Project Management is an ongoing process and does not have a defined start and end time.
Work Breakdown Structure
When looking at project management it is important to keep in mind that a project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of tasks designed to accomplish a singular goal. The work breakdown structure (WBS) is basically a tool and communications language that enables a lot of information to be conveyed and tracked.
The WBS has a number of benefits in addition to defining and organizing the project work. A project budget can be allocated to the top levels of the WBS, and department budgets can be quickly calculated based on each project's work breakdown structure. By allocating time and cost estimates to specific sections of the WBS, a project schedule and budget can be quickly developed.
As the project executes, specific sections of the WBS can be tracked to identify project cost performance and identify issues and problem areas in the project organization.
By integrating the work breakdown structure with an organizational breakdown structure, the project manager can also identify communication points and formulate a communication plan across the project organization.
When a project is falling behind, referring the work breakdown structure will quickly identify the major deliverables impacted by a failing work package or late sub- deliverable. The work breakdown structure can also be color coded to represent sub- deliverable status. Assigning colors of red for late, yellow for at risk, green for on-target, and blue for completed deliverables is an effective way to produce a heat-map of project progress and draw management's attention to key areas of the work breakdown structure.
In Short - A work breakdown structure enables:
· The project to be broken down into work elements of a manageable size.
· Work elements to be worked on independently.
· Responsibility for task quality and completion to be delegated to different people.
· Coordination of resources to be available where and when they are needed.
· Monitoring of progress against the project plan.
What is or are the benefit(s) of a work breakdown structure?
- The WBS is defining and organising the project.
- The Project Manager is appointed by using the WBS
- Department budgets can be quickly developed by using the WBS
- The project schedule and budget can be quickly developed by using the WBS.