Making a WBS – WBS Templates Method

Posted on February 3, 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.

The WBS Template method begins with a generic template that is filled in with project-specific information. So rather than starting from scratch each time, we are re-using existing materials. This method resembles the WBS Standards method in that both promote consistency across an organization. Project Managers should always be cautious that the resulting WBS is truly representative of the current project and does not include extraneous components from previous projects or has components missing that happen to not fit neatly into the template. Some projects are especially unique and a template should not be the final authority. However, as there are also commonalities across projects, this method can often make the Create WBS process faster.