Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence
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.
The Role of the Work Breakdown Structure.
Defining Work Breakdown Structure.
The Importance of the WBS.
A Brief Story as an Illustration.
Defining the WBS.
The House Metaphor: a Consistent Example.
CHAPTER 2: APPLYING WBS ATTRIBUTES AND CONCEPTS.
WBS Core Characteristics.
WBS Use-Related Characteristics.
WBS Uses beyond the Project.
Chapter Quiz .
CHAPTER 3: PROJECT INITIATION AND THE WBS.
Preliminary Scope Statement.
Contracts, Agreements, Statements of Work (SOW).
CHAPTER 4: DEFINING SCOPE THROUGH THE WBS.
Product Scope Description.
Project Scope Statement (Scope Definition).
Work Breakdown Structure.
Beginning with the Elaborated WBS.
CHAPTER 5: THE WBS IN PROCUREMENT AND FINANCIAL PLANNING.
Build vs. Buy Decisions.
Cost Breakdown Structure.
Chapter Summary .
CHAPTER 6: QUALITY, RISK, RESOURCE AND COMMUNICATION PLANNING WITH THE WBS.
Approaching Quality, Resource and Risk Planning.
Using Existing Templates and Processes.
Creating Processes to Support the Project.
Utilizing the WBS as a Basis for Process Development.
Employing the WBS and WBS Dictionary.
The Whole is not Greater than the Sum of it?s Parts: It Equals Precisely 100% of the Sum of it?s Parts.
Communications Planning Using the WBS as a Foundation.
Developing the Communications Plan.
The Communications Matrix.
The Hierarchy of Information.
The Meeting Matrix.
CHAPTER 7: THE WBS AS A STARTING POINT FOR SCHEDULE DEVELOPMENT.
Demystifying the Transition from the WBS to the Project Schedule.
Putting These Concepts to Work.
The WBS in Hierarchical Outline Form.
Identifying Dependencies between Scope Elements.
Representing Scope Sequence and Dependency.
Creating a High-Level Scope Sequence Representation.
The Concept of Inclusion.
The Scope Relationship Diagram.
Creating a Scope Dependency Plan .
CHAPTER 8: THE WBS IN ACTION.
Acquire Project Team.
Direct and Manage Project Execution and Integrated Change Management.
Scope Management and the Triple Constraint.
Relationship with Other Project Management Processes.
Perform Quality Assurance.
CHAPTER 9: ENSURING SUCCESS THROUGH THE WBS.
Project Performance Management.
Planned vs. Actual.
End of Chapter Quiz on Topics / Concepts.
CHAPTER 10: VERIFYING PROJECT CLOSEOUT WITH THE WBS.
Acceptance / Turnover / Support / Maintenance.
CHAPTER 11: A PROJECT MANAGEMENT WBS.
Organization Options for a Project Management WBS.
Project Management WBS Components Aligned with the PMBOK? Guide: Third Edition.
Project Management WBS Lite.
Conclusion: A Final Word.
Appendix A: Project Charter Example.
Appendix B: Project Scope Statement Example.
Appendix C: Project Management WBS Examples.
Appendix D: Answers to Chapter Quizzes.
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.