A WBS is a deliverable-centric grouping of work activities, broken or decomposed into smaller task or work packages. The WBS defines and documents the scope of work within any project. The multiple approaches to create WBS are as described below (Schwalbe, 2012).
- Analogy Approach – This entails review and analysis of the WBS of similar projects, previously executed, to customize and adjust to the needs of current project. This approach accelerates WBS creation.
- Top-down Approach – This encompasses work items decomposition by beginning with the largest, high-level or wider body of work, into smaller, manageable, functionally distinct work items (a.k.a. Work Packages).
- Bottom-up Approach – This is opposite of Top-down approach entailing defining and documenting smaller tasks and then rolling them up or group them to deliver meaningful milestones or deliverables.
- Mind-mapping Approach – This adopts a technique to branch out a main idea into thoughts and ancillary ideas. It facilitates collection, organization and visual representation of thoughts to facilitate decision-making and project planning, using mind-mapping software (Lewinson, 2012).
Lewinson, M. (2012). Mind Mapping for Project Planning and Management. Retrieved from: http://www.mymanagementguide.com/mind-mapping-for-project-planning-and-management/Schwalbe, K. (2012). Introduction to Project Management, Fourth Edition. Kathy Schwalbe LLC