Work Breakdown Structure WBS In Project Management

They can also provide a natural summary of work for various management levels, which can provide more accurate cost and resource estimations. A work breakdown structure is a powerful tool for project managers, executing teams, and other stakeholders to make a project successful. Control accounts help control costs and schedules on projects with very large budgets or when a large part of the budget or duration applies to only one or two major deliverables. Control accounts function like work packages with some additional requirements. Control accounts are usually created for major parts of the project, such as phases and key deliverables.

work breakdown structure

Each level represents a more detailed view of the project work. It is a hierarchical decomposition of what’s required to meet project objectives. Planning packages are used as an independent planning horizon for one or more work packages that will be completed in the future.

Benefits of using a work breakdown structure

A deliverable-based WBS example showing control accounts, work packages and tasks. You’ll also need a work package to go with each of those project deliverables. In the execution phase of our construction example, we can look at the interior work deliverable. That deliverable is divided into two work packages, which are installing the plumbing and setting up the electricity. There are several tools and software available to help you create a WBS. Monday, ProjectManager and Wrike all offer templates and tools to guide you in the process.

At this stage—the lowest level of the project lifecycle—you’re defining the most detailed tasks. These actionable tasks will simplify the path to completing all your required deliverables. Collaborate with stakeholders as you build your work breakdown structure to ensure you’ve covered all of your project’s necessary tasks, subtasks, and budget information. Our work breakdown structure software is cloud-based, so you can access your WBS diagram from any device. Real-time collaboration, @mentions, and in-editor chat allow you to update and share information instantly. Use a hierarchical structure that clearly defines the relationship between the project’s major deliverables and the tasks required to complete them.

Construction Project WBS Template

Lucidchart is a cloud-based visual collaboration tool that allows teams to work together on the same diagram with real-time updates and live chat. Lucidchart provides a simple interface that enables you to create professional diagrams without prior experience. A risk breakdown structure is used to organize risks into categories and subcategories in a way that helps you manage them effectively. Risk categories may be defined by type, risk source, or other means deemed appropriate for your project. Work breakdown structure software is used to outline a project’s final deliverable and define the phases that are necessary to achieve it. Work breakdown structure is a helpful project management tool for several reasons.

  • If status meetings are weekly, then the work must be completed within one week.
  • Note the project management deliverables, including the production of a project plan.
  • It is far easier to understand information when it is represented in a picture than in words.
  • A deliverables-oriented WBS defines a project in terms of tangible deliverable components.
  • This application is best suited for professional developers and managers working on large enterprise projects.
  • Now you can use that template to plan, schedule, monitor and report on your project.

Since your WBS won’t have space for a full description, you can include additional details in your WBS dictionary. To create your own breakdown structure, you first need to know what to put in one. Let’s take a look at some of the key pieces to include in your work breakdown structure. The first level of a work breakdown structure is the most simplified form of the project since it contains the parent task. Start by creating a WBS from a template, blank canvas, or imported document.

Deliverables-oriented work breakdown structure

Lucidchart’s user-friendly visual workspace helps you visualize every step of your project with organized, professional work breakdown structures. Easily build, update, share, and collaborate on your WBS with cloud-based functionality that gives you and your team access from anywhere. Lucidchart makes it easier than ever to plan your entire project and track your progress, keeping your entire team aligned as you go. It can also be used to ensure that high-quality processes are set in place throughout your project. A process-oriented WBS defines a project in terms of steps, work phases, or functions. This type of WBS is focused on the steps that need to be taken within individual disciplines to complete a project and typically phrases individual elements in verb form.

work breakdown structure

For example, under cost risks, you might have subcategories like labor rates, material costs, or budget overruns. You will also identify the resources needed to complete each task, which will help you plan how work breakdown structure many people you need on your team and when you need them. This will help you manage your team during the project life cycle because you can assign each task to a team member with the required expertise.

Frequently asked questions about work breakdown structures

This also ensures that the WBS is not overly prescriptive of methods, allowing for greater ingenuity and creative thinking on the part of the project participants. When a project provides professional services, a common technique is to capture all planned deliverables to create a deliverable-oriented WBS. A separates data, services, a product, or all three, depending on the type and scope of a project.

work breakdown structure

The advantage of this diagram view is that you can see the overall scope of work without getting lost in details. Combine this with a WBS dictionary for a mix of visual structure and detailed project information. A breakdown structure is a hierarchical decomposition of the project deliverables.

Advanced project management and planning

As you can see, the work needed to complete the project objective is becoming much more clear. You may even choose to add additional levels to your WBS, depending on how specific you want your visual to be. From there, your breakdown structure will get a bit more complicated depending on the scope of the project. Level two of your WBS will include subtasks, otherwise known as dependencies, of the parent task. Then, use the project’s scope and statement to determine the major deliverables that are essential to the success of the project. Regularly review and update the WBS to ensure that it accurately reflects the project’s scope and progress.

work breakdown structure

The main activities will relate to marketing research, design, construction, installation, resource management, advertisement necessary equipment, etc. This type of a work breakdown structure will help you to track processes to eliminate unnecessary activities and expenses. The first thing you should do as the event manager is to plan every step of your upcoming press conference.

Create a WBS with the MindView software free trial. Check it out.

You can check this by opening your project in GanttPRO and visualizing your WBS there. Sometimes the structure may seem confusing for beginners who are new to project management. Therefore it’s crucial for any project manager to always have a reliable work breakdown structure example at hand. Visual Paradigm is an extensive software suite that offers everything from project planning to source code management and test case design.