Work Breakdown Structure

Work breakdown structure templates or WBS templates are tabular formatted diagrams commonly used in project management and system engineering. Work breakdown structure helps project managers and system engineers to breakdown their team’s project deliverables into smaller, manageable components. This work breakdown structure helps to concentrate and perform the vital task and eliminate those that are not crucial to get the intended result. With our Work breakdown structure template collection, Project managers and their team can define their project deliverables and milestones to concentrate on each portion of the project. The WBS templates are an ideal tool for helping managers formulate a proper plan to deliver the task and get them executed to receive the outcome. In WBS, the deliverables can be an object, service, or activity.

On a related note, you can also browse through our stunning collection of Project Management Templates to showcase project management-related activities and plans. Learn more about how to plan and prepare a great Project KickOff.

What is a WBS template in project management?

Project managers use a work breakdown structure to break down the larger phases of the project into smaller tasks, which can then be scheduled and easily assigned. The work breakdown structure templates are a way to visualize your deliverables and the tasks needed to complete them. This is a key element in splitting deliverables into smaller tasks so that the work is manageable.

Is a Gantt chart a WBS?

The purpose of the Gantt chart is to show multiple activities or tasks in one chart along with their timelines; scheduling is a major activity in any project. Simultaneously, a work breakdown structure is used to divide the complex activities in a project into simpler ones. A WBS also shows the amount of time required to complete a task or subtask.

How do you create a WBS diagram?

A good Work Breakdown Structure is created using an iterative process by following these steps and meeting these guidelines:

  1. GATHER CRITICAL DOCUMENTS
    • Gather critical project documents.
    • Identify content containing project deliverables, such as the Project Charter, Scope Statement.
  2. IDENTIFY KEY TEAM MEMBERS
    • Identify the appropriate project team members.
    • Analyze the documents and identify the deliverables.
  3. DEFINE LEVEL 1 ELEMENTS
    • Define the Level 1 Elements. Level 1 Elements are summary deliverable descriptions that must capture 100% of the project scope.
    • Verify 100% of the scope is captured. This requirement is referred to as the 100% Rule.
  4. DECOMPOSE (BREAKDOWN) ELEMENTS
    • Begin the process of breaking the Level 1 deliverables or tasks into lower Level deliverables or tasks.
    • Continue breaking down the work until a single individual or organization manages the work covered in each Element.
  5. CREATE GANTT CHART SCHEDULE
    • Decompose the Work Packages to activities as appropriate.
    • Export the Work Breakdown Structure into a Gantt chart for scheduling and project tracking.

What are the different types of WBS?

There are two different work breakdown structures: 1) Deliverable-oriented WBS and 2) Process-oriented WBS.

A deliverable-oriented work breakdown structure decomposes the project scope into smaller and more manageable deliverables. On the other hand, a process-oriented WBS defines the project scope of work in terms of process steps. It defines what process steps need to be taken to deliver each of the project deliverables.

What are the levels of a WBS?

Usually, there are three levels of task decomposition in a work breakdown structure. You can make more levels in case of extremely complex projects. For most projects, however, three levels will be sufficient.