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Work Breakdown Structure - Assignment Example

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It is an important tool in planning and implementing complex projects. It is also used in establishing total costs of a project. The…
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Work Breakdown Structure
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Work Breakdown Structure for a House Construction Project A work breakdown structure enables project managers tosubdivide a project into deliverables or phases which are easier to manage (Schwalbe 203). It is an important tool in planning and implementing complex projects. It is also used in establishing total costs of a project. The following is a work breakdown structure for a new system development project.

Above: A work breakdown structure for a House Construction Project.
Level of detail
All the project activities in level 1, level 2 and level three must be completed within duration of one month. The total time taken will be roughly three months. Terminal work activities should take approximately 9 days. The time frame for completing all activities at the terminal ends must be within the confines of one reporting period. If the activity may spill over to the next period, then it should be further subdivided. It is possible to contract out the terminal elements of work as single units of activities. For instance, all the activities in the above WBS can be contracted to specific individuals or groups. The terminal elements should represent work activities that realistically are not possible to break further (Miller 98).
The Tree Structure Format was employed in developing the work breakdown structure. This is the commonly used format in presenting the WBS. The major advantage over other methods is that it is easy to understand just by taking a quick glance (Miller 109). Users can quickly be able to view the flow of work and what they are expected to do. The downside is that it may be difficult to create compared to others such as the Tabular Format.
In project management, certain activities or whole project may spiral out of control and take longer than usual to complete. This may occur due to lack of proper planning of the scope of the project ahead of its implementation. This is referred to as the scope creep. IT projects are highly susceptible to scope creep. For example, FoxMeyer Drug, a large pharmaceutical company experienced scope creep on trying to install a multimillion IT system that would manage all critical operations. The scope of the project experienced a continuous growth until the costs became prohibitive (Schwalbe 209). The IT system also experienced billing errors. The cause of scope creep in this case was the lack of a clearly defined scope of work. There were no elaborate work limits during the initial stages of the project. Product testing could also have helped eliminate failures in the new system which resulted to errors (Schwalbe 210).
Northrop Grumman, a manufacturing company experienced scope creep during implementation of an automated system which could manage government proposals. The system was effectively developed and implemented. However, the engineers who were meant to use the system preferred their old routine to the new system (Schwalbe 210). The project had to be abandoned. The major cause of scope creep in this case was lack of involvement of the users who were the engineers In order to prevent this kind of scope, it is important to fully engage users during the design and requirement analysis phases of the project. Also, the organization can set aside resources to be used in handling the change or transition to the new system (Schwalbe 210).
Works Cited
Miller, Dennis. Building a Project Work Breakdown Structure. New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2009. Print.
Schwalbe, Kathy. Information Technology Project Management. New York: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print. Read More
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