Work Breakdown Structure

There are several good reasons for decomposing the project:

  • You can list your project work.
  • By breaking the project into deliverables (and later decomposing them into activities) it’s much easier to see how things fit together and how things overlap.
  • It’s a way to modularize the project into manageable segments.
  • It helps the Project Manager determine the skills needed to complete the work and determine the number of people needed.
  • Activities allow the Project Manager to communicate the work that needs to be done to other team members without getting into too much detail.
  • Without a clear idea of the deliverables, sub-deliverables, activities, and tasks involved in the project, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to track the project, prioritize the work of the project, or control the project.

You may be tempted to skip the process of creating a WBS. Don’t yield to temptation! No project is too small for a WBS. Chances are good that you’ll forget to complete an important task, or your team won’t understand exactly what they’re supposed to do – especially on smaller projects. By creating a WBS, even on small projects, a project manager can gain many advantages. This can benefit the Project Manager by defining:

  • What is within the scope of the project
  • What is not in the scope of the project
  • Activities and tasks to be performed
  • Resources required for the project
  • Cost and time estimates for the project
  • Assess project Risks
  • Develop the schedule
  • Identify and control issues.
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