Amacom - Modern Project Management (Ocr) - 2001 ! - (By Laxxuss)

Today government program offices primarily oversee

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Unformatted text preview: 2. But there is a significant difference, as shown in Figure 8-3. Figure 8-3 shows what is called a Contract WBS. The hierarchy at the upper right of Figure 8-3 that begins with the "Fire Control" box is what is called a Program WBS. A Program WBS is to be product oriented. The Defense Department's work breakdown structure handbook states that "In order to use the work Figure 8-3. The contract WBS for a government project. Page 222 breakdown structure as a framework for the technical objectives of a program, the work breakdown structure must be product oriented." In the example shown in Figure 8-3, the Product WBS is for a Fire Control System. Figure 8 -3 is a simplification of Figure 3 -3 of the handbook. The product orientation of a government WBS is not always bad. Often the product-oriented breakdown structure reflects the way the product will be built and therefore coincides with the definition of a WBS that was given in Chapter 2. The problem with this concept is that the product orientation does not always coincide with the way the work will be performed. The government project management officials recognize that this often presents a problem for contractors, and the Contract WBS is their view of how to solve this problem. Shortly we will consider why it often does not. Why does the government want to make a WBS product oriented? There was a time when government program offices and labs were more involved in the design and engineering of the facilities and systems that they purchase. Today, government program offices primarily oversee the work of contractors who build these facilities and systems. The emphasis now is on requirements definition and on the monitoring of the contractors. Since program offices today have proportionally smaller staffs, and since the contractors deliver products, it is easier for them to focus on the things they are getting from the contractors than on how the contractors actually build the products they deliver. Moreover, contractors prefer not to have the government program office staff monitoring the details of their work, so they are, for the most part, happy with the solution the government has proposed. The government solution is to take the Program WBS hierarchy and the OBS of the organization performing the work and to form what in mathematical terms is called the cross-product of these two structures. This cross-product is what they call the Contract WBS. It is that part of Figure 8-3 that appears in the lower right part of the figure. Page 223 According to the DOD handbook, the Contract WBS consists of cost accounts or control accounts, each one of which is determined by a (sub)product in the Program WBS and an organizational unit in the contractors OBS. These cost accounts in turn contain work packages. The handbook gives little guidance on the relationship of these work packages to each other or on the relationship of the tasks within them, other than to acknowledge that within a cost account, budgets, schedules and responsibility come together. Sec...
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This note was uploaded on 01/11/2011 for the course ACC 9 taught by Professor Yeetan during the Spring '10 term at Sunway University College.

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