Project Management Institute

Component-based work breakdown structure (CBWBS)

The naval shipyard community has responded to recent cost performance pressures+- with the Advanced Industrial Management Program (AIM), an ambitious initiative to reengineer their business processes. In contrast to the former functional organization, the focus of the redesigned shipyard management organization is now interdisciplinary project teams (IPTs) led by individual project managers. A modified work breakdown structure (WBS) was created to incorporate the individual components of a ship, broken out from the work tasks applied to them. These component units (CUs) became the structure around which all work could be planned, packaged, and executed, regardless of its production phase. This article describes the component-based work breakdown structure (CBWBS), and reports on how the CBWBS prototype worked during its 1993 implementation on the $61 million modernization of a nuclear submarine at Charleston Naval Shipyard.
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