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A tour of the Work Breakdown Structure

A tour of the Work Breakdown Structure

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WBS presentation WBS presentation Presentation Transcript

  • Scope, Schedule, Risk and the Work Breakdown Structure The WBS as a key to better project control. JP Stewart Associates Jim Stewart, PMP Chicago 2003
  • What We’re Going To Talk About
    • Scope
      • What it is
    • Work breakdown structure
      • What it is - how to create one
    • Risk and schedule
      • Brief look at the WBS as precursor to building a schedule and risk plan
  • What Is Scope?
    • All the tasks that make up a project, no more, no less.
    • Scope creep – scope that gets bigger and unwieldy as the project progresses.
    • Scope management involves making sure that scope creep does not occur.
    View slide
  • WBS – A Definition
    • Hierarchical listing of tasks and deliverables that constitute the total scope of the project.
    • Items at the lowest level must be assignable and measurable.
    • The lowest level of the WBS – where the work is actually assigned - is called a work package.
    View slide
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Work Breakdown Structure - Levels
    • Level 1 – Overall Project Definition.
      • Highest-level entry corresponds to the overall project deliverable. e.g., Software development project.
    • Level 2 – identify and define all deliverables.
      • Start with high-level outcomes, e.g., Create user interface.
  • Work Breakdown Structure - Levels
    • Level 3 – Decompose deliverables into high-level activities.
      • What needs to be done to complete the deliverable.
    • Level 4 – Break down activities into more granular sub-activities.
      • Break down to measurable level of detail.
    • Level 5 – As needed
  • Assembly Example -Space Transportation Main Engine Source: WBS Reference Guide, NASA May, 1994
  • Who Creates The WBS?
    • Project manager and…
    • Stakeholders
      • Team members
      • Input from vendors
      • Input from customers
  • Decision – Deliverable Or Task-oriented WBS
    • Deliverable - orientation is by deliverables that have to be produced.
    • Task – orientation by task. Still favored in time-dependent organizations that use checkpoints or gates from phase to phase.
    • PMI has shifted from a task to a deliverable-orientation.
  • Beauty Of The WBS
    • Total project can be thought out in advance.
    • Costs and budgets can be established.
    • Responsibility assignments can begin to take shape.
    • Can be used to begin putting together schedule.
    • All items are potential risks. Therefore it’s essential to defining risk.
  • Create A “Parking Lot”
    • As you create the WBS, don’t try to solve the problems/risks that arise out of tasks.
    • Have someone note the risks and dependencies separately but don’t spend a lot of time solving the problems during WBS creation.
  • WBS – Information It Does Not Have
    • Durations.
      • No reflection of how long things will take.
    • Dependencies.
      • No causal relationships between tasks.
    • Milestones.
      • Other than deliverables.
  • The Right Way To Do A WBS
    • There is no one right way to do a WBS - different groups will do it differently.
    • Teams will differ about how it should be done.
    • Level of depth – low enough to track work, not so low as to micromanage efforts.
    • The most important thing is to do one.
  • The 80-hour Rule
    • Ideally, each task should be broken down into work packages that require no more than eighty hours for completion.
    • Otherwise more difficult to track, easier to fall behind.
  • Study– Create A WBS For A New Web Site
    • Goal: create a web site to extol the virtues of the company as a creative developer of multi-media presentations.
    • Web site WBS was created to break the work down into reasonable tasks.
  • WBS For Website Development – Level 1 Numbering convention starts with 1.0
  • WBS For Website Development – Levels 1 & 2
  • WBS For Website Development – Level 3
  • WBS For Website Development – Level 4
  • Building The Schedule
    • Now that you have identified all tasks, you can start converting them into a schedule.
    • You will still have to consider:
      • Estimates.
      • Dependencies.
      • Milestones.
      • Resources.
  • Schedule - Some Identified Tasks From WBS
    • Provide URL’s.
    • Test site.
    • Design storyboards.
    • Write marketing copy.
    • Provide portfolio summaries.
    • Create logo.
  • Schedule imported from WBS
  • WBS (and schedule) is Baseline for measurement
    • The original approved plan – a snapshot.
    • Usually used with a modifier (Cost, Schedule, Performance measurement).
    • Performance against the baseline must be continuously monitored.
    • Should change intermittently if at all.
  • Risk And The WBS
    • Each item on the WBS is a potential risk.
    • When creating the WBS, the project manager should note the risks separately.
    • Do *not* have the team try to manage the risks while creating the WBS.
    • You can embed risk items in the WBS
  • Risk Response 101 – A digression
    • Acceptance – accept the risk
    • Avoidance – avoid the risk. e.g., avoid using cutting-edge technology
    • Mitigation – lessen the risk
    • Transference – Insurance, warranties
  • Schedule - Some Identified Risks From WBS
    • Provide URL’s.
    • Test site.
    • Design storyboards.
    • Write marketing copy.
    • Provide portfolio summaries.
    • Create logo.
  • WBS - Risk Added
  • Keys to Project Success.
    • Take the time to create a WBS. It’s the key to understanding the project, setting and maintaining the scope.
    • Schedule, risks, costs: all can be deduced from the WBS.
    • All tasks are potential risks.
    • Control the scope or it will control you.
  • References & Acknowledgement
    • How to Build A Work Breakdown Structure, by Carl Pritchard, ESI international, 1998.
    • Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling , by Harold Kerzner, PhD, John Wiley & Sons, 2001.
    • WBS charts produced by WBS Chart Pro from Critical Tools, Inc. ( www.criticaltools.com )
  • Contact Information
    • Jim Stewart, PMP
    • JP Stewart, Associates
    • [email_address]
    • (781) 750-8748