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Even civilian contractors working with the DOD must use the appropriate work breakdown structure template. In , the Project Management Institute, through PMBOK, established work breakdown structures as standard practice for a range of nonmilitary applications.

Other variables on the horizon include globalization, currency fluctuations, political changes, and regulations — so a strong project needs advance planning to navigate these potential dependencies. Although often skipped in the planning process, a work breakdown structure or dictionary is a powerful tool for finishing projects efficiently and on time. Here are some of the advantages and benefits of creating a WBS:. In addition, organizations have found other benefits in using work breakdown structures.

These benefits can be realized through a specific project, but may also help improve the processes and culture of your whole organization. They include:. A well-crafted work breakdown structure can keep your team humming along like a well-oiled machine with these benefits:. The work breakdown structure chart or dictionary easily displays project details and status. To present your work, you have a few options.

The classic WBS view is the tree structure diagram, but you can also use numbered lists or tables. An outline is one of the easiest ways to represent a work breakdown structure. Listed below are other types of formats that are useful for different types of projects. During the project, the elements in the work breakdown structure can be color-coded to indicate work status: for example, on-target could be noted in green, late would be in red, at-risk shows up as yellow, and completed is signified by blue.

Color coding can help you identify schedule risks at a glance. A reliable, useful work breakdown structure or dictionary should gather the critical elements of a project, along with its timeline, cost, and resources. The most helpful WBS plans contain these components:. At a higher level, the WBS can also serve directional and organizational roles. A thorough WBS plan can act to:. Business project managers use work breakdown structures to ensure an organized, visible view of their projects and their components.

These teams can also benefit from using work breakdown structures:. Within an organization that already has a project plan or work breakdown plan in place over the long term, work breakdown structures are helpful for a predecessor on a project to see how the project has progressed during their absence.

In short, anyone in an oversight role who needs to plan for the division of labor on a project can benefit from using a work breakdown structure. In fact, work breakdown structures are most commonly applied as a tool to manage projects, from beginning through closeout. Thus, a project breakdown is a work breakdown that maps completely to a single project.

The following are features created in the WBS process, as well as related terms. Several types of formats apply to work breakdown structure documents. Not every project will require the same kind of format. That can and should be tailored to the type of project and the types of team members who need to access it. Once the project scope is available, the WBS should be the first deliverable.

The team can then create the baseline schedule, draw up task lists, and provide assignments. As you manage similar projects, the work breakdown structure gets easier and can become the basis for improved delivery management. For unique projects where you and the team have no previous experience, the work breakdown structure can aid the team to define exactly what deliverables and tasks are needed for the final product. A work breakdown structure cannot be developed in isolation.

Rarely can one person know everything required to complete a project, least of all a project manager, who may not be a subject matter expert. Creating the WBS is a team effort. A WBS does not specify how or when tasks will be done.

It is not a list of all activities or responsibilities, nor is it a typical organization chart. Team leaders sometimes attempt to list all the tasks required for a project within the WBS. This could result in missed tasks, causing projects to run late.

Nor is the WBS a scratch document that may or may not be used for the project. It is an important part of your project management documents.

Drawing a work breakdown structure can be straightforward. But the following tips are design principles to help you achieve the best results. Focus on deliverables, not methods. In other words, plan outcomes — not actions.

Think about the what , not the how. The key purpose of a work breakdown structure is to define the main deliverable in terms of the small components that form it. If the deliverable is not a product, then it must provide a specific and measurable outcome.

When you focus on a specific deliverable, no matter at what level of the breakdown, the team or individual responsible knows exactly what is expected and what a good job looks like. You are less prone to add items that are outside of the project scope, which can be the case when creating a list of tasks. No overlap aka mutual exclusivity.

Make no tasks in your WBS overlap in scope definition. A WBS dictionary that describes each component in detail can help void mutual exclusivity. Follow the percent rule.

In other words, the elements in level two total percent, and the level three and lower elements roll up into the level two percentage. Your finished project should never total more or less than percent. Look at the level of detail. Generally, work packages should provide work that can be completed by a team or team member within a reporting period.

If status meetings are weekly, then the work must be completed within one week. If some deliverables are not known, you can enter as much information as you know currently, then update the document as you learn more details.

The first step to creating a work breakdown structure is to bring the team together. Whether your team is all working onsite or remotely, it is essential for the members to participate in identifying the subdeliverables. You will also need to assemble these key documents to begin development of the WBS: the project charter, the project problem statement or scope definition, all applicable contract and agreement documentation, and the existing project management practice processes at your organization.

An effective work breakdown structure should contain each of the following elements or components:. Your tools for capturing information can be as simple as a stack of 5-by-3 cards or a pad of sticky notes that you use to write down the deliverables and related parts. Then you can arrange them on a whiteboard, cork board, or even a wall. Virtual teams can perform a similar activity through collaborative whiteboarding software.

To begin creating a WBS, define level one, the main deliverable of the project. Then add as much detail as possible to level two before moving to smaller chunks of work in level three and beyond, if needed.

Take these important preliminary steps first:. Although you can capture your WBS with index cards or pen and paper, electronic templates and tools make it easier to record, edit, and disseminate the chart to team members, then save it with document control settings so that updates are recorded through the change control process. Templates simplify the job. Your team or company may already have a template.

If not, you can create your own WBS or download one of the templates from the web and customize it. Look for these useful features in a template:. While work breakdown structures are and should be flexible and tailored to each project, these tips will help project managers and organizations create the most useful WBS:. An effective work breakdown structure cannot be slapped together overnight or by one person. To be truly effective, a WBS should:.

The WBS structure, or dictionary, is a fluid document, but will always include certain information. Here are the elements of a thorough, reliable WBS dictionary. Note that the elements that roll under each phase can be moved or adjusted as desired. Here is one example, involving the development of software, but notice that the project is not simply about the phases of software creation and testing.

With the sensibility required to avoid to-do lists and keep work packages manageable, measurable, and deliverable-oriented, how does a new program manager or new work breakdown structure user gain competence?

Project managers can gain confidence through mentoring newbies as they work their way through the ranks from such positions as project analyst to associate program manager. Bennett echoes this notion that practice is the key to mastering work breakdown structures.

But confidence is built through a combination of study, getting close to those who are using the method successfully, watching, asking questions, doing it oneself, soliciting feedback, learning from that feedback, and doing it again.

Bennett says the best way to learn is probably from finding out where and how the WBS was used to create a good result. Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change.

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done.

Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. Try Smartsheet for free, today. In this article. Simple, powerful project management with Smartsheet.

See for yourself. Here are some of the advantages and benefits of creating a WBS: Provides a visual representation of all parts of a project Offers an ongoing view for management and team members into how the entire project is progressing Defines specific and measurable outcomes Breaks the work into manageable chunks Provides a way to make successful experiences repeatable Sets a foundation for estimating costs and allocating human and other resources Ensures no overlap and no gaps in responsibility or resources Minimizes the chance of adding items outside the scope of work or forgetting a critical deliverable In addition, organizations have found other benefits in using work breakdown structures.

Teams can determine project schedule and budget quickly. As the project progresses, teams can track specific sections of the work breakdown structure to determine project cost performance and flag issues and problem areas in the organization. Next we list all the sub tasks or child tasks under the main parent tasks.

Also list the list of sub-sub-tasks which will eventually help us complete the Main task. Sorry for the late reply. Currently we have integrated it with Gantt Excel. We will be adding a connection interface to read MS Project plans soon.

Do you have a password to modify the code? Does the software have a limitation in number files that you can add to make a WBS? Thank you in advance. Hey Martin, the code is protected. Just wondering if there is a way to link Sub-tasks in different trees? Where one sub-task in a tree becomes dependant on the completion of a subtask in a different tree.

Andrew, this feature is not available in WBS Creator as of now. However you can create task dependencies in Gantt Excel. Is it possible to have the WBS Include more than one cell of text. James raise a ticket at the link below and send me your file. I will help you out. Please enter a valid email address. An email with the download link will be sent to you instantly. Download Now. Share This Page. Create Work Breakdown Structure Charts effortlessly. This will create sample tasks for you.

You can edit, delete and add new tasks. You can also change the fill color and task colors for the WBS shapes. Click on the Create WBS button. The WBS chart will be created in milliseconds. What is a Work Breakdown Structure? How it is structured.

Free WBS Maker. Notify of. Oldest Newest Most Voted. Inline Feedbacks. Sandra Smith. Reply to Rafeeq M. Reply to Martin. I tried to get the template, but it did not appear.



Wbs chart microsoft project 2016 free.Free WBS Creator Excel Template –

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a powerful tool for project management. It is the cornerstone of effective project planning, execution, controlling, statusing, and reporting. Renumber WBS codes. When you move or delete tasks, Project doesn’t automatically renumber the WBS codes in case you’re using them in documents or other systems that are not linked to your Project file. This means that the codes for the remaining tasks will likely be incorrect. Here’s how to renumber the WBS codes for all tasks or selected. Trial versions only exist for Visio Plan 1 and Visio Plan 2. These trials are free for 30 days for first-time trial users with a work or school account. To sign up for your day trial, visit the following links for Visio Plan 1 and Visio Plan Plan 1 .

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