This is a work breakdown structure in its purest form: All tasks, no dates. Developed for a mechanical hardware/software integration project, it runs from charter to installation without descending to an unmanageable level of detail.
What this is
This Microsoft Project file demonstrates development of a WBS in its purest form: All tasks, no dates. It was developed for a mechanical hardware/software integration project, and provides a great example of a real-world work breakdown that runs cradle-to-grave (or in this case, charter-to-installation) without descending to an unmanageable level of detail.
Why it's useful
This project file illustrates many of the key principles of a good WBS: coherent work packages, managing to the appropriate level of control, identifying tasks and work required before identifying dependencies and deadlines, and so on. Commonly overlooked items like testing and signoffs are called out, providing an integrated reminder to include schedule time for these critical activities. Work packages are included for mechanical, electrical, and software engineering, as well as procurement, construction, and even documentation. It's a great example of a thorough WBS that is allowed to be just a WBS -- a tool for the planning and scheduling process, rather than the result of it.
How to use it
Double-click on the file icon to open the Microsoft Project schedule file, then save it to your hard drive. Review its WBS structure, resource allocation, estimates, etc. for ideas for your own project's work breakdown and scheduling. Edit it to create your own template if desired.
Note: You must have Microsoft Project installed in order to edit this file. If you don't have MS Project you can still view the file using one of the many MS Project viewers on the market. (Google on "Microsoft Project viewer" for scads of possibilities.) You may also want to look into Microsoft's 60-day free trial offer.
Carl Pritchard is the principal and founder of Pritchard Management Associates and a recognized lecturer, author, researcher, and instructor. He is considered a leading authority on risk management, and writes and presents on a variety of topics, ranging from project essentials to the complexities of network diagramming and team motivation. His work as an instructor has taken him around the world, training with some of the leading international training organizations as well as for private clients and the Project Management Institute®. He is also the U.S. Correspondent for the U.K. project management journal Project Manager Today. Carl regularly consults and coaches on project management, presentation skills, risk, distance learning, and course development. He holds a B.A. from the Ohio State University, and is a certified Project Management ProfessionalTM as certified by the Project Management Institute. To learn more about Carl and his work, visit www.carlpritchard.com.
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