Download these Free Work Breakdown Structure Templates in MS Word Format to help you prepare your Work Breakdown Structure easily.
When it comes to projects especially large projects, estimation is never the answer. To successfully deliver what’s expected, you need to understand what the client wants to see in the final product, how much time the team has to deliver, and what important milestones the project has. This way when a larger project is divided into smaller milestones, its completion time and costs can be estimated clearly. A work breakdown structure is one of the most common documents used by project managers. This document clearly defines what a project is, its deliverables, and the duration to complete the final product. Unlike a scope of work document, a work breakdown structure focuses on what should be delivered instead of how it will be delivered.
Key Reasons to Use Brief Work Breakdown Structure:
- It allows calculating the almost exact cost of the project
- It helps define how each part is dependent on others
- It creates a specific timeline and required duration for completion
- It helps create the Scope of the Work document
- It allows the team manager to estimate the required manpower
- It successfully distributes the load of work
- Assigning specific responsibilities with a work breakdown structure is easy
- Throughout the project, it can provide help in checking the progress level
- It can point out the risks and hurdles in the initial stage
Free Work Breakdown Structure Templates
Here are preview and download links for these Free Work Breakdown Structure Templates in MS Word Format,
Guidelines to Create Work Breakdown Structure:
- Select a specific WBS method:
When it comes to working breakdown structures, there are various approaches and methods but two of them are more famous including; tree structure and tabular structure. It’s very obvious from the name that in a tree structure, the breakdown looks like a tree with various branches coming out of the stem. The stem itself is the full project and each bigger branch is the subcategory and then each smaller branch is the workload. On the other hand, the tabular structure is created in the form of a table where the first column on the left is the name of the project, the second column includes important categories and the third column mentions the workloads of each category. Depending on your needs and requirements, you can select either approach.
- Get the input data and relevant details:
To get started with the work breakdown structure, you need various elements and an explanation of each component. You can either get the information about each component or you can just have the scope of the project document. This document clearly defines the key objectives, main deliverables, costs, estimated timeline, and expected outcome of the project as well as the acceptance criteria. Once you fully understand what features and components the final product should have, you can easily start creating the WBS.
- Define key deliverables and their components:
This is the main part of creating WBS. At this stage, everything is clear to you about the project and the end product. You have also selected a specific method of work breakdown structure i.e. tree method or tabular method. Now it’s time to start creating the WBS. First, put the name of the product in the first box at the top. Then create subcategories of the important milestones after that and draw a line that starts from the top box to each of the milestone boxes. Then divide each milestone into smaller and manageable workload assignments. It’s important to first understand the dependencies and then enlist the workloads according to their dependencies on each other.
- Divide assignments among team members:
At this stage, you have a clear picture of what important components a project has, how these components are divided into subcategories, and where each workload is placed on the chart. The work breakdown structure is completed at this stage and now you need to assign each workload to a team member or an entire team depending on the size of the workload. This way not only that each team member will have a clear understanding of their role in the project execution but they can also ask for a briefing on their part if it’s not cleared.