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How to Develope a Wbs

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jorgef12
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How to Develop Work Breakdown Structures

Michael D. Taylor


Copyright  2003-2009 by Michael D. Taylor All Rights Reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means -- graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval system -- without written permission of Michael D. Taylor, Systems Management Services (

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“A Work Breakdown Structure is 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.” 1

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a fundamental project management technique for defining and organizing the total scope of a project, using a hierarchical tree structure. The first two levels of the WBS (the root node and Level 2) define a set of planned outcomes that collectively and exclusively represent 100% of the project scope. At each subsequent level, the children of a parent node collectively and exclusively represent 100% of the scope of their parent node.

A well-designed WBS describes planned outcomes instead of planned actions. Outcomes are the desired ends of the project, such as a product, result, or service, and can be predicted accurately. Actions, on the other hand, may be difficult to predict accurately. A well-designed WBS makes it easy to assign any project activity to one and only one terminal element of the WBS.

Even though the term “Work Breakdown Structure” has been used as a label for all project scope hierarchical diagrams, there are, in practice, many types other than “deliverable” oriented structures.


A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (Newton Square, PA:…...

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