It describes the end goal, not the means of reaching that goal. For example, if the project is to build a house, the WBS defines all the aspects of the finished house, in increasing levels of detail.
Sign up to our email newsletter to be notified about our special offers and latest articles. Creating a work breakdown structure involves identifying and describing each task in a project. There are many ways you can present the Work Breakdown Structure for your project.
This work breakdown structure training summary helps you work out which layout is best for your purpose, whether you are developing, presenting or communicating a work breakdown structure.
The Graphical Layout is my preferred method for developing a work breakdown structure. We seldom do our best thinking when we are forced to think in a linear manner, such as when making a list in chronological order. With a graphical layout you can visually plot the tasks, starting with the highest level tasks, and layering in the sub-tasks as you go.
And the advantage is you can input the sub-tasks in random order, as they come to mind. The finished graphical layout looks like a hierarchical chart with the high level tasks distributed along the top or down the left hand side, and the sub-tasks arranged in layers underneath, or to the right.
An example of a simple two level work breakdown structure is shown above. The Outline layout shows the work breakdown structure as a vertical list, with each sub-level indented.
It provides an easy way to view and understand the work breakdown structure. A simple two level work breakdown structure in outline format is shown at right. The Outline Table Layout is a common variation of the outline layout.
It is similar to the outline layout but without indentation. A simple two level work breakdown structure in outline table format is shown below. Which layout you use to communicate your work breakdown structure depends on your purpose.
Because it provides a clear pictorial layout of the main tasks the graphical layout is best suited to a high level work breakdown structure of 2 to 3 levels.
It can be used for development, presentation and summary purposes. The graphical layout is ideal for developing the work breakdown structure because you can involve your project team and record their input visually and immediately as you create the work breakdown structure.
• The WBS PDBA programme is about developing effective generalist managers with values, knowledge and skills to act ethically and effectively in the management of organisations. WBS Group has been the trusted choice in Steel Construction, within Western Australia since Formerly known as Wheatbelt Steel, BrandManager worked closely with the WBS Group to re-brand and develop a tiered brand hierarchy, to reflects their expertise in a variety of areas including Agricultural, Industrial, Mining and the Home Builder markets. In project management, a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a planning tool whereby the project scope is divided into logical sub-components. It is a graphical representation of the project scope and forms the basis for further planning, such as the cost and schedule.
You can use this layout for presenting the work breakdown structure to your management team or clients. It is also useful for a high level summary overview of the work breakdown structure for inclusion in your Project Plan. The outline layout is a convenient layout to use when developing and fine-tuning the work breakdown structure because you can easily make changes using features such as auto numbering that are common to most word processing programmes.
It is also suitable for a detailed work breakdown structure that you may want to attach as an appendix to your Project Plan.
The outline tabular layout is more difficult to read, but it is useful where you have many levels in your work breakdown structure and indenting each level would make the table too wide to fit easily into a document.
It is also a convenient format when you are creating the work breakdown structure dictionary as it is easy to add descriptions for each task in the final column, so that you can communicate the task requirements to your team. Successful project management hinges on clear communication and so it is important to select the layout best suited to communicating your work breakdown structure.
What do you think? Which layout do you prefer for creating and presenting your work breakdown structure and why? For busy professionals who need to meet continuing professional development requirements and boost their career opportunities, our online courses provide a flexible and cost-effective way to achieve this by providing anywhere, anytime access and a supportive online community.
Continuing Professional Development offers a series of online project management courses to advance your project management skills and your career. Click here to find out how our Work Breakdown Structure Training Course will give you the practical skills to write a comprehensive work breakdown structure.A work breakdown structure training summary to help you work out which WBS layout is best for your purpose, whether you are creating or communicating a WBS.
Developing a work breakdown structure is not always easy. It can be demanding and require a lot of time and effort.
Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start and so you may put off developing the WBS and then rush it through so that it is over and done. By Webster, Francis Marion This tutorial covers the basic principles of developing a work breakdown structure (WBS).
A WBS starts with a dynamic vision of the project, perhaps in the form of a drawing, diagram, or computer. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Template I NTRODUCTION The WBS is a view into the project which shows what work the project encompasses.
It is a tool which helps to easily communicate the work and processes involved to execute the project. The Project Manager and project team use the WBS to develop the project schedule, resource requirements and costs.
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