Create WBS Tools and Techniques

.1 Decomposition

Decomposition is the subdivision of project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components until the work and deliverables are defined to the work package level. The work package level is the lowest level in the WBS, and is the point at which the cost and schedule for the work can be reliably estimated. The level of detail for work packages will vary with the size and complexity of the project.

Decomposition of the total project work into work packages generally involves the following activities:

• Identifying and analyzing the deliverables and related work.

• Structuring and organizing the WBS.

• Decomposing the upper WBS levels into lower level detailed components.

• Developing and assigning identification codes to the WBS components, and

• Verifying that the degree of decomposition of the work is necessary and sufficient. Structuring and organizing the deliverables and associated project work into a WBS that can meet the control and management requirements of the project management team are analytical techniques that may be done with the use of a WBS template if one exists. A portion of a WBS with some branches of the WBS decomposed down through the work package level is shown in Figure 5-7.

The WBS structure can take a number of forms, for example:

• Using phases of the project life cycle as the first level of decomposition, with the project deliverables inserted at the second level, as shown in Figure 5-8.

• Using major deliverables as the first level of decomposition, as shown in Figure 5-9.

• Using subprojects which may be developed by organizations outside the project team, such as contracted work. The seller then develops the supporting contract work breakdown structure as part of the contracted work.

Figure Type Deliverables Ispl
Figure 5-4. Sample Work Breakdown Structure with Some Branches Decomposed Down Through Work Packages
How You Represent Wbs

The W8S is illustrative only. It is not intended to represent the full project scope of any specific project, nor to imply that this is the only way to organize a WBS on this type of project.

Figure 5-5. Sample Work Breakdown Structure Organized by Phase

Examle Major Project Wbs

The WBS is illustrative only. It is not intended to represent the full project scope of any specific project, nor to imply that this is the only way to organize a WBS on this type of project.

Figure 5-6. Sample Work Breakdown with Major Deliverables

The WBS is illustrative only. It is not intended to represent the full project scope of any specific project, nor to imply that this is the only way to organize a WBS on this type of project.

Figure 5-6. Sample Work Breakdown with Major Deliverables

Decomposition of the upper icvci WBS components requires subdividing the work for each of the deliverables or subprojects into its fundamental components, where the WBS components represent verifiable products, services, or results. Verifying the correctness of the décomposition requires determining that the lower-level WBS components arc those that arc necessary and sufficient for completion of the corresponding higher levei deliverables. Different deliverables can have different levels of decomposition. To arrive at a work package, the work for some deliverables needs to be decomposed only to the next level, while others need more levels of decomposition. As the work is decomposed to lower levels of detail, the ability to plan, manage, and control the work is enhanced. However, excessive decomposition can lead to non-productive management effort, inefficient use of resources, and decreased efficiency in performing the work.

Decomposition may not be possible for a deliverable or subproject that will be accomplished far into the future. The projcct management team usuaiiy waits until the deliverable or subproject is clarified so the details of the WBS can be developed. This technique is sometimes referred to as rolling wave planning.

The PM1 Standard for Work Breakdown Structures provides guidance for the generation, development, and application of work breakdown structures. This standard contains industry-specific examples of WBS templates that can be tailored to specific projects in a particular application area.

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Responses

  • lilliam
    What are the tools and techniquues used for creating wbs?
    1 year ago

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