Fundamentals Of Project Management

Fundamentals Of Project Management

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Unformatted text preview: ped on the floor. I could use a vacuum cleaner to get dirt out of the carpet. I could wash the windows and wipe down the walls. I might also dust the furniture. All of these tasks are subtasks performed to clean the room. As for vacuuming the room, I might have to get the vacuum cleaner out of the closet, connect the hose, plug in the machine, push it around the room, empty the bag, and put it back in the closet. These are even smaller tasks to be performed in accomplishing the subtask called vacuuming. The diagram in Figure 4-1 shows how this might be portrayed in WBS format. Note that we do not worry about the sequence in which work is performed when we do a WBS. That will be worked out when we do a schedule. However, you will probably find yourself thinking sequentially, in spite of this suggestion, since it seems to be human nature to do so. The main idea of doing a WBS is to capture all of the tasks. If you find yourself and other members of your team thinking sequentially, don’t be too concerned, but don’t get hung up on trying to diagram the sequence, or you will slow down the process of task identification. Figure 4-1 Work breakdown structure for room-cleaning project. The typical WBS has three to six levels, and these can be named as shown in Figure 4-2. It is, of course, possible to have projects that require a lot more levels. Twenty levels is considered to be the upper limit; such an undertaking would constitute a huge project. Note that level 1 is called the program level. The difference between a program and a project is just one of degree. Figure 4-2 Names for work breakdown structure levels. www.erpvn.net When you are developing products, the task level (as I have called it) will be a component of the overall thing being developed. For example, if we are designing an airplane, we might develop the fuselage, wing, navigation system, engines, and so on. While these are actually things, it is still an activity to develop them; I therefore call all of the boxes verbs, even though they result in things (nouns). It really does not pay to get hung up on semantics except when very precise terminology is needed for clear communication. Then you must adhere to a system as defined by the user. Previous Table of Contents Next Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement. www.erpvn.net Fundamentals of Project Management by James P. Lewis AMACOM Books ISBN: 0814478352 Pub Date: 01/01/95 Search Tips Search this book: Advanced Search Previous Table of Contents Next Title GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING THE WBS ----------- One important question to ask when constructing a WBS is when to stop breaking down the work. The general guideline is that you stop when you reach a...
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