Monday, July 5, 2010

Creating Work Breakdown Structure

"A WBS, as defined in the PMBOK® Guide—Third Edition 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. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the project work. The WBS is decomposed into work packages. The deliverable orientation of the hierarchy includes both internal and external deliverables.

Creating workbreakdown structure is key element in project management. This will be the one of the factor for deriving estimation, scheduling and control factors. WBS is a skeleton of a project.

It may be project which might be related to Traditional Waterfall or Agile Workbreakdown Structure plays an crucial role. In the case of SDLC it revolves around the deliverables (Requirements Document, Design specs,etc.,) where in the case of Agile it revolves around the end user functionalities commonly refered as user stories. It could be more related to the Product Backlog in the Agile Project Management world.

How to make an Work Breakdown Structure:
1. Clearly understand the project statment or Project Objective.
2. Involve all the key stakeholders in this activity
3. Arrive at the 100% rule of WBS including all the deliverables in the WBS. Its important that you dont miss any deliverable.
4. Now breakdown the line items of deliverables into decomposed items
5. Step 5 can be achived with the help of the team along with the team member contributing to the estimated timeline. This is recorded in the Workbreakdown package dictionary
6. Each Work Package can have multiple milestones.

In the case of Agile projects, the sprint meetings can be revitalise the WBS or product backlog for proper maintenance of the WBS.

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