Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Video Tutorial: How do I create a WBS in Primavera?

Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure Video Tutorial

Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Tutorial: How do I create a WBS in Primavera?

How do I create a WBS in Primavera? Creating a Work Breakdown Structure is one of the first steps of preparing a project schedule in Oracle Primavera P6. Once the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of a project is created, activities are detailed under different WBS levels. Basically, the WBS is a hierarchical arrangement of the deliverables required to complete the project. Therefore, it is essential to create it before creating the schedule. Primavera Work Breakdown Structure feature enables to create and organize the hierarchical breakdown of the work packages of a project. This primavera video tutorial reviews the basics of the WBS and demonstrates how to create a work breakdown structure in Primavera P6.

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a fundamental step in the project planning process within Oracle Primavera P6. The WBS serves as the backbone for project scheduling, providing a hierarchical framework of the project’s deliverables and tasks. It is crucial to establish a well-structured WBS before delving into the detailed scheduling activities. Primavera P6 offers robust features for creating and managing the WBS, allowing project managers to lay down a solid foundation for their project’s success.

Primavera P6 enhances the WBS creation process with intuitive tools that facilitate the organization of work packages into a structured format.

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In a comprehensive Primavera Work Breakdown Structure (Primavera Video Tutorial)

How do I create a WBS in Primavera? In a comprehensive Primavera Work Breakdown Structure tutorial, the basics of the WBS are thoroughly reviewed, demonstrating the step-by-step process of creating a WBS within Primavera P6. This primavera video tutorial covers how to:

  • Initiate a WBS in Primavera P6 by defining the project’s main deliverables.
  • Break down these deliverables into smaller, more detailed work packages.
  • Assign activities to the appropriate WBS levels, ensuring each task aligns with the project’s objectives.
  • Utilize Primavera P6‘s features to efficiently organize and manage the WBS (primavera video tutorial), such as drag-and-drop functionality and hierarchical structuring tools.


Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Primavera Video Tutorial

Primavera video tutorials significantly boost project management skills. They visually guide you through creating Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), scheduling tasks, and managing resources in Primavera. Ideal for beginners and those looking to enhance their skills, these tutorials simplify complex concepts. You learn to navigate the interface, customize views, and harness advanced features at your pace. Plus, they offer practical tips for real-world scenarios. Watching these tutorials invests in your project management growth, ensuring you maximize Primavera P6’s potential.

What is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?

The concept of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is fundamental in project management, serving as the backbone for project planning, execution, and monitoring. When integrated with Primavera, a leading project management software, the WBS becomes even more powerful, providing a structured approach to decompose the project into manageable sections. Let’s delve into how the Primavera Work Breakdown Structure can be the blueprint for your project’s success. A WBS is essentially a hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

When speaking of Oracle Primavera P6, it’s about the integration capabilities with Oracle Primavera P6‘s suite of business applications, further enhancing the project management capabilities by offering in-depth analytics and real-time data sharing. This integration supports better decision-making and a more cohesive approach to managing complex projects.  Also, Master Schedule and Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) within Primavera provide an overarching timeline for all project activities. They are essential tools that sync with the WBS to ensure that all parts of the project are aligned with the master plan, promoting a smoother project flow and better stakeholder communication. Also, Knowledge Transfer is vital in any project environment.

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Take Away

  • A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) can be defined as a key project deliverable that breaks down the scope of work into manageable sections.
  • The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines the WBS as a hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.
  • In brief, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) defines the hierarchy of the project deliverables. According to the  PMBOK Guide, a deliverable is any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or project.
  • The work breakdown structure concept was developed by the United States Department of Defense during the Polaris Missile Program development with the PERT Method (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) in 1957. In the 1960s NASA started to use PERT and WBS techniques for aerospace programs.
  • The Work Breakdown Structure does not only provides a framework for a project schedule but also helps to manage the project costs by guiding cost estimation. Note that Top-down estimation is used along with the WBS.


Building a Comprehensive Primavera Work Breakdown Structure

The creation of a Primavera Work Breakdown Structure requires thoughtful planning and a clear understanding of the project’s scope. It’s about laying the foundation for every task, ensuring that nothing is overlooked. Building an integrated master WBS in Primavera allows project managers to visualize the entire scope of work, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable components that can be assigned to various team members. Each element within this structure is a building block, contributing to the overall project goals. Also, when developing a WBS in Primavera, it’s crucial to consider all aspects of the project, from the master schedule to the minute details that could potentially become bottlenecks. This foresight within the planning phase is invaluable. It’s about preempting challenges and ensuring that the project roadmap is clear and comprehensive.

Transfer mentoring, a concept within project management, emphasizes the importance of knowledge dissemination throughout the team. Also, in the context of Primavera, it involves training team members to understand and utilize the WBS to its full potential. This ensures that the WBS remains a living document, one that reflects the current state of the project and guides the team towards successful completion.

Primavera’s project Oracle Primavera feature ensures that the WBS is not just a static structure but a dynamic one that adapts to the project’s evolving needs. It provides real-time updates and changes, allowing for immediate responses to project demands. This dynamic capability ensures that the WBS remains relevant throughout the project lifecycle.

Project Management Precision with Primavera WBS

Project management is an intricate dance of precision and adaptability, and nowhere is this more evident than in the meticulous crafting of a Primavera Work Breakdown Structure. WBS elements within Primavera are not just placeholders for tasks; they represent a commitment to specific outcomes. Also, this high level of precision in defining the WBS elements ensures that each task is aligned with the project’s objectives and outcomes.

Microsoft Project Deltek and Primavera work in tandem to provide project managers with powerful tools to maintain this precision. Also, Deltek’s focus on project cost management complements Primavera’s scheduling prowess, ensuring that the WBS is both time-conscious and budget-aware. This combination is a potent tool for project managers seeking to ensure that their projects are delivered on time and within budget.

In the realm of knowledge transfer coaching, Primavera’s capabilities shine bright. By facilitating the smooth transfer of knowledge, Primavera ensures that the nuances of the WBS are well understood across the project team. This coaching ensures that all team members are equipped to contribute meaningfully to the project’s success. Also, Knowledge transfer mentoring plays a crucial role in ensuring the longevity of project success. Primavera’s collaborative environment means that knowledge is not just transferred but also retained within the team, creating a repository of expertise that can be drawn upon for future projects.

WBS Structure
WBS Structure

Benefits of the WBS

Using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) provides many benefits in addition to defining and organizing the project scope of work. Also, the project budget can be divided into sections by using the various WBS levels and tracked.

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a foundational tool in project management that offers numerous benefits. Also, by organizing a project’s objectives and deliverables into smaller, more manageable components, the WBS enhances the project team’s ability to plan, execute, and monitor project activities effectively. Let’s delve into the key benefits of implementing a WBS in project management.

1. Enhanced Project Planning

The WBS facilitates detailed and thorough project planning. By breaking down the project into smaller pieces, project managers can more accurately estimate costs, resources, and timelines. Also, this granularity allows for a more precise allocation of resources and a clearer understanding of the project’s scope, significantly reducing the likelihood of overlooking critical tasks or deliverables.

2. Improved Scope Management

One of the primary benefits of a WBS is its role in scope management. By defining the project’s scope at a granular level, the WBS helps prevent scope creep—the tendency for project scope to expand over time without corresponding increases in resources, time, and budget. Also, a well-defined WBS sets clear boundaries and deliverables for the project, making it easier to identify and manage changes to the project scope.

3. Facilitated Communication

A WBS serves as a common language for project stakeholders, providing a clear and concise outline of the project’s structure and deliverables. Also, this common framework enhances communication among team members, stakeholders, and clients by ensuring everyone has a clear understanding of the project’s objectives, deliverables, and progress. Improved communication leads to better collaboration and decision-making throughout the project lifecycle.

4. Streamlined Task Assignment

By breaking down the project into smaller, well-defined tasks, the WBS makes it easier to assign tasks to team members based on their skills, experience, and availability. Also, this clarity helps in optimizing resource utilization and ensures that team members have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, leading to increased accountability and productivity.

5. Enhanced Risk Management

The WBS also plays a crucial role in risk management. By identifying all project deliverables and activities, project managers can more easily identify potential risks at each level of the project. Also, this early identification allows for the development of more effective risk mitigation strategies, minimizing the impact of risks on the project’s timeline, budget, and quality.

6. Better Cost Estimation and Control

With a detailed WBS, project managers can more accurately estimate the costs associated with each component of the project. Also, this granularity not only facilitates better budgeting and cost control but also allows for more precise tracking of project expenses. As a result, project managers can quickly identify budget variances and take corrective actions to keep the project on track financially.

7. Facilitated Monitoring and Control

The WBS provides a structured framework for monitoring and controlling project progress. By comparing actual progress against the planned WBS, project managers can easily identify deviations from the plan, allowing for timely adjustments to schedules, resources, and priorities. This ongoing evaluation ensures that the project remains aligned with its objectives and deliverables.

In summary, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a powerful tool in project management that offers extensive benefits, from enhanced planning and scope management to improved risk management and cost control. By providing a detailed roadmap of project deliverables and activities, the WBS enables project teams to execute projects more effectively, ensuring successful project outcomes.

Primavera P6 and Work Breakdown Structure

Oracle Primavera P6 is a sophisticated project management software that helps project managers plan, manage, and execute complex projects efficiently. One of its core functionalities is the ability to create a detailed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). A WBS is a key project deliverable that breaks down the work into smaller, more manageable sections. Also, in Oracle Primavera P6, the WBS serves as the foundation for planning and scheduling, allowing for a hierarchical arrangement of project elements, including tasks and activities.

EPS in Primavera

The Enterprise Project Structure (EPS) in Oracle Primavera represents the organizational hierarchy of projects, offering a framework for organizing and managing projects and programs. The EPS is crucial for large organizations handling multiple projects simultaneously, as it provides a structured way to oversee projects at different levels of granularity. Also, it allows for efficient resource allocation, reporting, and project tracking across the organization. Understanding and effectively setting up an EPS in Oracle Primavera P6 is fundamental for successful project management, enabling better visibility and control over projects and resources.

Building the WBS in P6

When building a WBS in Oracle Primavera P6, it’s essential to navigate to the correct page in the projects section. Also, the WBS can be constructed and refined by accessing the WBS tab within a project’s details. This interface in P6 allows project managers to add, edit, and organize WBS elements, aligning project objectives with tasks and deliverables. Also, building a WBS in P6 starts with defining major deliverables and breaking them into smaller, manageable components. This ensures full capture and efficient structuring of the project’s scope.

Levels in Primavera P6

Levels in Primavera P6 classify the stages within the WBS and EPS hierarchically, from high-level phases to detailed tasks and subtasks. Utilizing levels in P6 enhances project planning, execution, and monitoring. It allows project managers to focus on specific details while overseeing the entire project landscape.

Baseline in P6

The baseline in Primavera P6 combines the original plan with approved changes, acting as a performance benchmark. It captures the project schedule at a certain moment, offering a comparison point against the current schedule. This comparison helps track progress, assess performance, and spot variances. Mastering baseline setting, management, and comparison in P6 is vital for effective project control and insight into project performance against planned goals.

Showing WBS in Activities in P6

Primavera P6 enables the display of WBS elements in the activities view, aligning activities with their corresponding WBS elements. This clarity improves understanding of the project structure and progress at the activity level, enhancing project visibility. It empowers project managers to make well-informed decisions and necessary adjustments.

In conclusion, mastering Primavera P6 aspects—such as setting up a detailed WBS, managing EPS, understanding levels, handling baselines, and integrating WBS with activities—lays a strong foundation for successful project management. Each element is crucial in planning, executing, and monitoring projects effectively, leading to improved outcomes and project success.

Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure Sample

Before creating a WBS in Primavera P6 let’s take a glance at the work breakdown structure example below. (Figure 1)

Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure
Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure

As shown in Figure 1, a sample pipeline project is broken down into smaller components. In this sample, the project only goes down to level three.

Level 1 is shown in Brown color, Level 2 is Yellow and Level 3 is shown in Blue. Also, the highest level represents the final deliverable or project. Also, the sub-levels represent the work packages. Activities will be grouped under these sub WBS levels. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of the sample project can be demonstrated in the table view below. Also, the purpose of the numbering is to emphasize the hierarchical structure of each work element. For example, the Pipeline Project is Level 1 and the Procurement is Level 2 under the Pipeline Project.

p6 WBS Table
p6 WBS Table

Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure Creation

Now we will create a WBS in Primavera P6 by using the sample shown above. Also, first, we will create a new project. Also, then, click on the Project | WBS from the main drop-down menu at the top of the screen. This will display the WBS view in the below figure. (Figure 2)

Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure

Now we will insert the WBS names and WBS codes of each WBS level shown in the sample.

Select Edit | + Add from the main drop-down menu at the top of the screen. This will create a child of the Pipeline Project (Level 1). Then select Edit | + Add again, which will create a child of the Engineering element. Type the WBS LEVEL and WBS NAME of each element.

"Primavera Video Tutorial

Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Commissioning are on the same level. Select Edit | + Add again, which will create a child of the Design element. In order to change the level of the created element, push the “Move Left Button” which is over the Command Bar on the right.

Oracle Primavera P6 Video Tutorial

By clicking the “Move Left Button” all the WBS levels can be placed on their required position.
By Selecting View | Show on Top | Chart View from the main drop-down menu at the top of the screen, you can see the Chart View of the WBS.

"Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure Example Video Tutorial


Creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is crucial for organizing the project scope effectively. This process involves defining activities within specific levels of the WBS. A carefully constructed WBS facilitates easier management and tracking of project activities. After identifying the project’s deliverables and establishing the WBS, you can seamlessly integrate it into Oracle Primavera P6 for further detailing and execution.

For budget management, project managers assign the overall budgeted cost to the highest levels of the WBS. This strategic allocation allows for a top-down distribution of budgets across various sub-levels, ensuring a coherent financial structure throughout the project. By doing so, project managers can maintain control over the financial aspects, enabling precise tracking and management of expenses against the planned budget.

Also, this hierarchical budget allocation aids in identifying financial discrepancies early in the project lifecycle.

See Also

Primavera Project Management

Resource Leveling

FAQs About Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Primavera 

Changing Your WBS Level in Primavera

To change a WBS element’s level in Oracle Primavera P6, select it and use the Indent and Outdent buttons. Also, this moves it up or down the hierarchy, accurately reflecting your project’s structure.

Sorting WBS in Primavera P6

Go to the WBS tab in your project. Also, the Sort option under the View menu lets you organize the WBS based on criteria like WBS ID or Name. Also, this helps you arrange it in a logical sequence.

Understanding WBS Summary Activity in Primavera

A WBS Summary Activity in Primavera groups activities and costs at the WBS level. Also, it shows a summarized view of work and resources for a WBS element, providing aggregated cost, duration, and metric information.

Defining WBS Activities

WBS Activities are tasks under a WBS element. Also, they detail the specific work for project scheduling and execution, forming the project’s building blocks.

Explaining WBS Summary

A WBS Summary aggregates all activities, resources, and costs for a WBS element. Also, it gives stakeholders a clear view of the effort, cost, and time needed for a project segment.

Organizing a WBS

Identify the project’s main deliverables to start organizing a WBS. Break these into smaller, manageable work packages and arrange them hierarchically to represent the project’s scope. Use WBS coding for easy tracking.

Compiling a WBS

Compile a WBS by breaking down the project’s main deliverables into smaller packages and then into activities. Also, make sure each WBS level covers all work aspects. Use a WBS template or Oracle Primavera P6 for this.

Organizing Primavera Activities

Assign activities to the right WBS elements. Detail each task in the Activities tab, including its scope, duration, and resources. Use Primavera’s filters, labels, and grouping options to improve visibility.

Understanding EPS in Primavera

The Enterprise Project Structure (EPS) in Primavera helps manage projects under a common framework. Also, it organizes projects into hierarchies, easing portfolio, program, and project management across an organization.

Changing Your WBS Hierarchy

You can change the WBS hierarchy in Primavera by dragging and dropping elements or using the Indent and Outdent buttons. This lets you restructure the project’s WBS as needed.

Editing WBS

To edit WBS in Primavera, select an element in the WBS tab and click Edit. Change its name, description, and details. Click OK or apply to save your updates to the project’s WBS structure.

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