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Work Breakdown Structure - WBS. No article. Project planning. One of the first tasks is to break the large tasks into small tasks. find identifiable parts of the tasks find deliverables and milestones measure progress. WBS – Tree Structure. usually a tree structure.

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Project planning
Project planning

  • One of the first tasks is to break the large tasks into small tasks.

    • find identifiable parts of the tasks

    • find deliverables and milestones

      • measure progress.

Wbs tree structure
WBS – Tree Structure

  • usually a tree structure.

  • top level matches the life cycle model

  • next level should match model

  • further levels may be used to partition large tasks

Work breakdown structure wbs

WBS Tree Structure

LC model



Rule 1 clarity
Rule 1- clarity

  • Every task and deliverable description must be understandable and un-ambiguous

  • The purpose of a wbs is communication with team members. If the team members misinterpret what the task or deliverable is supposed to be, there will be problems.

Rule 2 completion
Rule 2 - completion

  • Every task must have a completion criterion (often a deliverable)

  • There must be a way to decide when a task is completed, because subtasks that have no definite ending encourage false expectations of progress.

  • It may be a deliverable, for example, a complete design for the project and then a peer review can decide if it is complete.

Rule 3 artifacts
Rule 3 - artifacts

  • All deliverables (artifacts) must be identified

  • A deliverable must be produced by some tasks or it won’t be produced.

Rule 4 whole task
Rule 4 – whole task

  • Positive completion of the tasks must imply completion of the whole task

  • The purpose of the wbs is to identify the subtasks necessary to complete the whole task. If important tasks or deliverables are missing, the whole task will not be accomplished

Bread making example
Bread Making Example

  • Tasks for Making Bread

  • Choose ingredients, Check on ingredients, Assemble ingredients, Add liquids, Add yeast, Add small amount of flour, Make sponge (yeast and liquids), Let rise first time, Add remaining flour, Knead, Let rise second time, Form into loaves, Let rise third time, Bake, Slice, Butter, Eat, and Clean up

Wbs tree
WBS Tree

Select food Choose ingredients

Check on ingredients

Assemble ingredients Assemble ingredients

Cook food mix Add liquids

Add yeast

Add small amount of flour

Make sponge (yeast and liquids)

Let rise first time

Add remaining flour


Let rise second time

Form into loaves

Let rise third time

Cook Bake

Eat Slice



Clean up Clean up

L4bs13 wbs
L4bS13 - WBS

  • Determine the list of tasks for the following problem – 15 pts, due Thursday, 6/21

  • Tom and Sue are starting a bed-and-breakfast in a small New England town. They will have 3 bedrooms for guests. They want a system to manage the reservations and to monitor expenses and profits. When a potential customer calls for a reservation, they will check the calendar and if there is a vacancy, they will enter the customer name, address, phone number, dates, agreed upon price, credit card number and room number(s). Reservations must be guaranteed by one day’s payment.

  • Reservations will be held without guarantee for an agreed upon time. If not guaranteed by that date, the reservation will be dropped.