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Work Break down Structure (WBS) – Some important aspects

Work Break down Structure (WBS)

In simple terms Work Break down Structure (WBS) is the break down of the entire work that needs to be done into different work packages and placing them in a hierarchy structure.

Work Package

It is the lowest level component of WBS. It is the smallest amount of work that can produce a verifiable outcome.

PMBOK defines WBS as a hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

In the context of WBS, work refers to work products or deliverables that are the result of activity and not the activity itself. Check Work Package VS Activity and for more clarity.

Important Points about WBS

  • It is a graphical picture of the hierarchy of the entire scope of project work.
  • It is the foundation upon which the project is built.
  • It identifies all the deliverables to be developed as part of the project. Deliverables not in the WBS are not part of the project. WBS is deliverable oriented. (decomposed till each end is a deliverable).
  • WBS should exist for every project.
  • WBS does not show dependencies. 
  • WBS is the primary output of “Create WBS” process.
  • Each component of WBS must have a Unique code (Code of Account).


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