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WBS Delive­rables

1. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

One of the main reasons for producing a WBS is to focus your thinking. Take a top down view and document the major work areas. You can then subdivide further if the major work areas are too big.
Level-1
Start with an overall project
Level-2
Determine major delive­rables / products to be produced. What major interm­ediate or final products or delive­rables must be produced to achieve the project’s object­ives?
Level-3
Divide each major delive­rable into its component delive­rables in the same manner.
Level-4
Divide each of these work pieces into its component tasks. What delive­rables must I have to complete these compon­ents?

2. Start the project plan

1. All delive­rables go into the project plan as milestones
2. A second set of milestones are the delive­rables ready for QA. For example 'Brief ready for approval'. These occur close to the final delive­rable but allow time for rework.
3. Add all the tasks or actions required to produce these delive­rables. Estimate the time for each task.
Important notes:
• Don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘if all goes well it will take #’. Be realistic. Some tasks will go to plan and some will take longer. Some may take less but these rarely cancel out the overruns.
• There will be tasks that become evident only after the project is underway. Consider making allowance in the plan for unspec­ified tasks. Look for any milestones along the way. Add these to the plan.

Key terms and defini­tions

Work Breakdown Struct­ure
Proj­ect
Deli­ver­ables
Delive­rables are milest­ones, not tasks
Includes internal and external delive­rables
External delive­rables
things the project produces for the organi­sation
Internal delive­rables
Things the project produces to enable the project to continue towards completion
Major Delive­rables
Major areas of work within the project. One or two words.
Interm­ediate Delive­rables
Component delive­rables to be completed for each major delive­rable
Mile­sto­nes
completion of a delive­rable. Starts with a noun.
Tasks
Work packages for each Interm­ediate Delive­rable. It must start with a verb.
 

3. Depend­encies

Now start to add depend­enc­ies:
1. Look for what needs to be done before each step can be undertaken
2. Create your depend­encies
a. May lead to changing the order in your Gantt chart to make it more logical
 
b. Might need to create another level in your WBS to clearly identify a group of activities
Example: WBS heading “Feasi­bil­ity”. When you add your tasks and milest­ones, you realize that there are two major chunks of work: Plan and carry out workshops, and write a report. It may be worth creating two levels called “Works­hops” and “Report”

4. Resourcing

1. You can now work out who is going to do all this work
2. Add resources to the tasks
3. Next to milestones only put one name, the person respon­sible for delivery

5. Review the Plan

Check the plan to make sure it is well struct­ured. Here ten checks to carry out:
Are all delive­rables included as milest­ones?
Do they have a quality check scheduled if required?
Is there time for rework after QA?
Are the work too big? Can you go down another level with the WBS?
Do all the tasks start with a verb
Do all the mile stone start with a noun?
Milestones keep focus, are there regular milest­ones?
Are all depend­encies in place?
How reliant is the timing on everything going exactly as planned? Is there a buffer when something doesn't go to plan?
Are resources assigned to all tasks and milest­ones?

Big Verbs

Finalise
Resolve
Handle
Look into
Submit
Maximise
Organise
Design
Complete
Ensure
Roll out
Update
Install
Implement
Set-up
Develop
Construct
Define
Note: Most big verbs pop open to reveal they contain lots of little verbs

Little Verbs

Call
Organise
Review
Buy
Fill out
Find
Purge
Look into
Gather
Print
Take
Waiting for
Load
Draft
Email

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