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Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence

ISBN: 978-1-118-00026-7
304 pages
September 2010
Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence (1118000269) cover image

Description

Understand and apply new concepts regarding Work Breakdown Structures

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) has emerged as a foundational concept and tool in Project Management. It is an enabler that ensures clear definition and communication of project scope while performing a critical role as a monitoring and controlling tool. Created by the three experts who led the development of PMI®'s Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures, Second Edition, this much-needed text expands on what the standard covers and describes how to go about successfully implementing the WBS within the project life cycle, from initiation and planning through project closeout.

Filling the gap in the literature on the WBS, Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence gives the reader an understanding of:

  • The background and key concepts of the WBS
  • WBS core characteristics, decomposition, representations, and tools
  • Project initiation and the WBS, including contracts, agreements, and Statements of Work (SOW)
  • Deliverable-based and activity-based management
  • Using the WBS as a basis for procurement and financial planning
  • Quality, risk, resource, and communication planning with the WBS
  • The WBS in the executing, monitoring, and controlling phases
  • New concepts regarding the representation of project and program scope
  • Verifying project closeout with the WBS

Using a real-life project as an example throughout the book, the authors show how the WBS first serves to document and collect information during the initiating and planning phases of a project. Then, during the executing phase, the authors demonstrate how the WBS transitions to an active role of project decision-support, serving as a reference and a source for control and measurement.

(PMI is a registered mark of Project Management Institute, Inc.)

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Foreword xv

Part I Introduction To WBS Concepts 1

1 Background and Key Concepts 3

Chapter Overview 3

Work Breakdown Structures 4

Defining Work Breakdown Structures 5

Importance of the WBS 7

WBS Lesson Learned: A Brief Illustration 8

WBS Concepts 12

Describing the WBS 12

The House Metaphor–A Consistent Example 14

Chapter Summary 15

2 Applying WBS Attributes and Concepts 19

Chapter Overview 19

WBS Attributes 19

WBS Core Characteristics 20

WBS Use-Related Characteristics 25

WBS Decomposition 28

WBS in Projects, Programs, Portfolios, and the Enterprise 30

WBS Representations 32

WBS Tools 36

Chapter Summary 38

Part II WBS Application In Projects 41

3 Project Initiation and the WBS 43

Chapter Overview 43

Project Charter 44

Preliminary Project Scope Statement 46

Contracts, Agreements, Statements of Work (SOW) 49

Chapter Summary 50

4 Defining Scope through the WBS 53

Chapter Overview 53

Product Scope Description 53

Project Scope Statement (Scope Definition) 54

Work Breakdown Structure 55

Beginning with the Elaborated WBS 60

Use-Related Characteristics 62

WBS Dictionary 65

Deliverable-Based Management 67

Activity-Based Management 67

Scope Baseline 68

Acceptance Criteria 68

Chapter Summary 70

5 The WBS in Procurement and Financial Planning 75

Chapter Overview 75

Build versus Buy Decisions 75

Cost Estimating 77

Cost Budgeting 79

Cost Breakdown Structure 80

Chapter Summary 81

6 Quality, Risk, Resource and Communication Planning with the WBS 85

Chapter Overview 85

Approaching Quality, Resource and Risk Planning 87

Using Existing Templates and Processes 89

Creating Processes to Support the Project 92

Utilizing the WBS as a Basis for Process Development 92

Employing the WBS and WBS Dictionary 94

The Whole is not Greater than the Sum of its Parts—it Equals

Precisely 100% of the Sum of its Parts 94

Examining Process Considerations 96

Communications Planning Using the WBS as a

Foundation 99

Developing the Communications Plan 101

The Communications Matrix 102

The Hierarchy of Information 103

The Meeting Matrix 107

Chapter Summary 109

7 The WBS as a Starting Point for Schedule Development 111

Chapter Overview 111

Demystifying the Transition from the WBS to the Project Schedule 113

Putting These Concepts to Work 117

The WBS in Hierarchical Outline Form 118

Identifying Dependencies between Scope Elements 119

Representing Scope Sequence and Dependency 119

Creating a High-Level Scope Sequence Representation 120

The Concept of Inclusion 121

The Scope Relationship Diagram 125

Creating a Scope Dependency Plan 129

Chapter Summary 132

8 The WBS in Action 137

Chapter Overview 137

Acquiring the Project Team 138

Directing and Managing Project Execution and Integrated Change Management 140

Performing Scope Management 141

Scope Management and the Triple Constraint 142

Reviewing the Relationship with Other Project Management Processes 143

Performing Quality Assurance 144

Performing Scope Verification 144

Chapter Summary 145

9 Ensuring Success through the WBS 147

Chapter Overview 147

Project Performance Management 148

Scope 149

Schedule 149

Cost 150

Planned versus Actual 151

Stakeholder Management 152

Chapter Summary 153

10 Verifying Project Closeout with the WBS 155

Chapter Overview 155

Project Closeout 155

Acceptance / Turnover / Support / Maintenance 156

Contract Closure 156

Project Closeout 157

Chapter Summary 157

Part III WBS For Project Management Decomposition 159

11 A Project Management WBS 161

Chapter Overview 161

Organization Options for a Project Management WBS 162

Project Management WBS Components Aligned with the PMBOKÆÊ?nGuide—Third Edition 165

Project Management WBS Lite 168

Chapter Summary 170

A Final Word 170

Appendix A Project Charter Example 173

Appendix B Project Scope Statement Example 179

Appendix C Project Management WBS Examples 187

Appendix D Answers to Chapter Questions 253

Index 275

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Author Information

Eric S. Norman, PMP, PgMP, is a strategic project and program management consultant. Shelly A. Brotherton, PMP, is a senior project and program management leader. Robert T. Fried, PMP, is a director responsible for project and program management with a globally recognized enterprise management software company.

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Reviews

"This book is written for everyone responsible for project management or product development work. The topic of the book is a critically useful and important technique for describing and understanding any new product or project development. I applaud the efforts of the authors in showing not just the relevance of a WBS (Work Breakdown Structures) and WBS dictionary to planning a project but also to its execution. A significant contribution of this book is the prominent highlighting the scope of the project management function itself as one of the deliverables in the WBS." (Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2010; 778-783)
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