WBS Templates

Work breakdown structures can be constructed using WBS templates or the WBS from a similar completed project. Although every project is unique, many companies and industries perform the same kind of projects repeatedly. The deliverables are similar from project to project, and they generally follow a consistent path. WBS templates can be used in a case like this as a tool to simplify the WBS process, saving the project manager time.

Don't get too carried away when creating a WBS. The object is to define the work of the project so you can easily plan, manage, monitor, and control the work. But, you don't want to take this too far. If you decompose the work to the point that you're showing every minute detail, you've ventured into inefficiency and will find it more difficult to plan and manage. In addition, you're potentially stifling the creativity of the people working on the project because everything is so narrowly defined.

Sometimes, particularly when working on large projects that consist of several sub-projects, some of the subprojects might not be scheduled until a future date. Obviously, it makes sense to develop the WBS in detail at that future date when the deliverables and subprojects are better known and more details are available. This technique is called rolling wave planning. The idea behind this technique is that you elaborate the work of the project to the level of detail you know about at the time. If a subproject or deliverable is scheduled sometime in the future, the only component that might appear on the WBS today is the subproject itself. As you get closer to the subproject, you'll elaborate the details of the subproject and record them on 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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