what is work breakdown structure in software engineering ppt

work breakdown structure in software engineering
WBS in Software Engineering

Work Breakdown Structure(WBS)

Work Breakdown Structure(WBS) is an breakdown of a project or major activity into successive levels, in which each level is a finer breakdown of the preceding one.

Each item is specific level of a WBS is numbered consecutively[e.g. 10,20,30,40,50]. Each item at the level is numbered within the number of it's parent item [e.g. 20.1, 20.2, 20.3, 20.4, 20.5]. 

Most project controlling techniques are based on splitting the goal of the project into several intermediate goals. Each intermediate goal can in turn be split further.Then each goal can be individually planned for its:
  • Resource Requirement.
  • Assignment of Responsibility.
  • Scheduling.

Major Features of WBS.

  • WBS diagram is drawn like the organisation chart.
  • Different desktop applications offer functionality to easily create this kind of diagrams.
  • Each WBS element should be completely described with its title.
  • The meaning of each title should be clear.
  • On the other hand, to restrict the size of diagram the length of the title might have to be restricted.
  • The main feature of WBS is the ability to code uniquely with the different elements of the work.
  • The coding system can be alphabetic, numeric, or alphanumeric.
  • The recommended depth of a WBS is three to four levels.
  • If deeper hierarchies are required the division into sub-project can be used and one element would then present one sub-project.
  • This can be useful for example in situation where a subcontractor handles some part of the project.
  • Every project manager could be able to present the whole project in one diagram.
  • The downside of the too many level is firstly the readability of the diagram and secondly the fact that the larger the diagram, the more troublesome it is to update when major changes occur in the project.
Level of Details:
  • A rule of creating a WBS diagram is to make the lowest level elements(often called Work Packages) small enough to be examine a different work when evaluate the amount of work in a project.
  • This allows the work packages later to be divided into a list of work activities and tasks.

Use of WBS:

  • For dividing the project into phases.
  • For dividing the project into responsibility areas within an organisation.
  • For dividing the schedule of the project into sub-schedule whose interrelations are known
  • For giving grounds to following the cost of the project by defining clear targets to it.
  • For giving hierarchical outlining and coding for the work to be done.
  • For enabling integration planning and managing of the project from both financial and scheduling perspective.

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