Work breakdown structure (WBS) is a representation, usually in a chart or hierarchical form, of the work packages for a project. It defines the complete scope of the project. The subject matter experts collaborate to identify and define the components of the WBS. Effort should be geared towards achieving the desired outcome, which is determined by the successful and timely completion of the work packages and the associated deliverables. Avoid clouding your plan with irrelevancies and do not trivialize this part. When you are developing the WBS always ask the questions: Why is this work package or activity important? To which deliverable is this activity relevant?
Work breakdown structure (WBS) is a prerequisite for creating the project schedule. A very good tool for creating a WBS is the Mind Manager Pro (a mind mapping tool) or Microsoft® Project or their combination. My preferred method is to start with the Mind Manager Pro and migrate to Microsoft® Project to develop a comprehensive project schedule. WBS and schedule can be created in Mind Manager Pro, which provides the creative medium to brainstorm with the project team members. For example, this guide was planned using the Mind Manager Pro to create the outline (a form of WBS), brainstorm ideas and develop the contents.
A subset of the WBS for this guide development is shown in Figure 33.
Figure 33 – Work Breakdown Structure