6 Benefits Of Using WBS Project Management
The work breakdown structure allows the project team to clearly see the deliverables and work that need to be completed in a project. WBS uses a lot of value, especially for the scope management process, planning process, requirement collection, and scope definition process. This article will explore how you can benefit from the uses of WBS as a project manager and the best practices of using this methodology when leading a project team.
There are six major factors that contribute to the WBS process, all listed below:
Benefits of a WBS
- Helps prevent work from slipping through the cracks
- Provides the project team members with an understanding of where their prices fit into the overall project management plan and give them an indication of the impact of their work on the project as a whole
WBS is used to keep everyone on the project team accountable so that no work or projects fall behind or are forgotten about. WBS project management allows the team to have guidance on what needs to be done and the priority level of each task. As a result, no team member will waste their time on tasks that do not help continue to the completion of necessary objectives. Project teams will be more focused on the scope and be able to deliver high-quality results to the customer.
WBS project management also helps the team understand how the work they do will contribute to the overall project outcomes. For example, if a member is working on an engine for a car, work packages will help the employee better understand how their work will impact the project and project scope. WBS helps the project team view how each activity plays a role in helping to fulfill client needs.
Uses of WBS:
- Facilitates communication and cooperation between and among the project team and other stakeholders
- Helps prevent changes
- Provides a basis for estimating staff, cost, and time
WBS project management also helps to manage and maintain effective collaboration between the project team and clients. WBS helps the team understand the priorities of each task and what should be completed first based on goals, remaining work, and available team members that can help continue. All of this can be talked about to the clients and stakeholders using the methodology provided by WBS project management. Work packages can also help everyone get on the same page.
WBS project management can allow project teams and stakeholders to plan more effectively so that they can avoid change requests down the line. Preventive and corrective actions occur in any project, but it is important to avoid changes caused by unclear or misleading guidelines. WBS project management helps to lay out the breakdown of the project scope and small details pertaining to important deliverables.
WBS project management can help project teams make accurate assumptions when estimating staff, cost, and time. It can be difficult to predict exactly what will be needed, especially if a project is large-scale. However, if all of the work is divided into work packages, these alone can be separated and estimated carefully instead of only looking at the project as a whole. Bite-sized work packages will be easier for the project team to analyze.
Create WBS Process:
WBS is the foundation of the project. Almost everything that occurs in planning after the creation of WBS is directly related to WBS.
- Project costs are estimated at the work package level
- Risks are identified by work package
- Work packages are assigned to individuals or parts of the organization
The foundation of every project is deeply rooted in WBS project management. Everything that happens during the planning phase of a project is directly related to the management process as a whole. Since WBS project management shows a smaller picture of deliverables that must be completed, it is essential to the planning phase. Cost, resource, schedule, and team estimations are all completed after analyzing WBS project management findings.
- Project costs are estimated using work packages. WBS project management shows tasks in bite-sized pieces, so that cost analysis can be done at a smaller scale. This way, the cost of each work package combined is used to equal the total of the entire project budget.
- During the risk planning phase, any risk that is associated with WBS project management is highlighted, and all possible complications are identified using WBS project management.
- Work packages are also assigned to individuals or small sections of the organization to make management easier on the team as a whole. Each work package is usually small enough to distribute to one team member or section of the organization, for example, a department or focus group.
What happens after the creation of WBS?
Create WBS Process:
- Activity list
- Network diagram
- Quality management
- The activity list of a project shows which activities need to be completed during the project in order to complete the desired project scope outlined by the team and client. The activities that need to be performed first will be outlined in the work packages under the WBS.
- Network diagrams show the correspondence project activities from start to finish. For example, if you are working for an app, you cannot test the platform until the engineering and product team are finished. Or, in a prototype building project, you cannot test the prototype until the structure itself is built. Network diagrams show how each of these tasks blends together in order to complete the desired project scope. Network diagrams can be understood as an initial map of a project.
- One of the most important tasks Human Resources will face is Staffing. Before distributing work within a project, it is essential to know what staff will be available to help. Human Resources must determine the skill set of each individual and what they are able to complete.
- The estimation process is also done with the help of WBS project management. WBS shows an initial outline of the project as a whole, so it is used to estimate cost, time, resources, and other materials.
- Next up is scheduling. Scheduling helps the project manager and client understand when tasks will be started, and when they are estimated to be completed by. Once a network diagram is completed, time estimations are made for each work package.
- Budgeting is also a crucial step in WBS project management. The total budget will show the sum of money needed to complete a project to the client’s liking. In order to make budgeting more manageable, the project team will break up parts of the project into work packages and then some the estimate of each work package to Total the estimated cost of the project.
- During the project life cycle, quality management activities are essential. quality management is also a part of WBS project management so that the team knows the work they are doing will be to the client’s satisfaction
How to Use WBS?
So what is the use of WBS? How can you best use it for your project?
WBS can be used to:
- See if the new scope is within the planned scope of the project when there is a scope change to the project
- Evaluate the impacts of changes on scope
- Control scope creep by reminding everyone that work needs to be done
- As a communication tool
- Help new team members see their roles
- When a change request occurs, the project team must check the project scope and ensure these changes align with the estimated budget. WBS project management shows the overall project scope making it easy for the project manager to see if the new requirements will fit into the initial plan.
- WBS project management can also be used to help estimate the potential impact changes will have on the project as a whole. While a small change might seem minor at the moment, it can affect other parts of the project down the line. WBS project management shows the hierarchy of each work package and deliverable. Project managers can use the WBS project management philosophy to see the true impact changes will have on the desired outcome of a deliverable.
- Scope creep is a natural part of the project management process. This occurs when a project team forgets to complete a certain task which eventually creates a bottleneck down the line. WBS project management can help teens stay on track and remind them to revisit the work breakdown structure.
- It’s no secret that communication is key when it comes to project management. WBS project management can serve as a communication tool and liaison between the project team and stakeholders.
- Last but not least, WBS project management can help new team members who join see how their role impacts the desired outcome of a project. This is especially true if new team members are added after the project management process has already begun.
We hope this article helped you better understand the top 6 benefits of using WBS project management!