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5 Tips For Using Work Breakdown Structure in Project Management in Project Planning and Execution

Project Management in Project Planning and Execution

INTRODUCTION

A project management method called a work breakdown structure (WBS) uses a step-by-step process to finish big projects with many moving parts. A work breakdown structure in project management can combine scope, cost, and deliverables into one tool by segmenting the project into smaller parts. While phase-based WBSes are less common, they are nevertheless an option.

What is Project Management?

Planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources is the art of project management, which is quite similar to managing a home with procedures but significantly different in terms of attaining scientific objectives. On the other hand, a work breakdown structure is the detailed and precise duty of managing a project; one that necessitates crucial planning.

When managing a project, a work breakdown structure (WBS) enables you to be both thorough and explicit. While planning any project, it’s important to consider every detail, but you also need to consider the big picture. You won’t have the opportunity to discuss a significant portion of your project’s work if you don’t acknowledge it.

What Exactly is a Work Breakdown Structure?

In the PMBOK Guide—Third Edition of the Project Management Institute, WBS is defined as “a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be accomplished by the project team to satisfy the project objectives and provide the needed deliverables.” The project’s general scope is arranged and described.

Each declining level represents a more thorough explanation of how the project will be carried out. The work packages are broken down from the WBS. Both internal and external deliverables are included in the hierarchy’s deliverables orientation.

Important WBS Features and Components

The 100% rule is a crucial part of a work breakdown structure. As a result, the WBS includes not only the person or team in charge of each component but also every facet of the project.

Another crucial component of WBS is the levelling structure. When the 100% rule is used, Level 1 of the WBS will reflect the complete project. If a project isn’t self-explanatory, a description or summary may be provided at the top level in some WBSs. Each level below it further divides the project, applying the 100% rule at each level.

For instance, “Website for New Brand” would be Level 1 of a WBS for a new website. The project’s deliverables are divided into level 2 components, like secure website domain, design layout, and content production. The stages that come after continue to deconstruct the parts in further depth.

The Benefits of a WBS for Project Management

The job breakdown structure is a helpful project management tool for a number of reasons. In the beginning, it divides the endeavor into digestible, bite-sized pieces, making it less intimidating.

Second, it provides a road map for the several teams and individuals working on the project. Multiple teams must collaborate and communicate with one another in order for many tasks to be done at once. By using a WBS, the several individuals and teams may concentrate on their particular responsibilities and deliverables while also knowing how their contribution fits into the project as a whole.

A WBS is also a great tool for allocating resources within a budget, identifying milestones, and measuring project completion. By using the 100% rule, project managers may be certain that their projects are properly funded and won’t have any delays due to “surprise” deliverables.

How to effectively create and use a WBS?

When using a work breakdown structure, it’s critical to list all project components without going into excessive detail. It turns out that there might be too much of a good thing when it comes to the WBS.

To develop a WBS:

1.Define the project first.

The first step in creating a task breakdown structure is to define the project. This might be quite simple for some projects. For other projects, it can be necessary to narrow the project’s true scope to scale the WBS properly and prevent it from growing cumbersome.

2. Establish project parameters.

You can place restrictions on what is and isn’t included in the WBS once the project has been identified and characterized.

3. List the deliverables for the project.

Project deliverables with a high degree of detail, like a project scope statement or mission statement, will be included in this.

4. Specify Level 1 components.

Keep the 100% rule in mind while you produce the Level 1 deliverable.

5. Describe each of the Level 1 components in detail.

Decomposition is the process used to dismantle Level 1 objects. It involves breaking down a task into smaller and smaller pieces and using the 100% rule at each stage. At each higher level, consider whether greater breakdown could enhance project management.

6. List the team players.

Determine a person or group in charge of each component.

7. Construct a Gantt chart to go along with the WBS.

In order to readily view information about the project’s schedule and its numerous activities, a Gantt chart shows activities over time.

What distinguishes a work breakdown schedule from a WBS?

WBS is backed by numerous comprehensive project documentation. A work breakdown schedule plan, a quality plan, a procurement plan, a communications plan, and a risk management plan are a few of them.

The start and end dates of each task, activity and deliverables specified in the WBS are included in the work breakdown schedule.

Conclusion

Only a proper WBS enables project managers to plan their work more effectively by characterizing the project as time-limited activities that are assigned with fixed time limits and costs. Fulfilling stakeholder needs is the primary responsibility of the project manager, as it is addressed in the project management plan. 

Thus, the WBS ensures that project management planning is consistent and that it contributes to the efficient completion of projects. Give yourself the chance to advance in your job by taking PMP certification training from EDUHUBSPOT to improve your project management abilities.

FAQ

1. How does WBS assist teams in managing their time?

Various time-based tasks with set deadlines and prices make up a project. A team may successfully manage time, meet deadlines, and never miss anything crucial by employing a clear WBS. Teams can keep track of time spent on routine chores and the total amount of time spent by each person working on a project thanks to its deliverable-oriented approach.

2. What function does the work breakdown structure play in project management?

Before the key project deliverables are sufficiently defined to allow the creation of project activities, they are divided into smaller, more manageable components using a work breakdown structure.

3. What is a work breakdown structure’s essential components?

A work breakdown structure’s main components are:

  • Scheduled due dates
  • Particulars concerning the organization, tasks, projects, assignees, and departments
  • information on project resources
  • Project expenses as predicted
  • Milestones a clear hierarchy of the components
  • Information on deliverables

Author: Axiswebart team has 5+ years of experience in writing content on Project Management topics and along with different publications. Also, they are delivering good write-ups on various other projects too.

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