Many project failures are traceable back to a poorly defined or even nonexistent work breakdown structure (WBS). Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) software supports the development of a quality WBS, which is important for project success.
The WBS is a deliverable-oriented grouping of project elements or, in other words, a breakdown of project scope. As a whole the WBS defines the product or service that the project is producing down to the work package level. These work packages then support the identification of tasks required to deliver each work package. The product scope is the end game for the project. But it comes first in order. Yes, order is important.
Proficient project managers first define the product then later describe activities required to produce it. Primavera P6 EPPM supports this first in order precedence of the WBS. In Primavera P6 EPPM schedulers first create and input the WBS, and later define the tasks required to produce each WBS element. In this way schedulers create a quality WBS that defines all the work of the project, and only the work of the project, clarifying project scope.
This article demonstrates the creation of a WBS in Primavera P6 EPPM.
Let’s proceed. We have in Figure 1 our demonstration WBS.
This is the WBS for the design, build, and launch of a Mars Probe Spaceship. The WBS goes down to level four in the hierarchy. We want to create this WBS in Primavera P6 EPPM.
We enter our WBS in the activities tab of P6 EPPM. Before entering our WBS elements it is good to update the grouping feature, Figure 2.
Set the grouping dialog to display both ID/Code and Name/Description, Figure 3.
In Figure 4 we proceed and choose the add child WBS element icon to add a child WBS element of Mars Probe Spaceship.
In the general details bottom tab we enter the name of our first WBS element, Design, Figure 5.
Figure 6 displays our first WBS element, Design.
Now we want to insert a sibling of Design. Select Actions | Add | Add Sibling WBS, Figure 7.
In the bottom details we enter the WBS Name, Procurement, Figure 8.
The second level of our WBS is completed when we enter the Launch WBS element, Figure 9.
Figure 10 displays our WBS down to level two.
Continuing we select procurement and enter a child of procurement, Figure 11.
The WBS Name is Material, Figure 12.
Figure 13 shows Procurement down to level 3.
In Figure 4 we add a child of Workshop Assembly to enter the Build WBS elements down to level 4.
Figure 15 displays our completed Mars Probe Spaceship WBS.
Creation of the WBS is a major step in the project management scheduling process. It is best to generate a WBS of the product scope first and before definition of the associated activities. Primavera P6 EPPM is well-suited to entering the WBS elements first in order.
Primavera P6 EPPM supports the insertion of both child WBS elements and sibling WBS elements, as appropriate. Sometimes the add child WBS element icon goes dim or “ghosts out”. If you find yourself unable to insert a child WBS element, because the add child WBS element icon is not available, the remedy may be to save your current layout view.