Primavera Work Breakdown Structure (Primavera Video Tutorial)
Creating a Work Breakdown Structure is one of the first steps of preparing a work schedule in Primavera 6. Once the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of a project is created, activities are detailed under different WBS levels. Work Breakdown Structure is a hierarchical arrangement of the deliverables required to complete the project. Primavera Work Breakdown Structure feature enables to create and organize the hierarchical breakdown of the work packages of a project.
This video tutorial reviews the basics of the WBS, and demonstrates how to create a simple WBS by using Primavera P6.
What is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) ?
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 Work Breakdown Structure (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 deliverables. According to the PMBOK Guide a deliveable 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 (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) in 1957. In the 1960’s NASA started to used PERT and WBS techniques for the aerospace programs.
Benefits of the WBS
Using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) provides many benefits in addition to defining and organizing the project scope of work.
Project budget can be divided into sections by using the various WBS levels and tracked. Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS) can be created by integrating the WBS. In the same way, integrating the work breakdown structure with an Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) provides a guideline for the communication system of an organization.
Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure Sample
Before to create a WBS in Primavera P6 let’s take a glance the figure below. (Figure 1)
As shown in the 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. The highest level represents the final deliverable or project. The sub levels represents 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. The purpose for the numbering is to emphasize the hierarchical structure of the each work element. For example, the Pipeline Project is Level 1 and the Procurement is Level 2 under the Pipeline Project.
Primavera P6 Work Breakdown Structure Creation
Now we will create a WBS in Primavera P6 by using the sample shown above. First we will create a new project. 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 below figure. (Figure 2)
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.
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.
By clicking “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.
The Work Breakdown Structure creates a guideline for defining and organizing the project scope of work. Activities are defined under specific WBS levels. If your project’s WBS is created well, you can easily manage and track your activities. Once you list the deliverables and create the WBS, it is an easy process to define the WBS in Primavera P6.
A project total budgeted cost can be assigned to the highest levels of the work breakdown structure, and budgets of the sub levels can be distributed. Therefore, WBS can be used for top down estimating. As the project progressed, sub levels of the work breakdown structure can easily be tracked to calculate the project cost performance and detect the issues and problems related with the cost performance.
In this video tutorial, we demonstrated how to create a simple WBS by using Primavera P6. If you want to add or share anything related with the topic, you can use the comments section.