Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Developing a work breakdown structure
Chapter 2: Developing a work breakdown structure
Creating efficient structures for breaking down work into achievable tasks is a perennial concern for team leaders. In fact, there’s even an unofficial bible for it.

The Project Management Institute’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge is a globally recognised set of guidelines for project management. It’s now in its sixth edition and what it advises evolves over time.

The Guide provides detailed analysis of how a work breakdown structure (WBS) can be created and maintained, and looks at how good practice can be developed so that colleagues’ knowledge, skills, workplace tools and management techniques, can enhance the chance of success.

It, too, looks at how the different phases of a project are key to breaking it down into manageable chunks, and identifies a timeline of five distinct parts of work, which it calls ‘process groups’. These are typical of most projects, most of the time, and contain a specific type of task.

One more phase should be added to these five. After the project is complete, the team should review each of the phases or ‘process groups’, assessing where pain points occurred, how they were overcome, and what could be done differently next time.