According to PMI (PMBOK 4th edition), WBS or Work Breakdown Structure is: “deliverable oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables, which each descending level of the WBS representing an increasingly detailed definition of the project work”. In addition: “the WBS organizes and defines the total scope of the project, and represents the work specified in the current approved project scope statement!”
Here is an example of the WBS:
Be aware of this: WBS DOES NOT SHOW DEPENDENCIES. What does it mean? It means, that you can read from WBS what muse be done, but you can not read, how long will your Project lasts! For that you must have activity diagram. WBS I logical Hierarchy!
From example, in my previous picture the schedule is not like:
- Schedule Flights to Mpls
- Rent Van
- Arrange Motel
- Schedule Return flights
- Contract BW outfitter
How will you measure your schedule progress. With SCOPE BASELINE! SCOPE BASELINE = Project Scope statement + WBS + WBS Dictionary.
What is WBS DICTIONARY? Let suppose that you have a Deliverable called: “Return flights Scheduled”. What do you have to do for this. For example, first you should go to the internet and find your flights, and see if they fits your expectations (departure date, etc). Next you should see if there is enough tickets to your trip (what if there is only one ticket available? This is WBS Dictionary, and it is brief explanation of what should be done to achieve deliverable.
Hierarchy of WBS can be simple or complex, and it depends of your Project. The last in each branch is WORK PACKAGE or Deliverable! Now, what is deliverable! It is something you deliver . It has to be measurable. If it is not measurable, how can you achieve approve from your Customer, or Client! What is deliverable from Rent Van Work package. Well, the contract between you and Rent a Van company, and keys of the Van in your hand!
WBS is foundation of a good schedule! If you want learn how to build excellent schedule I strongly recommend book from Eric Uyttewaal: FORECAST SCHEDULING WITH MICROSOFT PROJECT 2010. You can find it here: http://www.projectprocorp.com/products.php. Buy it, you wouldn’t regret it!
How to make a good WBS in MICROSOFT PROJECT 2010? Here is an example! Please do not look is it make a sense to have those Tasks in this order. It is for example purpose! So it can be silly, but don’t bother with it.
You can see that I have two branches in my WBS: The Requirements document, and Make a good Plan. But the Task Divide requirements to the tasks has predecessor from task 8, and task 11 as well. And Find a resources you will need for the Project is started as soon as Write an initial requirement document is finished!
But where is WBS Dictionary? You can double-click on the task and put the WBS dictionary in Notes:
WBS has to be structured. So every Task and Summary Task must have unique number, according to WBS. I will add WBS code to my Gantt Chart:
I will choose WBS:
and I will get:
But what if you want to have a WBS (or WBS CODE) instead of 1.1 –> ERP-1/A
and I will get:
You can get your WBS in Visio 2010 very easy.
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