Work Breakdown Structure Training: What are the Project Management Benefits?

Benefits of Work Breakdown Structure TrainingDeveloping a work breakdown structure is not always easy. It can be demanding and require a lot of time and effort. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start and so you may put off developing the WBS and then rush it through so that it is over and done. Work breakdown structure training will give you the skills to approach work breakdown structures, even for complex projects, with confidence and ease. The work breakdown structure is the foundation of sound project management. Every major planning component of the project kicks off from the work breakdown structure. So the ability to prepare a comprehensive WBS is an essential project management skill. Work breakdown structure training will help you stop procrastinating and develop work breakdown structures with certainty.

Some of the benefits of work breakdown structure training are that you can:

  • Produce a WBS that is complete and accurate. This reduces risk by decreasing the likelihood that important work is missed.
  • Accurately subdivide the project into smaller work packages. This has dual benefits of making tasks easier for project members to manage and allowing key milestones to be identified.
  • Use the most beneficial layout depending on whether you are developing, communicating or presenting your WBS.
  • Engage project members in the development of the WBS.  Involving project teams and expert resources in creating the detailed steps of the WBS encourages discussions that: 1) clarify uncertainties and ambiguities, 2) identify assumptions-both correct and incorrect, 3) narrow and define the project scope, and 4) raise important issues at an early stage. Seeking high levels of participation to prepare the WBS produces well-defined tasks, allows resources to be assigned to specific tasks, and creates accountability and commitment among the project team.

Because the WBS is the foundation for other crucial project planning processes, this results in a number of flow-on project management benefits:

  1. The WBS is an essential tool to define the project scope. It clearly defines what is included, and what is not included, in your project scope and deliverables.  Establishing this early on is very helpful in client interactions. It prevents a lot of misunderstandings and results in much happier clients.
  2. The WBS lays the ground work for accurate project costing. A detailed WBS helps carry out bottom-up project costing and estimating. And bottom-up estimating is the most accurate estimating method. Inaccurate estimating, particularly if it leads to cost overruns, causes conflict with clients.  A well-defined WBS, which contributes to accurate estimating, again leads to satisfied clients.
  3. An accurate Project Schedule can only be developed after a comprehensive WBS, which includes all tasks, is generated. Accurate scheduling increases the probability that your project will be completed on time and meet client delivery dates.
  4. A well-defined WBS reduces the risk of projects failing to meet goals and objectives. Because it identifies all tasks required to complete the project, the WBS reduces the potential for conflict on what is and is not included in the project, reduces the likelihood that key work will be omitted, and allows forward planning to ensure adequate resources will be on hand to complete project tasks.
  5. The WBS can be used to manage outsourced service providers as well as internal project team members.
  6. An effective WBS means project tasks can be delegated and managed. Because the work is properly defined, it can be scheduled, costed, implemented, monitored and controlled. This allows you to measure progress and ensures that your projects will be delivered on time, on budget and on scope.

Work breakdown structure training helps project managers and project team members develop the skills and techniques to prepare work breakdown structures with confidence. Project team members understand how to work together to create detailed work breakdown structures that they are accountable for and committed to. This significantly increases the probability that projects will be successfully planned and delivered, which in turn leads to happier clients, and more relaxed and productive team members.

stakeholder identification For busy professionals who need to meet continuing professional development requirements and boost their career opportunities, our online courses provide a flexible and cost-effective way to achieve this by providing anywhere, anytime access and a supportive online community. Continuing Professional Development offers a series of online project management courses to advance your project management skills and your career. Click here to find out how our Work Breakdown Structure Training Course will give you the practical skills to develop a comprehensive work breakdown structure.

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About the Author

Vivian Kloosterman is the founder of Continuing Professional Development which delivers online learning courses over the web. Advancing personalized learning has been identified as one of the 14 biggest challenges facing our world in the future, and Vivian is particularly focused on creating interactive, engaging e-learning courses for professionals that are practical and relevant to help them meet CPD requirements. She is a professional engineer with 30 years of business, governance, management and technical experience.

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