Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

In this chapter

  • Clarify what a work breakdown structure (WBS) is, and is not
  • Understand why the WBS is considered the most important tool of the project manager
  • Learn what makes an effective WBS
  • Learn how to avoid the common mistakes when developing a WBS

If you were to ask anyone off the street what they think of when they hear "project management," you are likely to hear "planning." And if you further ask them what they mean by "planning," you are likely to hear "schedule" or "work plan." Yes, even to the uninitiated, people know that project managers "plan" and develop "work schedules," if they do nothing else.

Yet, the process of understanding all the work that needs to be done and building a realistic project schedule continues to be the Achilles' heel of project management.

In this chapter, we begin our close review of the schedule development process by understanding the power and the purpose of the work breakdown structure (WBS). By performing this step correctly, we will do a much better job at the other detail project planning activities such as identifying resources, identifying risks, getting better estimates, building a realistic schedule, and developing an accurate project budget. In addition, a solid WBS allows us to better manage stakeholder expectations and the critical success factors throughout the project life cycle.

As part of this review, we will clarify exactly what a WBS is (and is not), we will understand why the WBS is crucial to our other project management activities, and we will learn how to develop an effective WBS and avoid the common miscues in this arena.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project





Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
EAN: N/A
Year: 2006
Pages: 169
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