Figure Partial graphical WBS for a software selection project

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Figure 6.2. Partial outline WBS for a software selection project.

■ Suftvj jre Selection fi o|utt If] 1 PUnnhng

1.1 Delermrie siletlion straltgiei 1 2 De-Wrnne mal jcIikIuIc a 3 Ofifine Requirements

2.1 Develop Technicai Peqfjif einend s

2.2 Develop Venctor Recuun-eanenfls

2.3 Develop Fläles Sale Sutirssi ReijurSfiiirti Pirariire Requirements

¿artäy vendor wütitoü Criteria 2.S Deletmne Vendor Long List 2.7 Fmslize-Reduii&inemsOocijrwnt Iii 3 Develop Ventfor Short Lisi

5.1 RtsMrth ViitdörS üfiLOfrf] LISI

32 Weiimie Veiidor Stritt List

33 Rfcview Vendor Short List H 4 Uevelop Vendor Finalist List

J uevelop Request for Proposal («fPi L* L2 PröcuHS RFP Responses i.3 Develop Preliminary Fit Analysis 4 i Delermne Vendor Demorrslration Ust ■4.5 Schedi^e Oemoriilraiorii 5 Evaluate Finalists

■S.I Develop Demo Test Scupt; E! 5.2 Assess Pcrfor manic

5 5.2A Assess Panlc-ago Performance EJ Asses* Vendor Perform-inte Ii: Develop -J- in-Hi Fn Analysis ■S A Review f mal Fit Anatysl; ■S .5 l*sä;e F*ial Retotriinendafliön 0 G Project Management _

Both types have their place in your toolbox. The graphical form is best for communicating the top 35 levels of work activity to senior management or customer stakeholders. The outline form is best for capturing the details needed for cost and schedule development.

A WBS shows the work and any interim deliverables that will be required to produce the major project deliverables identified in the project definition process. In most cases, the WBS reflects the components that make up the final deliverables and the approach (methodology) used to develop, integrate, and validate them. In short, the WBS is an organized task list.


WBS is a logical, hierarchical, organized task list developed with the team.

By simply doing this, we create an organized picture that allows us to see, and more importantly, allows our stakeholders to see, all of the work required to accomplish the project objectives. You can begin to see the power of the WBS in managing expectations.

Also, by doing this, we employ the primary secret weapon of managing large, complex projects, which is "You don't!" You break the work down into chunks and manage many smaller components.

I'm not going to spend a great deal of time on explaining how to create a WBS and how to break down the higher level work of a project, because I think most analytical people do this naturally, and the details of the work decomposition will depend upon the specifics associated with your organization and industry. In fact, many organizations leverage standard WBS templates to ensure any new project includes the recommended work items.

However, what I will spend time on is making sure you are clear on terminology, making sure you understand how this step fits into the overall schedule development process, and reviewing the best practices of WBS development.

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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