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work breakdown structure

work breakdown structure

Discuss work breakdown structure within the General Talks forums, part of the Management Students Voices ( MBA,BMS,MMS,BMM,BBA) category; Whether the WBS should be activity-oriented or deliverable-oriented is a subject of much discussion. There are also various approaches to ...

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Dimpy Handa
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work breakdown structure - April 3rd, 2011

Whether the WBS should be activity-oriented or deliverable-oriented is a subject of much discussion. There are also various approaches to building the WBS for a project (see e.g. How to Build a Work Breakdown Structure below). Project management software, when used properly, can be very helpful in developing a WBS, although in early stages of WBS development, plain sticky notes are the best tool (especially in teams).

An example of a work breakdown for painting a room (activity-oriented) is:


Prepare materials
Buy paint
Buy a ladder
Buy brushes/rollers
Buy wallpaper remover
Prepare room
Remove old wallpaper
Remove detachable decorations
Cover floor with old newspapers
Cover electrical outlets/switches with tape
Cover furniture with sheets
Paint the room
Clean up the room
Dispose or store left over paint
Clean brushes/rollers
Dispose of old newspapers
Remove covers
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Swati Rao
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Re: work breakdown structure - May 2nd, 2011

the system PBS describes the elements that make up a system. However, the PBS does not capture all of the effort associated with the lifecycle of the system. The system Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) encompasses all of the work components necessary to complete the system, as well as the elements described in the PBS. The WBS is a hierarchical breakdown of the work necessary to complete a project. It is a product-based, hierarchical division of the deliverable system elements and all associated services. As such, it contains the PBS with branch points in the hierarchy showing how the PBS elements are to be integrated. The WBS is built from the PBS by adding, at each branch point of the PBS, any necessary service elements such as management, systems engineering, integration and verification, and logistics support.

WBS forms the structute for implementing a project and bringing it to life.
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Dimpy Handa
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Re: work breakdown structure - June 11th, 2011

When you set up a project WBS, think about how you will be using it later in the project. Try to consider how you will organize the WBS, schedule format, manager assignments, and charge numbers, in your early project planning. These days, the WBS in smaller projects ends up automatically being the indent structure in your Gantt schedule, so pay attention to those indents, and make sure that is the WBS you want for rolling up costs in your project, especially if you will be using EVM. It will be helpful if you can map the charge numbers, managers, and task groups to each other. This will help you track costs and progress for each manager. If your project schedule will on MS-Project, you may want to insert "text" columns into your schedule (Gantt View) for project charge numbers and manager names.
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