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Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D. Lee Baliton. Why break up?. Improve work management Understand resource and time constraints Set milestones for progress See alternative sequencing of components of work. Definition of WBS. Breaks the project scope Inter-related

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work breakdown structure wbs

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D.

Lee Baliton

why break up
Why break up?
  • Improve work management
    • Understand resource and time constraints
    • Set milestones for progress
  • See alternative sequencing of components of work
definition of wbs
Definition of WBS
  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
definition of wbs4
Definition of WBS

Clear starts and ends

  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related task
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
definition of wbs5
Definition of WBS

Four possible relationships

  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
definition of wbs6
Definition of WBS

Four possible relationships

  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
  • Finish to Start: Start second task after first one is finished
definition of wbs7
Definition of WBS

Four possible relationships

  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
  • Finish to Start
  • Start to Start: Start second task same time as first one
definition of wbs8
Definition of WBS

Four possible relationships

  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
  • Finish to Start
  • Start to Start
  • Finish to Finish: Start second task so both finish at same time
definition of wbs9
Definition of WBS

Four possible relationships

  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
  • Finish to Start
  • Start to Start
  • Finish to Finish
  • Start to Finish: Second task cannot finish before first one starts
definition of wbs10
Definition of WBS

Lower level tasks inherit the relationships among higher level tasks

  • Breaks the project scope
    • Inter-related task
    • Discrete tasks
  • Hierarchical tree structure
hierarchy of activities
Hierarchy of Activities

Level 1: The root of the tree is the project name

A

hierarchy of activities12
Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

A

hierarchy of activities13
Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

Level 2: Components of the entire project

A

B

C

D

hierarchy of activities14

Purchase

system

Train users

Configure system

Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

A

B

C

D

hierarchy of activities15

Purchase

system

Train users

Configure system

Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

A

Level 3: Each level 2 tasks is broken into its subcomponents

B

C

D

E

F

hierarchy of activities16
Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

A

Purchase

system

B

C

D

Train users

Configure system

E

F

Purchase

training

material

Detail

employees

hierarchy of activities17

E

Purchase

training

material

Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

A

Purchase

system

B

C

D

Train users

Configure system

F

Detail

employees

hierarchy of activities18

E

Purchase

training

material

Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

A

Purchase

system

B

C

D

Train users

Configure system

F

Detail

employees

hierarchy of activities19

A

D

C

E

B

Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

F

Detail

employees

Train users

Purchase

training

material

Configure system

Purchase

system

approaches to developing work breakdown
Approaches to Developing Work Breakdown
  • Guidelines
  • Analogy
  • Bottom up
  • Mind mapping
approaches to developing work breakdown21
Approaches to Developing Work Breakdown
  • Guidelines
  • Analogy
  • Bottom up
  • Mind mapping
approaches to developing work breakdown22
Approaches to Developing Work Breakdown
  • Guidelines
  • Analogy
  • Bottom up
  • Mind mapping
hierarchy of activities23

A

D

C

E

B

Hierarchy of Activities

EHR implementation

F

Detail

employees

Train users

Purchase

training

material

Configure system

Purchase

system

hierarchy of activities24

EHR implementation

A

Train users

D

F

Detail

employees

Purchase

training

material

C

Configure system

E

Purchase

system

B

Hierarchy of Activities
approaches to developing work breakdown25
Approaches to Developing Work Breakdown
  • Guidelines
  • Analogy
  • Bottom up
  • Mind mapping
slide26
Task
  • Mutually exclusive
  • Exhaustive
slide27

EHR implementation

A

D

Train users

C

Configure system

B

Purchase

system

Task
  • Mutually exclusive
  • Exhaustive

Purchase of systems and organizing training may not be mutually exclusive if the purchase includes training

slide28
Task
  • Mutually exclusive
  • Exhaustive
breadth vs depth
Breadth .vs. Depth
  • Focus on breadth
  • Let details emerge
    • Progressive elaboration
    • Creativity
breadth vs depth30
Breadth .vs. Depth
  • Focus on breadth
  • Let details emerge
    • Progressive elaboration
    • Creativity
numbering convention

EHR implementation

A

Train (detail)users

D

C

Configure system

Purchase

system

B

Numbering Convention

1.1.2 Purchase

training

material

E

numbering convention32

EHR implementation

A

Train (detail)users

D

C

Configure system

Purchase

system

B

Numbering Convention

1.1.2 Purchase

training

material

E

numbering convention33

EHR implementation

A

Train (detail)users

D

C

Configure system

Purchase

system

B

Numbering Convention

1.1.2 Purchase

training

material

E

numbering convention34

EHR implementation

A

Train (detail)users

D

C

Configure system

Purchase

system

B

Numbering Convention

1.1.2 Purchase

training

material

E

work breakdown is not
Work Breakdown Is Not …
  • We need to clarify some common mistakes …
a task is
A Task Is …
  • Not a goal
a task is37
A Task Is …
  • Not a goal
  • Not a process
work breakdown is
Work Breakdown Is …
  • Not an exhaustive list of work
work breakdown is39
Work Breakdown Is …
  • Not an exhaustive list of work
  • Not a chronology
work breakdown is40
Work Breakdown Is …
  • Not an exhaustive list of work
  • Not a chronology
  • Not an organization structure
work breakdown is41
Work Breakdown Is …
  • Not an exhaustive list of work
  • Not a chronology
  • Not an organization structure
  • Not to be changed often
good work breakdowns
Good Work Breakdowns
  • Easy to understand
  • Corresponds to job descriptions
  • Not too detailed
  • Preserve the most important relationships among the tasks
  • Does not add to length of project
take home message

Take Home Message

Think Carefully through Work Breakdown Structure