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Friday, May 06, 2005

Project Requirements and the WBS

The project manager is responsible for controlling a project's requirements. To start the process of managing requirements the project manager works with the team to create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

A couple of things to keep in mind regarding a WBS are:

A WBS should identify the level tasks to be completed, and relate to the project’s deliverables.

The customer(s), project sponsor, and stakeholders are actively involved in creating the WBS.

The WBS helps avoid future "scope creep".

As you can see the WBS is an important project artifact. The WBS accomplishes several things:

It assists the project team to identify and create specific work packages

It is another way of communicating the project's objectives to the team

It is the foundation for future project planning and activity sequencing

In closing, a WBS summarizes deliverables, shows work relationships, helps the team to estimate costs and perform risk analysis, and assists the team to identify project assumptions and dependencies.

The WBS is your friend. Start taking time to create one for every project.

2 comments:

Scott said...

You state..."To start the process of managing requirements the project manager works with the team to create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)."
(1.)Are you referring to project requirements or product requirments? and,
(2.)How would you charaterixe the difference between the two?

ProjectSteps said...

Sometimes your WBS can refer to both, however there are always exceptions and you need to determine what works for you. See below.

As taken from the website: http://www.hyperthot.com/pm_wbs.html

Product or Process Oriented?

The WBS was initially defined as a product oriented family tree, however subsequent definitions have introduced more flexibility -- so a WBS can also be deliverable or process oriented. Your WBS can be built on nouns or verbs. If the results of your project are primarily verbs, then a verb based or process based WBS may make more sense. If your WBS is to be product or deliverable oriented, then you can start by thinking of the WBS as a parts list for the ultimate end-items of your project. This link will give a simple illustration of a product or process based WBS orientation. These differences are not shown to tell you what is the right way for your project, but just to familiarize you with the distinctions, so you can think about them and choose what's best for your project.

See also: http://www.hyperthot.com/pm_wbs_concepts.htm