In order to improve productivity and make the job more manageable, project management experts can divide a large project into smaller tasks using a work breakdown structure (WBS). A work breakdown structure is a hierarchical organisation of the tasks necessary to complete a project, according to the PMBOK guide.

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Why Use a WBS for Project Management?

The most important stage in creating a project schedule is creating a work breakdown structure (WBS), which aids in outlining the sequence in which tasks must be done to achieve a project’s goals and objectives.

It can be helpful for separate project teams to concentrate on individual tasks rather than the overall project by breaking huge and complex projects down into smaller, more manageable jobs. By effectively allocating resources to the various project tasks, the project team is guaranteed to adhere to the project scope.

The project team can benefit from a well-organized job breakdown structure in the following ways:

  • Project planning
  • Project scheduling
  • Project budgeting
  • Risk management
  • Task management 
  • Team management

Work breakdown structure also aids in avoiding other frequent project management problems, such as cost overruns and missed deadlines. Learn more in this comprehensive article.

The Work Breakdown Structure’s Goals

A work breakdown structure is primarily used to schedule projects by specifying the duration of each activity, followed by its subtasks. Hence, a project manager can effectively oversee the workflow while also determining how the project will advance with the use of WBS.

Types of WBS

Deliverable-based and phase-based work breakdown structures are the two most popular variants. The project can be divided into phases based on time or scope by the project manager.

1. Deliverable-based

The project is divided into manageable key project scope areas utilising a deliverable-based work breakdown structure, which is then further subdivided into work packages and project deliverables.

2. Phase-based

The goal of a phase-based work breakdown structure is to complete a project according to its five distinct phases:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Control
  • Closeout 

the same as deliverable-based, therefore. Work packages and project deliverables are separated within the phase-based WBS.

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WBS components

Listed below are the elements of a work breakdown structure:

  • Tasks- title, description, and number ID of each task
  • Task owner- Whoever is responsive for a particular task of the WBS
  • Task dependency and predecessors- The task manager may link two tasks together 

if the completion of one depends on the other.

  • Start and end date of a task- Time estimate for each task completion.
  • Duration of the task- number of hours/days a task will take for completion.
  • Work estimation- number of hours/days required to complete the task.
  • Task status- Whether in progress, late, resources assigned, etc.
  • Gantt Chart – A graphical layout of the WBS.


A WBS is a fantastic tool for increasing the project’s efficiency and manageability. To handle and manage the difficulties of a sizable corporate project and finally achieve effective results, every project manager uses a work breakdown structure.

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