Have you ever wondered if your daily work might be project work? The definition of a project is “a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”. So, if you are handling project work without you knowing, I would like to share with you a basic tool called “WBS” which might allow you to better manage your work.

What is WBS & How it Helps?

WBS stands for Work Breakdown Structure. In project management, WBS is one of the tools to manage project work more effective by breaking project work into smaller tasks to make the work more manageable and approachable. Yet a lot of the time WBS is often undertaken without appropriate team involvement or buy-in.

Sometimes in a project, scope creep might occur. So, it is important that WBS is being done properly and obtain the team buy-in within the early project phase. The reason for having the team buy-in on the WBS is because it covers all the necessary work that needs to be done to complete the project. Failing to do so might cause project reworks, schedule delays and additional resources needed.

WBS need to be created at the beginning of the project. All project team members should be involved in the creation to decrease the risk levels of the project and increase the rate of success. The WBS focuses on the project deliverables. It is the “WHAT” of the project. If a task is not in the WBS, it’s not in the project. The WBS also works as a communications tool with the stakeholders and will be the key input into major components of your project plan.

WBS Work Breakdown Structure

Example of WBS

Now, let’s look at some of the WBS examples. Typically, the project name goes at the top of a WBS. The next level is the development life cycle. The subsequence levels break the project into deliverables, which are then broken down into smaller component deliverables, and ultimately creating work packages.

This is an example of WBS in the format of an organisation chart.

Work Breakdown Structure WBS Organisation Chart


And this is another WBS example created in Microsoft Excel.

Work Breakdown Structure WBS Microsoft Excel


Now that we have a better understanding and the benefits of creating a Work Breakdown Structure for your project works. Let’s make it a practice on creating one whenever you are assigned any project work.


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