Primavera P6’s chart view provides a nice hierarchical diagram of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). It also has a great feature that allows you to create the WBS in the chart view? Here we show you how.
Creating the WBS is an important first step in scheduling a Primavera P6 Professional project. One of the seven habits in Stephen Covey’s popular “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” book is to begin with the end in mind.
In Primavera P6 Professional we do exactly that by first creating a WBS of the project. The WBS is a hierarchical breakdown of all major project deliverables, which is the end product or service the project is producing. It is the endgame and whole purpose for the project.
So, creation of the WBS is done at the beginning of scheduling a project. And it is an important first step. The look and feel of the WBS is important for understanding and communicating project deliverables to stakeholders. The chart view provides a compelling hierarchical diagram of the schedule. But the chart view provides more functionality than just viewing the WBS. It is actually possible to create the WBS in chart view.
This article investigates the Primavera P6 Professional utility for creating a WBS directly in chart view.
We have in Figure 1 a standard table view of the top level WBS of an underground pipe installation project.
In the top layout tool-group, Figure 1, we choose chart view. The chart view of the schedule is displayed in Figure 2.
In Figure 2 we right click on the top level WBS, and choose + Add from the popup menu. Using + Add we insert three WBS elements in succession, Figure 3.
Note that every newly inserted WBS element is a child of the currently selected WBS element. Again, Figure 3, we select the WBS UG PIPE-22.214.171.124 element and type Quality Assurance in the general tab bottom details WBS Name field. Figure 4 displays these three WBS elements with proper WBS Names.
The big question is how to move the WBS elements around in the hierarchy of the WBS? The move arrows seem to be quite quirky and unpredictable. But dragging and dropping the individual WBS elements provides a sure way to move WBS elements in the hierarchy. In Figure 5 we left click the pipe install element and drag it to the top level.
This places WBS pipe install element on level 2 position 1, Figure 6.
We continue, again, Figure 6, and left click quality assurance and drag it to the top level. In Figure 7 all three inserted WBS elements are on level 2, but in reverse order.
To organize the WBS elements in the proper order we first left click and drag & drop pipe install to level 1 to place it in level 2 position 1. Finally, Figure 8, we left click and drag & drop site prep to level 1 to place it in level 2 position 1.
Now our three WBS elements, Figure 9, are all on level 2 and in proper sequence.
We continue in Figure 9 and right click pipe install and select + Add from the popup menu to insert three children of pipe install. We provide proper WBS names for each inserted WBS element, Figure 10.
We want these WBS elements on level 3 directly below pipe install. To achieve this we left click pipe installation & inspection and move it to pipe install, Figure 10. Proceeding we left click on refill & paving and bring it to pipe install, Figure 11.
Again, all three inserted WBS elements are level 3 children of pipe install, Figure 12, but not in the correct order.
We therefore move pipe installation & inspection to pipe install, Figure 12. Finally, we move excavation to pipe install, Figure 13.
Our WBS is displayed in Figure 14.
The only remaining question is whether to align pipe install’s children left, center, or right, Figure 14. We align right and display our final WBS in Figure 15.
And there you have the creation of a simple WBS directly in chart view.
Generating a WBS in Primavera P6’s chart view is a little quirky, and the move arrows do not often work as intended. But the left click drag & drop approach provides a predictable way to move the WBS elements around in the hierarchy. Ideally, you will want to switch back and forth between chart view and table view.
The chart view presents the best display of the Gantt chart, and the table view provides the most straight forward and effective way to adjust WBS elements in the hierarchy. My recommendation is to create the WBS in table view and use the chart view for minor adjustments and viewing. Further consider the following blog The Primavera P6 Professional Work Breakdown Structure Chart View for more details on the Primavera P6 Professional chart view.