– All descriptions of elements are clear and complete
-No unnecessary work is included
Earned value analysis (EVA)
-Detect scope creep
-Scope, cost performance, schedule
Control points
Control accounts are placed at selected points of WBS. They identify an area where its critical to monitor and control work performance.
-Use these points to analyze earned value as work progresses.
– only used for CRITICAL parts of the project work
-Bigger projects will likely have more points
When is WBS finalized?
Once control accounts have been added. These identify critical areas that must be monitored and controlled.
– Usually highlighted in the WBS
Create WBS process outputs
– Scope baseline
-Project documentations updates
Scope baseline
complete description of the projections, requirements, assumptions, and constraints that you measure project performance against.
– Includes elements of all the Project Scope Management planning processes, and input from other knowledge areas.

– Project scope statement
-WBS dictionary

Summarizes, organizes, and outlines projects total scope.
WBS dictionary
More detailed scope description, like required work and used to measure performance of each work package.
-track the requirements from which work packages are derived
Components of scope baseline
Finalized WBS
Project scope statement
WBS dictionary