WBS LinkedIn

What is WBS?

4 min read14th of March 2020

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is the sum of the project scope – all its requirements and deliverables – broken down into pieces for the purpose of managing activities. The WBS is a document that is created during the planning phase of a project and then used referentially throughout its lifespan. The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines the WBS as “A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.”

Summary

To create a WBS, the project manager uses knowledge of the project to estimate duration, complexity, and cost and create work packages that can be managed. Like most things on a project, this is not done in isolation and may require expert advice, lessons learned from previous projects, and templates to guide and structure how the activities will be broken down then grouped. This process, called decomposition, can be performed using either a top-down or bottom-up approach and it will help establish a baseline for later comparison to ensure the project is on time, on budget, and of acceptable quality.

A supporting document to the WBS is the WBS dictionary and it contains detailed information about the work including:

  • Descriptions and expectations
  • Schedule of activities
  • Key milestones
  • Resources – both human and otherwise
  • Estimates for time and cost
  • Quality requirements
  • Acceptance and audit criteria
  • Coded identifiers (when appropriate)

The hierarchical nature of the WBS means that it is most commonly found in association with predictive project management methodologies, such as Waterfall. The project team uses expert knowledge to make determinations about effort and priority to group cards that are made ready to work only when the previous grouping of cards are complete.

Conclusion

The process of decomposing activities into manageable packages of work can be applied to almost any project. Whether it’s used in an agile or predictive methodology and for projects large and small, it’s important to consider how and when project work will be completed. As the saying goes “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” Making work manageable is exactly the kind of thing that Project Managers should be looking toward their software to do. Cloud Coach can display work that is broken down or broken down and grouped, we can show this over time in a Gantt. Lean processes are about cutting waste and a WBS can help provide the initial surge and ongoing focus to help teams adopt and integrate best practices into everyday lives.s.

See Cloud Coach In Action

Cloud Coach is secure and customisable platform for successfully delivering projects of all shapes and sizes.

Schedule a tailored demo with one of our project specialists.

  • Fill out the form below
  • Our team will reach out within 24 hours to discuss your unique requirements
  • We’ll schedule a 1:1 demo with one of our product specialists  
medal 2 1
reCAPTCHA logo@2x

protected by reCAPTCHA

medal 2 1

Schedule a tailored demo with one of our project specialists.

  • Fill out the form below
  • Our team will reach out within 24 hours to discuss your unique requirements
  • We’ll schedule a 1:1 demo with one of our product specialists  
medal 2 1
reCAPTCHA logo@2x

protected by reCAPTCHA

medal 2 1

Before you leave…

Sign up to receive the latest project tips and tricks directly from Cloud Coach.

Email Address

Cloud Coach cares about your privacy. We may use this information for our legitimate interests to provide you with information about products or services that may be of interest to you. You can of course unsubscribe from our emails at any time. Learn more by reading our Privacy Policy.

Thank you

A Cloud Coach advisor will be in contact by email within one working day to arrange your demo.