How to Create a Work Breakdown Structure: A WBS Masterclass | Summary and Q&A

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October 14, 2021
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Online PM Courses - Mike Clayton
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How to Create a Work Breakdown Structure: A WBS Masterclass

TL;DR

This video explains how to create a work breakdown structure (WBS) for predictive or hybrid projects by breaking down the project into deliverables and using them to identify activities.

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Key Insights

  • 📽️ The WBS is an essential tool in project management for scoping, planning, resource allocation, risk identification, and governance.
  • 🍳 Creating a WBS involves breaking down the project into deliverables in a hierarchical structure.
  • 🎚️ The levels of a WBS include project deliverable (level zero), key line (organizing principle, level one), major deliverables (level two), components and interim deliverables (level three), and further decomposition (level four and below).
  • ❓ A clear and unambiguous description of each item in the WBS is important, as well as ensuring it is mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive.
  • 🛟 The WBS can be adjusted and refined as the project evolves, and it serves as a basis for activity planning, scheduling, and budgeting.

Transcript

the work breakdown structure is one of the truly fundamental tools of project management but how do you create one if you're managing a predictive or a hybrid project of any significant scale then there's a good chance you'll need a work breakdown structure so in this video we're going to look at how you create one and we'll do it using the globall... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are deliverables, and why are they important in creating a WBS?

Deliverables are the products, capabilities, or results of a project, such as tangible things, processes, or events. They are crucial in creating a WBS because the WBS is a hierarchical decomposition of deliverables, and everything in the project should be included as a deliverable to ensure nothing is overlooked.

Q: What is the significance of the key line in a WBS?

The key line in a WBS serves as the organizing principle for decomposition. It can be the major deliverables, stages/phases, thematic work streams, or geographic divisions. Establishing the key line helps structure the WBS and define the titles for major work streams.

Q: What is the difference between end deliverables and interim deliverables in a WBS?

End deliverables are the desired outcomes or products of the project, while interim deliverables are things created along the way to help achieve those end deliverables. They might include prototypes, tests, project management artifacts, etc.

Q: How should a work breakdown structure be documented?

A work breakdown structure should be documented using an index numbering system. Each item in the WBS is assigned a unique index number, and this can be presented as a hierarchical list, tree diagram, or a WBS dictionary that includes additional information such as descriptions, resources, costs, etc.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a crucial tool in project management, and this video focuses on creating a WBS for predictive or hybrid projects.

  • The video suggests breaking down the project into deliverables and using that as the basis for the WBS.

  • The WBS should have clear levels, starting with the project deliverable at level zero, followed by the key line (organizing principle) at level one, major deliverables at level two, components at level three, and further decomposition as necessary.

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