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A tour of the Work Breakdown Structure

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WBS presentation

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