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In principle, the WBS is a very simple tool. It is a diagram with the project deliverable at the top, and different branches below representing all the deliverables to reach the final deliverable..

Introduction

The WBS was developed by the US Department of Defense as part of the Polaris Project in 1957. But it will only be in 1962 that NASA will publish an article on this technique..

The principle

Used to help planning major projects, on its principle, the WBS is a very simple tool. It is a diagram with the project deliverable at the top, and different branches below representing all the deliverables to reach the final deliverable. 

The example below is a “piece “ from the WBS for the development of a rocket by NASA.

Construction rules

The 100% rule

It is necessary that all the elements to be delivered in each of the stages represent all the elements actually to be done. Clearly, all sub-deliverables = total deliverable.

Mutually exclusive elements

Each of the intermediate deliverables is “unique” in the sense that it does not overlap with another. This would lead to duplication of work and problems in cost accounting.

Decomposition by results and not by actions

CIs the most relevant point of the WBS. It “force” from the end, from the deliverable defined with the client, to go back to the beginning of the project by breaking it into sub-deliverables. Sub-deliverables will be split into actions.

 

Level of WBS

Depending on the size of the project, several levels of WBS will be implemented. Level 1 being that of the project as a whole, then the cell X splits into a new WBS…

WBS and Mindmapping

 

The WBS is a tool with the same issues as the Mindmapping, which is none other than ordered high level  all the deliverables of the project.

Below is an example of Mindmapping about organizing a meeting.

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