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Work Breakdown Structure – Software Engineering

Last Updated : 02 Jan, 2024
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A Work Breakdown Structure includes dividing a large and complex project into simpler, manageable, and independent tasks. The root of this tree (structure) is labeled by the Project name itself. For constructing a work breakdown structure, each node is recursively decomposed into smaller sub-activities, until at the leaf level, the activities become undividable and independent. It follows a Top-Down approach.

Steps Work Breakdown Structure:

Step 1: Identify the major activities of the project.

Step 2: Identify the sub-activities of the major activities.

Step 3: Repeat till undividable, simple, and independent activities are created.


Work Breakdown Structure

Construction of Work Breakdown Structure

  1. Firstly, the project managers and top level management identifies the main deliverables of the project.
  2. After this important step, these main deliverables are broke down into smaller higher-level tasks and this complete process is done recursively to produce much smaller independent tasks.
  3. It depends on the project manager and team that upto which level of detail they want to break down their project.
  4. Generally the lowest level tasks are the most simplest and independent tasks and takes less than two weeks worth of work.
  5. Hence, there is no rule for upto which level we may build the work breakdown structure of the project as it totally depends upon the type of project we are working on and the management of the company.
  6. The efficiency and success of the whole project majorly depends on the quality of the Work Breakdown Structure of the project and hence, it implies its importance.

Uses of Work Breakdown Structure

  1. Cost estimation: It allows doing a precise cost estimation of each activity.
  2. Time estimation: It allows estimating the time that each activity will take more precisely.
  3. Easy project management: It allows easy management of the project.
  4. Helps in project organization: It helps in proper organization of the project by the top management.

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