5.3 Critically Defining the Work Breakdown Structure

The Work Breakdown Structure has different levels depicting the levels of the project deliverables. The upper level of the Work Breakdown Structure reflects on the main project deliverable work areas. They are often categorized into logical groups of the project works. However, the upper levels’ content may defer depending on the project type and the industry in which the project falls into. On the other hand, the lower Work Breakdown Structure levels facilitate the provision of appropriate details and focus that support project management processes, for instance, schedule development, resource allocation, estimation of costs and scope, and risk evaluation. In contrast, the lowest Work Breakdown Structure components are referred to as work packages that entail the definitions of the project bids’ work to perform or track. The work packages can later be employed as input that aids in the scheduling

processes, thus supporting the expansion of resources, tasks, and milestones. 

There are various characteristics linked to high-quality Work Breakdown Structure. They are as follows.

Deliverable-oriented: A Work Breakdown Structure must be deliverable-oriented since it defines the project’s capacity to complete its processes and phases successfully. 

Hierarchical decomposition: All Work Breakdown Structure must have hierarchies. Decomposition denotes the planning approach that supports the subdivision of the project scope and deliverables into smaller, manageable, and achievable components. The hierarchical decomposition comprehensively and clearly defines the project scope into individualized deliverables that the project stakeholders or team can easily understand. 

The 100% Rule: The 100% Rule in Work Breakdown Structure reveals that the structure should encompass 100% of the work that has been defined by the project scope and project deliverables, both internal and external. The rule is considered to be among the core principles that guide the development, decomposition, and assessment of the Work Breakdown Structure. Further, the rule must apply to all hierarchical levels.

Multiple representations: The representation of the Work Breakdown Structure can take various forms, including tabulated, graphical, and textual views. The basis of the chosen representation must be on the specific needs of a given project. The figures/images below illustrate examples of the various forms of representation depending on the format and elements of specific projects. 

Figure 5.1: Outline View Format

Retrieved From: (Brotherton, Fried, & Norman, 2008)

Figure 5.2: Organizational Chart Format of the Work Breakdown Structure

Retrieved From: (Brotherton, Fried, & Norman, 2008)

Figure 5.3: Centralized Tree Structure or Tree Structure of the Work Breakdown Structure

Retrieved From: (Brotherton, Fried, & Norman, 2008)

Emmanuel Addo

Emmanuel Addo is the founder of the Young Global Leaders Network, an international non-governmental organization registered in six (6) countries namely, Ghana, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan and has a membership strength of over 15,000 young black professionals, students, graduates, and aspiring leaders.

The organization also operates in 25 other African countries. Emmanuel also doubles as the chief convener and founder of the Young African Leaders Summit, one of the largest continental youth summits in Africa.  

Currently works at Kingston University as a Business Engagement Team Member in their Partnerships and Engagement Department. 

He characterizes energy, integrity, result-oriented, and ground-breaking service in each detail of strategic management, change management, stakeholder management, and leadership acquaintances.
Emmanuel owns a core background in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Ghana.

Leveraging his experience as a youth activist and a dynamic young man, Emmanuel founded the Young Global Leaders Network, a youth organization that comprises young diplomats, young politicians, and aspiring politicians, business/entrepreneurial business leaders with the aim of championing a mutual agenda for the African youth and promoting youth participation in governance as well as promoting entrepreneurial culture.
Emmanuel nurtures an environment of teamwork and has expertise in data collection and analysis as well as both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Emmanuel worked as an Associate Lecturer at the London College of Advanced Management where he delivered a wide range of business management courses that involved principles of marketing, leadership, operation management, and research methods. Emmanuel has always maintained high teaching and learning standards to ensure that his students’ stand out in academic achievements and successful progression. As a stout believer and passionate key player in volunteering; Emmanuel creates quality time to giving back gladly to his community what he has learned and to educate individuals with free consultancy on career development. He is a leader anyone would love to look up to and with great integrity, commitment, and passion to make the world a better place.
Emmanuel worked as Qualifications Manager at the Open University in the UK.

Emmanuel is also the founder of Kickstart Innovation Hub Ltd, the entrepreneurial hub of Young Global Leaders Network.