Characteristics of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Characteristics of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

PMI Defines the WBS as ‘‘a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the project work.’

WBS Core Characteristics

  1. Deliverable-oriented: think of the project deliverables not the process activities, if you concentrated on the process you are more likely to miss parts of the scope..
  2. Is hierarchical and constructed in such a manner that (a) each level of decomposition includes 100% of the work of its parent element, and (b) each parent element has at least two child elements.
  3. Uses nouns and adjectives to describe the deliverables, not verbs. verbs are used in the activities descriptions.

WBS Name: Site Development

Activity Name Example: Excavate to foundation level

4. Use a coding scheme that clearly depicts the hierarchical nature of the project. for Example use code 1 for the first level and 1.1, 1.2 for the child elements.

5. WBS should be created by those performing the work with technical input from knowledgeable subject matter experts and other project stakeholders…hey planners don’t do it in your room..get the project team to participate in this effort..

6. WBS Contains work packages that clearly support the identification of the tasks, activities and milestones that must be performed in order to deliver the work package. work package comes at the lowest level of WBS.


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