Understanding Project Scope – Work Breakdown Structure

Although the WBS is an important document to ensure that all team members have a good understanding of the project scope as it breaks the entire project down into bite-sized work packages, it does not seem to be granted a high level of importance in Singapore.

The people whom I have spoken to have seldom/never come across a WBS in the course of managing their projects. Considering the high delay rate of projects in Singapore (which I read about some time back, can’t remember from where though), perhaps we should pay more attention to documents and processes that can help us manage our projects better.

2 thoughts on “Understanding Project Scope – Work Breakdown Structure”

  1. I had used WBS in the course of a personal project — sort of a “try it out and see how it works” kind of thing. It does work and does work effectively under the right circumstances, but a few commentaries:

    1. It’s quite a bit of work. It takes effort to analyse, break down, and chain the WBS up correctly, and as the project progresses, you have to spend effort to keep it updated properly.

    2. Not a lot of tools out there makes it easy for you to do it right. I used MS project, a rather dated version admittedly, and it’s very fussy and picky IMO. Makes it more difficult to maintain.

    3. It can be demoralizing. A WBS done right just makes the project seems overwhelming, with hundreds if not thousands of things to do.

    Does it bring benefits to the project? Definitely. Does it bring a lot of value? I don’t know, it feels a bit borderline-ish. It’s a long of work and not the most positive thing in the world.

  2. Actually Point 3 is interesting because what the WBS shows might just be true (that the project does indeed have a lack of resources)!

    I have to admit that creating and maintaining a WBS may be time consuming, but I suppose its rather a lot like insurance — it’s always a pain to pay the premium but you’ll count your blessings once you need to make a claim! 🙂

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