Once you are done with the Define Scope process, the next process in your journey of Scope Management knowledge area is the Create WBS process. WBS stands for Work Breakdown Structure. Below is the PG-KA mapping,
Create WBS is often described as the most important process in Scope Management knowledge area. The reason for that is simple, this is where you create the Work Breakdown Structure or the WBS which is the main output of the entire Scope Management knowledge area.
The formal definition of Create WBS process is,
The process of subdividing project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable components. This process provides a framework of what has to be delivered.
WBS is the most important output of this process that completes the Scope Baseline. You might recall the equation from Basics of Scope Management below,
Scope Baseline = Project Scope Statement + Work Breakdown Structure + WBS Dictionary
Let’s look at other inputs, tools and techniques and outputs of this process,
- Scope Management Plan (from Project Management Plan)
- Project Documents
Tools and Techniques
- Scope Baseline (remember the equation – Scope Baseline = Project Scope Statement + Work Breakdown Structure + WBS Dictionary)
- Project Documents Updates
Work Breakdown Structure
Now that we understand the Create WBS process, let’s talk about the Work Breakdown Structure itself.
If you are a newbie in Project Management, one of the many weird terms, you need to get yourself acquainted to, is the WBS. Every single thing that anyone on the project team, including you as the project manager, needs to do is documented in the WBS. The ‘work’ in Work Breakdown Structure refers to work products or deliverables that are the result of activity and not to the activity itself. Thus, WBS isn’t a document that merely lists all the project activities.
Actually, breaking up the definition of WBS into two parts can help comprehend it much better,
- WBS is ‘deliverable’ oriented (not ‘activity’ oriented)
- WBS is a hierarchical decomposition of the work
So WBS is basically a way to organize the project team’s work into manageable parts.
An example of a WBS is below,
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