Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Work Breakdown Structure

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The project

The Department of Public Works (D.O.P.W) commissioned the organisation I work for to design and construct a five-storey building that will be used as an office building in Durban. A project team was assembled, and I was made the project manager. Upon going to a site inspection, it was revealed that the site the construction will take place has problematic soil. We therefore needed to make use of deep foundations in our design.

What is a Work Breakdown Structure(WBS)?

The A Guide to the PMBOK (2013: 593) describes a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) as “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.”
Gido,J. and
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Participants also gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the entire project.
Potential to create a more complete list of tasks
Disadvantages of the bottom up approach
Complexity in establishing process into logical steps/phases.
Project team must make sure major project objectives are not overlooked
Challenging to remain focused on the big picture.
Complexity in creating a complete list of tasks
The mind-mapping approach
The mind-mapping approach was useful in that it allows the project team to map out the project items in a non-linear mind-map fashion and then develop a Work Breakdown Schedule. This technique is a visual documentation approach where the main project idea is written in the middle and further ideas linked to the project are portrayed branching out from there.
Brainstorm sessions were held for this mind-mapping approach. The sessions would involve team members across various organisational divisions and levels. This would assist with defining project tasks that would be performed throughout the organisation at all
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The reason we need a WBS is that it can breakdown even the most complex projects into small manageable tasks. A WBS therefore gives a complete and precise overview of what must be accomplished within each deliverable. Several approaches exist in the creation of a WBS. The most common being using organisational guidelines, analogy, top-down, bottom up and mind-map approach. The approach the project manager uses should be decided on a project-by-project basis. Depending on the project constraints (scope, cost, time, quality), requirements, assumptions made, objectives, risks and any other influential

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