Project Management Institute

A new look at the WBS

project breakdown structure

This article suggests that the term Project Breakdown Structure (PBS) is more descriptive than Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and proposes that the job of preparing a PBS is an artistic blending of process structures (life cycle phases), product structures (physical components), and organizational structures (inputs). Once the PBS has been produced, it can be used to create such tools as a master summary plan (MSP) for use in reporting to top management, a responsibility matrix that ties the organization chart to PBS elements, a project chart of accounts, and a critical path network (CPN) plan, which provides a more detailed look at activities, time estimates, and resource usage than the PBS. The PBS can also provide the basis for work order systems and reporting and control systems.
registered user content locked

Log in or join PMI to gain access

or Register



Related Content


Publishing or acceptance of an advertisement is neither a guarantee nor endorsement of the advertiser's product or service. View advertising policy.