5.4 Create WBS

"The process of subdividing project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable components."

The definition shown above in italics is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Figure 5-9 Page 125

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):

  • Breaks the work of the project down into progressively more detail.
  • At the lowest level of the WBS, work can be properly and reliably scheduled, estimated, monitored and controlled
  • “Deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition” of project team's work
  • Lowest level WBS components are Work Packages
  • Code of Accounts:
    • The collection of unique identifiers for each WBS element “= numbering system”
    • Used by Finance to help apportion, allocate and track costs
  • Control Account: A PM's control point which includes one or more work packages

Need to understand and decide on the size of a work package

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Page 126

PMBOK Guide® WBS Technique – 5 steps

Identify deliverables and work

  • All the major project deliverables and related work

Organize the WBS

  • Determine the WBS structure

Decompose components

  • Each component must clearly describe the product, service or result in verifiable terms

Assign identification codes

  • Coding system

Verify the WBS

  • Are the components clear and complete and absolutely necessary?

A WBS by phase

A WBS by Major Deliverables

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Figure 5-13 Page 130

Other Breakdown Structures

Organisational Breakdown Structure (OBS)

  • Hierarchical model of the project organisation
  • Work Packages can be related to performing units

Bill of Materials (BOM)

  • Hierarchical model of physical assemblies, subassemblies and components

Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS)

  • Hierarchical model of identified risks, arranged by risk category

Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)

  • Hierarchical model of resources by type.

Cost Breakdown Structure – by costs

Product Breakdown Structure – by products Functional Breakdown Structure – by functions

Outputs

Scope Baseline

  • WBS
  • WBS Dictionary
  • Project Scope Statement

Project Document Updates

  • Requirements documentation

The WBS Dictionary

The WBS Dictionary supports the WBS which includes:

  • Work Packages

For each WBS component (Work Package):

  • Code of Account identifier
  • Description of Work
  • List of schedule milestones
  • Responsible organisation

Could also include:

  • Agreement information
  • Quality requirements
  • Technical references

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Page 132

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