What Is A Work Breakdown Structure?

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The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) explains the Work Breakdown Structure as a deliverable-oriented hierarchical analysis of the work to be executed by the project team. There are two types of Work Breakdown Structures:

Work Breakdown Structures

  1. Deliverable-Based
  2. Phase-Based.

The most common – as well as preferred – approach is the Deliverable-Based approach

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is responsible for breaking down the work – that is to be performed in a particular project – into smaller elements. This action provides a greater probability that every major and minor activity will be accounted for. The WBS is formulated according to the way that the work in the project will be performed. In addition, the Work Breakdown Structure reflects the way in which project costs and data will be summarised and eventually reported on.

The WBS helps to accomplish the following key objectives:

  • Develops an objective and rational view of the amount of work that is needed.
  • Assists the team grasps the skills and amount of resources needed for the project.
  • Provides a clear framework for assigning to individuals a clear task definition and delegates the responsibility for completion.
  • Lays a foundation for analysing the task dependencies and for isolating as well as managing risks.
  • Provides a foundation for developing a bottom-up assessment for the project schedule.
  • Allows trade-offs to be made consciously as well as with the proper consensus involved.

The Work Breakdown Structure is the first step in the process developing a detailed work plan for the project. Task identification and WBS create a bridge from the early scope definition to the creation of a detailed project schedule.

Tips For Putting Together A Work Breakdown Structure

Start with the scope of the project. It defines – at the highest level – what has to be done in addition to what must be created as well as delivered to the project’s customers. A top-down hierarchical description of the work is required to produce what is called for in the Project Scope to achieve the mission in addition to satisfying stakeholders.

A Work Breakdown Structure provides an approach for ‘decomposing’ the work into measurable units, which allows easier and more accurate estimates of duration, required resources in addition to time required. The WBS helps ensure that the scope is completely defined and the team has not forgotten any work. In addition, it allows work to be broken down tin deliverables, activities, tasks that can be assigned to an owner.

Breaking work into more manageable tasks is a common productivity technique which is used in order to make the work more manageable as well as approachable. In project management, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is the tool which utilises this technique. In addition, the WBS is one of the most important project management documents. It singlehandedly integrates scope, cost and schedule baselines to ensure that project plans are in alignment.

Project management, in the media industry, is super important as there are constantly projects that need to be managed.

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