Basic Terminology

What is Work Breakdown Structure in Project Management?

Work breakdown structure (WBS) in project management is a method for completing a complex, multi-step project. It is a way to divide and conquer large projects to get things done faster and more efficiently. 

The goal of a WBS is to make a large project more manageable. Breaking it down into smaller chunks means work can be done simultaneously by different team members, leading to better team productivity and easier project management.

In Restyaboard, you can build a WBS by creating folders and subfolders and can go further to divide individual tasks into subtasks. 

How to create a work breakdown structure?

Before you create a work breakdown structure, it is essential to first assess the project scope by talking to all stakeholders and key team members involved.

As the project manager, you want to ensure that all critical input and deliverables are gathered and transparently prioritized. You may use Gantt charts, flow charts, spreadsheets, or lists to show the hierarchical outline of importance and connectivity between the tasks needed to complete the project. 

After outlining the deliverables and tasks in order of completion, you can then assign each task to a project team member. Ensure no team member carries most of the project’s weight by spreading duties and responsibilities across the team.

Characteristics of a work breakdown structure

The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines WBS as “a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.” 

Each WBS level represents a new and increasingly detailed definition of work needed to complete the project. 

PMI’s definition adds that a Work breakdown structure (WBS) must be constructed in a way that each new level in the hierarchy includes all the work needed to complete its parent task. This means that every parent task element must have more than one child task within it to consider the parent task element complete. 

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