1. Home
  2. Docs
  3. Chapter 32. Project Management Lifecycle Guide-Through
  4. 5. Planning Phase
  5. Working Breakdown Structure

Working Breakdown Structure

Download PDF

Working Breakdown Structure is one of the project management document you can create with our project management lifecycle tool.

Work Breakdown Structure describes the work that must be done to complete the deliverables of a project. The root element is the context element, which is typically the name of the project. Each descending level in the WBS represents an increasingly detailed description of the project activities. The development of Work Breakdown Structure involves subdividing the major project activities or sub-activities into smaller, more manageable activities until the activities are defined in sufficient detail to support the management and development of project works. The items at the lowest level of a branch are known as work packages.

This article shows you how to develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

Activity 1: Conduct Planning Kick-off Meeting

Conduct a kick-off meeting with all the participants of this phase.

Activity 2: Perform Work Breakdown

Draw a work breakdown structure diagram

Identify and organize major project activities as work packages, with the use of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a hierarchical description of the work that must be done to complete the deliverables. Each descending level in the WBS represents an increasingly detailed description of the project deliverables.

Work Breakdown Structure: Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Diagram

Complete the WBS Dictionary

The Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary (WBS Dictionary) lists all the WBS elements involved in a project. Each WBS element has a definition which can be thought of as a mini scope statement. In this step, you are required to enter the definition of each of the WBS element created in the Work Breakdown Structure.

Work Breakdown Structure: WBS Dictionary

Detail the work packages

Detail the work packages, which are project activities extracted from the lowest level of branches in Work Breakdown Structure.

Work Breakdown Structure: Work Package Portfolio

Activity 3: Realize Work Packages with Use Cases

Draw a use case diagram that depicts the association between work packages and use cases.

In the previous activity you have developed the Work Breakdown Structure and detailed the work packages. While some of the work packages involve manual procedures, some are development activities that lead to the completion of final deliverables. In order to transit the work packages into manageable requirements or project tasks, derive use cases from the work packages. Here are the steps in detail:

  1. Create a use case diagram. The work packages defined in Work Breakdown Structure can be found by using the Model Extractor.
  2. Evaluate the work packages and create use cases from them. Since a use case is a high level business goal, it is pretty likely multiple work packages are satisfied by a single use case.
  3. Draw the actors and connect them with the use case. Actors are people who will gain benefit from achieving use case(s).

Work Breakdown Structure: Use Case Diagram