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01 March 2015

WBS: Work Breakdown Structure or Wild Bovine Secretion

David A. Zimmer
David A. Zimmer, PMP
Chief Project Professor
American Eagle Group

WBS: Work Breakdown Structure or
Wild Bovine Secretion

PMBOK® Guide Definition:

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

Work Package: The work defined at the lowest level of the work breakdown structure for which cost and duration can be estimated and managed.

Work Breakdown Structure Component: An entry in the work breakdown structure that can be at any level.

100% Rule: The total of the work at the lowest levels should roll up to the higher levels so that nothing is left out and no extra work is performed.

Practical Definition:

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):  A deliverable-oriented, hierarchical decomposition of the project. Deliverables (work packages) create the results of the project so the project objectives are met.

Work Package:  The project deliverables defined so they can be accurately scheduled, resourced, and budgeted. They are described as the “nouns” of the project – tangible project results. Also known as work packets.