MIL-STD 881D Outlined
For organizations venturing into the world of government defense contracts, the Department of Defense provides guidelines, MIL-STD 881D, for the development of a standardized Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) . The principal document that describes these structures is formally titled “Department of Defense Standard Practice Work Breakdown Structures for Defense Materiel Items”, commonly referred to as the 881 DiD. You can download this document here or Google MIL-STD 881D to find various sources for download.
Such standards are critical in providing the government and contractor with a uniform and consistent approach to a program’s data structure. This assists with good communication between the two parties throughout the lifecycle of the program. The benefits of this standardized approach include clear segregation of the materiel item into its component parts, effective assignment of management and technical responsibilities, aid with the status tracking for all elements of the program’s cost, schedule and technical performance and consistent structure for the earned value management system.
Above all else, MIL-STD-881D standard provides a clear starting point for program development down to and including level four of the WBS. At the same time, they provide both unambiguous guidelines and flexibility for program managers below the forth level, so there are no restrictions when working to match the government reporting requirements with a realistic schedule that can be executed by the contractor.
MIL-STD-881D provides 11 standard work breakdown structures with appendices a – k. Each WBS is clearly defined with a punctuated significant WBS code and description. Each WBS is designated specifically for a particular type of defense system and is listed in the following section.
Free Download – WBS Structure Files
For your convenience, we at Ten Six Consulting have created CSV files containing the complete MIL-STD-881D WBS for each of the current defense systems. Click on the links below to download the CSV file you are interested in.
The CSV files contain a simple two-column structure (Code and Description) for easy loading into such tools as Deltek Cobra, Deltek MPM, Primavera P6, Microsoft Project and of course Microsoft Excel. You can use these as the basis for a new schedule, EVMS code file or WBS Dictionary without having to type them in from scratch.