A WBS for Strategies

Figure 3.5-1 presents a matrix-style WBS for strategies. In this example, we show a one-layer vertical WBS and a one-layer horizontal WBS. (There can be additional layers, but we've tried to keep this example simple.)

FIGURE 3.5-1 Strategies Work Breakdown Structure in a Matrix Format

strategic initiatives

Alignment Matrix

Establish New

Generate Income Reduce Costs Reduce Head Count Market Beachhead

Desktop and

Notebook

Computers

Specialty Computers (PDA, Pocket PC)

Servers and Networks

Printers Displays Other

Add build-to-order capability

Outsource customer support to India

Outsource customer support to India

Add build-to-order capability

New leading-edge pocket PC

Move European plants to China

Outsource customer support to India

Outsource customer support to India

Add plasma line

Build new plant in Mexico

Develop new advertising program

R&D for packaging

Outsource surveys and marketing research

The vertical WBS represents strategic business units (SBUs) or product lines. Here it is assumed that each SBU will be aligning its projects with the various strategic buckets. The horizontal WBS represents four business strategies.

Each proposed project is placed in the matrix to show alignment with an SBU and a strategic bucket. Note that it is possible to have a project support more than one strategy. In this example, we show two SBUs with plans to outsource customer support. This tactical initiative (to be conducted jointly by the two SBUs) supports two strategies: "Reduce Costs" and "Reduce Head Count."

The strategies WBS serves as a visual display of how projects are aligned with SBUs and strategic buckets. If desired, the project boxes can be color-coded to distinguish proposed projects from approved projects, and additional data can be added (for example, ranking scores, internal or external client, or internal or external resources).

The matrix-style display also provides a visual indication of which strategies are not being supported and which SBUs are not participating.

Figure 3.5-2 presents the strategies WBS in a bubble chart format. This chart contains all of the information as the matrix in Figure 3.5-1, plus data on the size (net present value) of each of the candidate projects. Through the use of bubble sizing and color, such a chart can present up to four aspects of the data (x-axis, )>-axis, bubble size, and bubble color).

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