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Figure 5-2 is an example of a simple WBS. The house project has five major categories of deliverables: project management, paperwork, construction, interior design, and landscaping. Each of these first-tier deliverables can be broken down again. In Figure 5-2, the construction deliverable has been broken down to a second level consisting of the basement, first floor, and second floor. Each of these deliverables could be broken down again to another level, and so on. The smallest item in the WBS is called a work package, and these elements can be effective estimates for cost and time, monitored and controlled within the project.

So how deep must the project scope be broken down? There's no right answer, other than to the level of detail that's appropriate for the project priority, scope, and objectives. A guideline for WBS breakdown is the "8/80 Rule." This rule recommends that each work package equate to no more than 80 hours of labor and no less than eight hours of labor to create the deliverable. Of course, that's just a guideline, not a regulation. Some projects may call for work packages, such as a quality control result, that may take far less than eight hours. For your CAPM or PMP exam, know that the smallest element in the WBS is a work package and that it can be scheduled, estimated for costs, and then monitored and controlled.

Figure 5-2 A WBS is the breakdown of a project scope.

EXAM TIP The WBS is primarily about things, not activities. The work package is just a label for the smallest deliverable within the WBS. PMI has lightened their stance on allowing appropriate activities, such as testing, into the WBS. For the most part, activities are in the activity list and are an output of the WBS and activity definition, not items within the WBS.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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