Within reason, is there such a thing as a project that is too complex to complete? Consider the Space Shuttle. One of the most complex machines ever built, the Space Shuttle had over 2.5 million parts, each of which had to be accounted for by someone. How did anyone manage to track and properly assemble these parts? The answer is through the application of a work breakdown structure (WBS). A WBS is a fundamental tool that project managers use to organize and divide the work of a project. A WBS focuses on breaking down a project’s scope into individual deliverables that may be created by assigned team members.
There are multiple work breakdown structure formats and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Project managers select a type of WBS based upon the specifics of the project they are managing. Each WBS format emphasizes different aspects of a project. These varied perspectives may each be appropriate, depending upon what information a project manager needs.
In this Discussion, you analyze different WBS formats and evaluate whether they meet basic criteria for clarity.
- Explore the Work Breakdown Structure Formats document included in this week’s Learning Resources. The document presents a scenario and three corresponding WBS formats that pertain to the scenario. (SEE ATTACHED PDF FILE)
- Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each WBS format included in the document.
- Think about the level of detail dedicated to task information in each WBS format. Evaluate the formats based on the following criteria for clarity:
- The task has a measurable status or completion.
- The task has defined start and end events.
- The task has a deliverable.
- The task’s time and cost are easily estimated.
- The task can be completed without interruption and additional input after its start.