Let us talk about Work Breakdown Structure for a while….
Work Breakdown Structure is a tool project managers use to break projects down into manageable pieces. It is a process whereby project manager make use of tools such as a scheduling software to break down their works into manageable pieces for effective management and project administration.
In my previous article, I have tried to define what a work breakdown structure is.
In preparing a WBS, you are dividing your project into smaller bits so that it can be more manageable. I also told you that the smallest work in work breakdown structure is been referred to as ” Work Package”. In this series, I want to look at how you can develop a work breakdown structure. Follow me as we look at this together.
#1 Gathering reference materials
The very first thing you have to do when developing a work breakdown structure is to gather all materials that you need in order to understand your task better. Some of these materials include the scope statement, work breakdown structure template and , your project constraints and assumptions , that are likely to affect your scope definition.
#2 Organisation of work
Another thing that you need to do when you are developing a WBS is to come up with work breakdown structure is to organise your work regardless of the organisational structure you are working with. You need to come up with how each of the activities in your project scope relates with one another.
#3 Division into phases
There is the need for you to first divide your project into phases. Some project have four or five phases depending on the method that project manager and the project stakeholders decided to adopt. After the division into different phases, the project can be subdivided into product and deliverables depending on the type of project you are trying to execute.
#4 Division into major deliverables
Another level of decomposition of your project in work breakdown structure is to divide it into major deliverables which can be your first level of decomposition. It can be likened to the milestone that I discussed in my previous article.
We can also make the project that are executed by external contractors our first level of decomposition. This can also be supported with subcontracts executed by department within the organisation.