How to Craft a World-Class Work Breakdown Structure

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1 How to Craft a World-Class Work Breakdown Structure Laura Miller, PMP 1 Copyright Copyright Hewlett-Packard Development Development Company, Company, L.P. The L.P. information The information contained contained herein herein is subject is subject to change to change without without notice. notice.

2 What is a WBS? Why do we need one? Overview Major input to the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is the Scope Statement Project Planning uses the Scope Statement as starting point WBS is last step in defining Scope Scope Statement will likely be updated after full WBS and Schedule creation The Scope Statement Puts boundaries around the project (i.e., what s IN and what s OUT ) Includes description, high-level deliverables, key milestones, success criteria, assumptions, constraints Work Breakdown Structure: Sub-divides the project objective into smaller, more manageable components Gives clear view of the work required and organizes the work activities Serves as a basis for estimating, assigning resources, and managing/controlling the work 2

3 What are the benefits of a WBS? Group Input Please provide a benefit for building and/or using a WBS 3

4 WBS Benefits Benefits Helps to determine sequence of work Clarifies responsibility and assignment of work Creates a baseline to measure performance Provides an excellent tool for communication to the stakeholders Ensures the scope of work is covered Assists in controlling change 4

5 WBS Decomposition Examples WBS needs to convey the decomposition of work Can be in prose, outline form Can be graphical in an org or hierarchical tree chart Approaches Process or Activity-Oriented By different activities or flow E.g., Needs Analysis, Purchasing, Testing Generic Levels in WBS 1.0 = Project name 1.x = Subsystems or Phases 1.x.x = Major deliverables 1.x.x.x = Sub-deliverables 1.x.x.x.x = Work Packages Each work package has a unique identifier Achievement-Oriented By final state to meet objectives E.g., Acceptance of System per Plans Function or Product-Oriented By different parts of final product E.g., Hardware, Software, Data, Service 5

6 What approaches have you used to build WBS? Group Input Has anyone used achievement-oriented approach? Has anyone used function or product-oriented approach? Has anyone used process or activity-oriented approach? What techniques have you used to collect information from team members to create WBS? 6

7 Real-life Example Project Scope Objectives 1. Business Objective: Modernize the kitchen Description: Meet current building standards for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Update all fixtures and appliances. 2. Business Objective: Facilitate meal preparation and flexibility of meal delivery Description: Ensure 2 persons can work in the kitchen at the same time to prepare meal and can streamline delivery of meals for dining 3. Business Objective: Manage within the specified budget Description: Make design and execution decisions such that cost does not exceed 10% of appraised value of residence Which Approach could be Selected? Process or Activity-Oriented By different activities or flow E.g., Needs Analysis, Purchasing, Testing Achievement-Oriented By final state to meet objectives E.g., Acceptance of System per Plans Function or Product-Oriented By different parts of final product E.g., Hardware, Software, Data, Service 7

8 Real-life Example Project Scope Objectives 1. Business Objective: Modernize the kitchen Description: Meet current building standards for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Update all fixtures and appliances. 2. Business Objective: Facilitate meal preparation and flexibility of meal delivery Description: Ensure 2 persons can work in the kitchen at the same time to prepare meal and can streamline delivery of meals for dining 3. Business Objective: Manage within the specified budget Description: Make design and execution decisions such that cost does not exceed 10% of appraised value of residence WBS Outline 8

9 Example, con t WBS Graphical Tree Levels in WBS 1.0 = Project name 1.x = Subsystems/Phases 1.x.x = Major deliverables 1.x.x.x = Sub-deliverables 1.x.x.x.x = Work Packages 9 9

10 Let s Practice You are the PAINT team lead In Visio decompose your scope to work packages 10

11 Sequencing Considerations Ordering: Put list of activities in logical order Consider when the tasks should start, should be completed, or should be worked on Check the sequence and determine if something isn t flowing correctly and rework it Not only logical, but consider what is feasible and desirable E.g., Task # 5 starts before task # 4 is completed because it s more feasible Constraint: What is keeping tasks from being started at the same time or finishing on time? E.g., Resource availability, Client timing for delivery of product, Certain manufacturer on short-list Dependency: How are tasks related and dependent on one another? E.g., Can task #3 get started before task #2 ends or is it dependent on task #2 being completed? Use a network diagram to show dependency relationship, using arrows /lines to show connections 11

12 Sequencing, con t Example & Discussion Click over to view the Visio of the PAINT WBS and answer the following questions. Ordering: What are examples of ordering on our PAINT WBS example? Constraint: What might keep PAINT tasks from being started or finishing on time? Dependency: What are examples of dependent PAINT tasks? Can you identify different types of dependencies? (FS, SS, FF) What type of dependencies exist to tasks in other WBS towers? 12 12

13 Estimating Considerations Duration is the time elapsed to complete the task; typically in days Effort is the number of hours the task will take for the assigned resource to expend E.g., 9 hour effort task will take 3 days in duration to complete since resource is assigned only 33% because has assignments on other tasks/projects Typically, consider a 5-day work week and not a 7-day calendar week or holidays for duration Scheduling software can be set to remove non-workdays from the calendar Types of Project Estimating 1. Top Down Estimating: high level estimating by comparing similar projects. 2. Bottom Up estimating: estimates at the work package level from start to finish 3. Quantitatively based estimates: based on productivity rates for a repetitive type of task As the PAINT team lead - What method of estimating would you recommend? How could you use the other methods? 13

14 WBS Build Challenges Scenario Needing for Rolling Wave When drafting initial Scope Statement, PMs are often asked to provide project-related estimates Dates for key milestones or deliverables Level of required resources o o Capital / Equipment Personnel Need to estimate dates and resource loads before detailed planning can begin Need to start project when latter phases on project not known or not yet funded Rolling Wave Definition/Process Plan in detail only what you really know for certain through a period of time, i.e. planning horizon Use placeholders to convey the major deliverables or phases just not the decomposition Additional detail is added to schedule at key points in time Cross industry term: Planning Package Conversion Repair any breaks in scheduling standards Set a new Baseline 14

15 WBS Dictionary What is it? Document generated to support the WBS Provides a detailed description of the WBS components and assists in providing a further clarification of work, to help set expectations for stakeholders. It can include: 15 Identifier and Component Name Description of Work Resource Could also include: Milestones Estimates Organization Information Quality Requirements Acceptance Criteria Related Activities Need to validate the value of creating one Some software creates this for you Helpful on very large projects

16 Snapshot of Project Schedule Next Step with WBS In MS Project look how the Renovate Kitchen WBS is portrayed Scheduling Standards include: Be consistent in the WBS Decomposition Predecessors, successors, resources & costs are applied only to Work Packages There should be only one task without predecessor; one task without successor Milestones are zero duration and can be the phase s tasks successor Group Input What are the key things to remember to do when building a WBS? 16

17 WBS Points to Remember Guidelines Involve team members Use appropriate and sufficient collaboration tools Complete decomposition at one level before drilling down to next level Evaluate lowest level and verify that together, they accomplish the next level up Create milestones that convey a completed deliverable Zero Duration Phrase as statement of fact Create work packages to be easily assigned and estimated Best practice = 8 hours < work package < 80 hours Phrase as Verb-Object to convey activity Any Final Questions? 17

18 THE END Applause is acceptable 18 Copyright Copyright Hewlett-Packard Development Development Company, Company, L.P. The L.P. information The information contained contained herein herein is subject is subject to change to change without without notice. notice.

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