Project Management Institute

Doing the weebis and the obis

new dances for project managers?

When a new discipline begins to mature, one of the first things that practitioners often do is create a lexicon of acronyms representing the discipline's primary concepts, practices, and principles. Project managers are no different, generating such abbreviations as WBS, OBS, and RBS. But as the discipline matures, and the acronyms are more frequently used, the meanings associated with the original concepts often change. This article looks at how the concepts of WBS, OBS, and RBS are changing in light of new frameworks and software to apply these concepts. In doing so, it discusses the red flags that project managers should look out for when applying a framework, or using an application, that seems to offer the functionality of established project management concepts. It defines the concepts of outline, WBS, RBS, and OBs. It then summarizes the capabilities of numerous project management software programs--categorized by cost into three groups: low-end, mid-range, high-end, and upper high-end--to determine which applications provide the functionalities that closely resemble an established concept's primary meaning and those offerings which deviate from a concept's primary meaning. Accompanying this article is a sidebar detailing the similarities and differences between the concepts of WBS, OBS, and RBS.
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