Work breakdown structure is a convenient and advantageous tool that facilitates businesses in planning, administering, and evaluating significant projects.
Taking on a complex task might be stressful for new and mature businesses alike. A WBS combines scope, cost, and deliverables into one tool by segmenting the project into smaller parts. While most WBS offer continuous delivery, they can also provide management in steps.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) coined the idea of WBS in the 1950s and 1960s to efficiently complete projects like the Polaris Missile Program.
What Is Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?
A WBS is a graphic, centralized and deliverable-oriented deconstruction of a task. It is a helpful diagram for project managers since it allows them to deconstruct the scope of their projects and see all the tasks on priority.
It outlines the activities necessary to complete a project and divides them into manageable work units so that individuals working on the project may complete the tasks more quickly. The team completes all of the functions and meets the project goal.
Complex project planning can be difficult. Use a work breakdown structure template to divide the project’s overall scope, including individual deliverables and activities. It helps in resource and expense estimation, work scheduling in phases, and phase management.
The two primary WBS types are phase-based and deliverable-based. They rely on how you plan to break your work into a manageable time period.
Work Breakdown Structure On Deliverable Basis
A deliverable-based WBS divides the work first into all of the task’s important context areas as regulated accounts and afterward separates them into work packages and project deliverables.
Phase-Based Work Breakdown Structure
The phase-based WBS represents the final delivery on the top, followed by the five project phases (introduction, preparation, action, supervision, and conclusion).
The work phases are broken down into work packages and delivery, similar to the deliverable-based WBS.
Why Is Work Breakdown Structure Important?
Besides arranging the work on a project, some advantages of a WBS include the following:
By splitting the task into smaller parts and evaluating the findings, it becomes simpler to make improvements because the actions required for project finalization are underlined, and the team knows what is predicted and whether the predictions coincide with the expectations, resulting in increased efficiency.
Efficient Progress Monitoring
The WBS facilitates the monitoring of project progress. As each part is finished, comparing what is done with the work left to do is simple and direct.
For example, if a project is divided into ten tasks and 4 of them are finished, it is evident that 60% of the project is still unfinished.
Realistic schedules may be determined the project completion schedule more precisely since all necessary tasks are compiled in one place. Identifying the tasks that may complete simultaneously helps the team avoid unrealistic goals.
What To Use Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) For?
The use of a WBS starts as a planning tool to support the project team in organizing scope with deliverables, defining, and planning.
It is also the primary resource for scheduled activities and cost evaluations. However, WBS’s greatest contribution to a project is using it to describe all work, monitoring, and controlling tool projects.
It helps avoid typical project management problems, including missed deadlines, scope creep, and budget overruns. In other words, a WBS acts as your road map through challenging tasks.
How To Create A Work Breakdown Structure?
You will need data from other project management documents to develop a WBS for your project. Iteratively creating an effective WBS requires the following steps!
Describe The Project
Explaining the project is the first step to designing a task breakdown structure. It may be quite simple for some tasks. For some projects, it can be necessary to narrow the project’s actual scope to scale the WBS properly and prevent it from becoming complex.
For instance, if you are constructing a building, you must first describe or name the building.
Determine Project Phases And Account Control
The task phases are the next step; they should be broken down into different stages that will carry the project from beginning to end. Supervise accounts that are work types for various workplaces you wish to retain a record of can also be established.
Determine The Project’s Deliverables
This step includes high-level project deliverables like a project scope statement or a Mission Statement. Keep the 100% rule in mind while you produce the Level 1 deliverables.
If you are building a house project, the home’s construction is separated into logically arranged portions of the foundation, exterior, and interior. Those portions are further divided into one or two more levels and to a maximum of three levels.
The effort required to create a house is distributed across all the task packages. It will designate a team and provide the budget for each work item to further improve this graphic.
Define WBS Levels
According to the project management institute’s definition of a WBS in its project management manual book, The WBS levels give it the characteristics of a “hierarchical deconstruction of your project scope.”
Starting with the end project deliverable, it is important to consider all the work packages and deliverables required to reach there.
A WBS breaks down a large project into smaller parts. It streamlines the distribution of responsibilities amongst teams to define scope, cost, and deliverables and assign tasks to team members according to their qualifications.
With the WBS template, you can readily see your project’s requirements and results and better manage your team’s capabilities and resources.