Creating a successful project plan can be a challenging task for any project manager. One essential tool that can make this process easier is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) which helps the project manager and team to break down the project into smaller, more manageable components. A WBS is a hierarchical decomposition of the project into smaller work packages that provide a clear understanding of the project’s scope, deliverables, and timelines (Park & Cai, 2017). The WBS format should be easy to read and understand, with a level of detail that allows the project team to understand the work that needs to be done while preparing a clear project roadmap. This paper explores how to create a WBS for a project of interest, such as building a house or planning a wedding.
1. Define the scope of the project by clearly outlining all necessary tasks and descriptions
Defining the scope of a project is an essential aspect of successful project management. The scope outlines the tasks required for the completion of a project, sets boundaries, and provides a roadmap for the project’s direction. Therefore, when creating a WBS for a project, it is crucial to identify all the necessary tasks and descriptions, including timelines, resources required, and dependencies between tasks. To create an effective WBS, it is necessary to break down bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones, resulting in a hierarchical, top-down model of the project’s work. Each level of the WBS should provide enough detail to ensure the project team can understand the work’s nature, scope and complexity Siami-Irdemoosa et al., 2015)
. Additionally, the WBS should be detailed enough to allow for clear objectives and deliverables. Only through careful and comprehensive identification of the project’s scope can the WBS be accurately created to provide a reliable and detailed plan for executing the project.
2. Outline the milestones and objectives of the project
When creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for a project, it is essential to outline the milestones and objectives of the project. This document titled “Create a WBS for a project of interest” requires a detailed task description that includes the level of detail required and the format of the WBS. When creating the WBS, it is important to consider the scope of the project and include work that must be done in the breakdown structure (Park & Cai, 2017). The WBS should describe the project, answering specific questions related to the scope of the project, objectives, and milestones. By doing this, we can determine the various tasks involved in the project and how they are interrelated to achieve our objective of completing the project.
3. Break down the individual tasks of the project into manageable pieces
When managing a project, it can be overwhelming to try to keep track of all the different moving parts. One effective way to handle this is to break down the individual tasks of the project into manageable pieces. This process is known as creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and it involves identifying all the necessary activities related to the project and organizing them in a hierarchical structure. To create a WBS for a project like building a house or planning a wedding, it is important to start by defining the scope of the project to determine the main deliverables. From there, activities can be identified and categorized into smaller groups until each task represents a specific, manageable piece of work. The WBS should include detailed task descriptions and estimated timeframes for each task. The format of the WBS can vary, but most commonly involves a tree-like structure that illustrates the hierarchy of the project activities (Park & Cai, 2017). Overall, creating a WBS is an important step in managing project scope, time, and resources effectively.
4. Create a visual representation of the work breakdown structure in the form of a diagram or chart to visualize the project’s scope and structure
One important step in the project management process is creating a visual representation of the work breakdown structure (WBS) in the form of a diagram or chart. This tool allows project managers to clearly visualize the scope and structure of their project, breaking down the work into smaller, more manageable tasks. When creating a WBS for a project of interest, such as building a house, planning a wedding, or any other project, it is important to include a sufficient level of detail to ensure that all work is accounted for. This includes selecting specific tasks and providing detailed descriptions of the work to be done stated Siami-Irdemoosa et al., 2015)
. The format of the WBS should be clear and easy to understand, with clear connections between each task and how it fits into the overall project scope. In summary, creating a comprehensive WBS is a critical component of any successful project management plan.
In conclusion, creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is an important step in project management. It allows for a clear understanding of the project’s scope, timeline, and required resources. When creating a WBS for a project of interest, it is essential to determine the level of detail needed and the format that will be used. Additionally, detailed task descriptions should be provided for selected tasks to ensure proper execution of the project. Whether building a house, planning a wedding, or embarking on a unique project, a well-constructed WBS provides a foundation for success.
As project managers, we spend a significant amount of time planning, executing, and monitoring projects to ensure that they stay within scope, budget, and schedule. However, despite our best efforts, projects can still suffer from scope creep. Scope creep refers to the uncontrolled changes or additions to the project scope, which can lead to project delays, budget overruns, and ultimately, project failure. This paper will explore two examples of projects that suffered from scope creep and try to determine why. Additionally, we’ll discuss specific actions, tools, or techniques that project managers can use to prevent or reduce the impact of scope creep on their projects.
1. Analysis of a project by the San Francisco International Airport, which experienced scope creep due to a lack of proper project management tools and techniques.
The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) stands as an example of a project that suffered from scope creep due to inadequate project management tools and techniques. SFO started its Terminal 1 Redevelopment Program, a $2.4 billion enterprise, in 2016, with an initial completion goal in 2024. The project aimed to reconstruct the terminal, including a new boarding area, and renovate related facilities. Unfortunately, in 2020, the project experienced significant scope creep, leading to a $190 million budget overrun and a two-year delay in completion. The cause of the scope creep was due to the complex and multifaceted nature of the project, coupled with inadequate project management tools and techniques. If SFO had implemented proper project management tools like a well-defined scope statement and a controlled change process, the scope creep would not have been as severe stated Madhuri and Suma (2014). Additionally, regular project reviews with proper tracking and monitoring mechanisms would have identified the delays and cost overruns earlier, enabling the team to rectify issues promptly.
2. Examination of a software development project for an online travel agency, which experienced scope creep due to poor requirements management and inadequate stakeholder engagement.
The examined case is a software development project for an online travel agency that suffered from scope creep due to poor requirements management and inadequate stakeholder engagement. The project had a defined scope, timeline, and budget at the outset but quickly deviated due to unclear project requirements and stakeholder expectations. This led to numerous change requests and revisions throughout the project lifecycle, resulting in delays and increased costs. The project team failed to implement effective change management and lacked proper communication channels with key stakeholders, including the online travel agency’s customers. To prevent or reduce scope creep in similar projects, project teams can employ various actions, tools, and techniques such as defining clear project goals, involving stakeholders in the requirements gathering process, creating stakeholder engagement plans, utilizing prioritization matrices, and implementing agile methodologies (Madhuri & Suma, 2014). Additionally, utilizing project management software that allows for easy change tracking and management can help ensure project scope stays on track.
Scope creep is an insidious project management issue that can result in unhappy stakeholders, missed deadlines, and significant cost-overruns. After researching two examples of projects that suffered from scope creep, it is clear that this issue can arise from inadequate planning, poor communication, and a lack of stakeholder engagement. One of the most effective ways to reduce the likelihood of scope creep occurring in future projects is to implement specific project management tools and techniques. For example, a Change Control Process and a Scope Management Plan can help to establish clear boundaries around what is and isn’t included in the project scope stated Madhuri and Suma (2014). By utilizing these tools, stakeholders can more effectively communicate their needs and requests, while project managers can evaluate the impact of those requests on the project schedule, budget, and overall deliverables. By proactively managing scope and changes, project managers can ensure that their projects are delivered on time and within budget, while also meeting stakeholders’ needs and expectations.
Park, J., & Cai, H. (2017). WBS-based dynamic multi-dimensional BIM database for total construction as-built documentation. Automation in Construction, 77, 15–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2017.01.021
Siami-Irdemoosa, E., Dindarloo, S. R., & Sharifzadeh, M. (2015). Work breakdown structure (WBS) development for underground construction. Automation in Construction, 58, 85–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2015.07.016
Madhuri, K. L., & Suma, V. (2014). Influence of domain and technology upon scope creep in software projects. International Conference on Advances in Electronics Computers and Communications. https://doi.org/10.1109/icaecc.2014.7002443post 2023-08-09 15:12:25