Making a WBS – WBS Standards Method

Posted on February 2, 2010 by

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A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which is a deliverable-oriented hierarchy of the work to be done on a project, can be created through several methods. According to the Project Management Institute’s Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures, common methods include: Top-Down, Bottom-Up, WBS Standards, and WBS Templates.

Organizations possessing project management maturity are most likely to have organizational standards in place for creating a WBS. Applying this method of creating a WBS is simply adhering to the organization’s standards. These standards could include the requirement that certain elements that must be included in all WBS’s, a certain format, and a prescribed coding and/or naming scheme. A benefit of this method is that there is consistency across projects in the organization. However, a one-size-fits-all approach does not always work well, and if one forces a fit in these situations, problems may occur such as missing or extra elements in the WBS. It is important to be able to recognize if a particular project requires an adjustment to the organization’s standards.