project management WBS structure




WBS and the process of structuring projectmanagement

stucture and proces

The process of a project should be defined at the start of the projectmanagement cycle. There has to be a clear structure that will focus on the important decision points in the projectprocess. To achieve a clear and common known process, at first, you should build your project around the most significant phases. This way the project process is recognizable for everyone involved. After that you can work on a wbs structure (wbs stands for Work Breakdown Structure).

A work breakdown structure stands at the base of a project and the plans. Making a good and complete WBS, you should use the help and view of important team members. An example of a wbs is given below.


Project phases and decision documents

The phasing of a project can be a little different depending on the type of project you face. You can define the phases with different names but basic projecmanagement phasing is mainly set up like this:

  1. Inititiaton phase - the main product should be a clear projectefinition.
  2. Definition phase - the main product should be the projectplan.
  3. Design phase - the main product should be the design of your projectresult.
  4. Preperation phase - the main products is a executionplan, licenses and all needed to start executing the plans.
  5. Excuting phase - the main product is offcourse the final result.
  6. Closing phase - the main product is the closing and evaluation of the project.

Sometimes people speak of a monitor and control phase, but the work of monitoring and controlling your project is what projectmanagement is all about; in fact this happens whitin all the phases named above.


WBS, structure and phasing

When you make a start with your projectplan, you have to start writing down all the the areas and activities you need to focus on to get the results you want. A work breakdown structure, or WBS, is a model that can be used for this purpose. In this model you devide the workload in the named phases and appoint the needed area's, tasks and activities under thes phases. When you do this, with your projectteam, you can even use the complete outcome of these activities as the base of your RACI-model, discussed on our TEAM page, and as a subject in your PROJECTPLAN.

Here is an example of a basic WBS (Work Breakdown Structure):


wbs example

This wbs example should give you an idea of how you can set up your basic wbs.

The activities must be filled with the things that need to be done to get to the tasks above and the final projectresult that you and your projectteam are aiming for.


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