PM4DEV Blog

Ideas, suggestions and general thoughts about project management for development.

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

b2ap3_thumbnail_WBS.pngThe Project Work Breakdown Structure is an outcome oriented analysis of the work involved in the project and defines the total scope of the project. It is a foundation document in project management because it provides the basis for planning and managing the project schedule, budget and requests for changes. The WBS is developed in the form of an inverted tree structure, organized by objectives; it looks like an organizational chart which helps the project team visualize the whole project and all its main components.

The WBS is a hierarchy of all project work, it is a vertical breakdown, moving from the project goal to the tasks or subtasks. This decomposition process allows a good level of confidence in estimating the final project schedule and budget. It shows all the work that needs to be accomplished. The WBS contains 100% of all the work in the project.

At the top level is the project ultimate goal, the second level contains the project objectives, the third level has the project outputs and the fourth level with activities. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the WBS may contain a fourth level that describe the tasks.

The size and complexity of a project will determine the number of levels a WBS needs. For some projects additional levels may be included to represent intermediate objectives. Other projects may choose to structure the WBS by the geographical locations the project will work or group the objectives by the communities participating in the project.

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is an important planning tool used to define a project in terms of its outputs while providing a method for breaking these deliverables into meaningful work units. The WBS allows the project manager to clearly describe the hierarchical nature of the work to be performed and establishes a foundation for other elements of the project planning documents including the project’s resource plan, budget, implementation plan, and project schedule.

With the WBS, the project manager will be able describe the outcomes of a project in a way that is clear to the project team, while at the same time capturing the order and sequence of the work necessary to produce those outputs. The WBS provides a means for carefully detailing the outputs of the project and facilitates the identification of specific the work elements, and groupings required to deliver each element.

 

8
  16824 Hits
16824 Hits

Benefits of a Project Management Methodology

b2ap3_thumbnail_PMM.pngA project management methodology is defined as a system of methods, principles, and rules for managing a project. It can help organizations by standardizing processes, building a common language and understanding how to manage a project. It helps project managers reduce risks, avoid duplication of efforts and to ultimately increase the impact of the project.

A methodology provides project teams with a set of standards to initiate and manage individual projects. A methodology contains definitions, guidelines, and templates for the various project management activities needed to deliver successful projects. The methodology establishes common ground for all projects within an organization.

By adopting a project management methodology development organizations will be able to:

  • Quickly adapt to new challenges and invest limited resources in the best way possible in order to achieve recurring successes.
  • Build a successful project management culture that will enable the effective utilization of the project management methodology.
  • Expand the skills of project managers, and give them a holistic understanding and a solid foundation to manage their projects efficiently.
  • Reduce risks and increase the chances of project success.
  • Increase the motivation of the project team, and increase their productivity.
  • Deliver more projects on time, and within budget that meet or exceed the expectations of donors, beneficiaries and project stakeholders.

Organizations that use a standard method, have more confidence that the project is conducted in a disciplined, well-managed and consistent manner, which promotes the delivery of quality results within the constraints of time and cost.

 

6
  11827 Hits
11827 Hits

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://pm4dev.com/

Contact information

1201 Peachtree St, Suite 622
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
info@pm4dev.com
P.O. Box 27321
Washington DC. 20038
United States