2: WBS

WBS stands for Work Breakdown Structure. As the name suggests, WBS breaks down the broadly classified works packages into successively smaller ones. It is a hierarchical structure, with the level of detail increasing as you go down from broader work packages to their smaller constituents (incremental breakdown).

Let us take an example of the construction of a multi-storeyed building. In this case, the project then is to construct this building. This is the first work package, at the very broadest level. This work package can be broken down into the following:

  1. Engineering
  2. Construction

Of course, there could be additional smaller packages, such as Procurement. However, you will decide how you want to disintegrate your larger work packages. For this example, we will limit ourselves to the above two.

Breaking the first two packages further, Engineering could encompass Design and Approvals (of drawings & materials). Similarly, Construction could be divided into construction of foundation, construction of the floor at ground level, construction of the floor above ground level, construction of the next higher floor, and so on. The following sub-packages depict this breakdown.

  1. Engineering
    • 1.1 Design
    • 1.2 Approvals
  2. Construction
    • 2.1 … (element xyz) 
    • 2.2 Foundation Works
    • 2.3 Ground Floor Works
    • 2.4 First Floor Works
    • 2.5 … and so on.

The construction packages can be further sub-divided into structural, architectural, and other works for each floor.

  1. Engineering
  2. Construction
    • 2.1 … (element xyz) 
    • 2.2 Foundation Works
      • 2.2.1 Structural Works
    • 2.3 Ground Floor Works
      • 2.3.1 Structural Works
      • 2.3.2 Architectural Works
      • 2.3.3 Electrical/Mechanical Works
    • 2.4 First Floor Works
      • 2.4.1 Structural Works
      • 2.4.2 Architectural Works
      • 2.4.3 Electrical/Mechanical Works

This breaking down can be continued till desired results are achieved. Now let us see how to create the above WBS in Primavera P6.

Go to Project menu >> click on WBS. You will be taken to the WBS view which will be blank except for the name of the Project being shown as the lone element.

Click on the Add button in the top right hand corner. You will see a WBS level added under the Project with WBS Code-1. Bring the cell selection under WBS Name by clicking it and give it the name of Engineering. Click on ADD again. Notice that this time the new WBS element has been added as a sub-level of Engineering. Use the arrow keys to bring it at the same level as Engineering. You don’t have to change the WBS Code number. Just rename it to Construction. In a similar manner, we will add all other WBS elements that wesaw above for our building project.

After all the WBS elements have been created, click on Project >> Activities. This will take you back to the project view and all the WBS elements which have been created should be visible on the screen.

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