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Work Breakdown Structure Template

Track projects and tasks more efficiently with the Work Breakdown Structure Template.

About the Work Breakdown Structure Template

The Work Breakdown Structure Template can help you decompose the scope of a complex project quickly, including specific deliverables and activities. This will help with estimating resources and costs, creating a phased schedule of tasks, and managing each phase.

FigJam demo

What is a Work Breakdown Structure or a WBS Template?

The Work Breakdown Structure Template is a project management tool that helps you map out everything a project must accomplish, breaking down those tasks into multiple levels, and displaying these elements graphically. It’s a deliverable-based approach, which means you’ll create a detailed project plan of all the deliverables you need to complete the project.

When to use a Work Breakdown Structure?

When you need to break your team's work down into manageable pieces, you can use a WBS Template. This template is a helpful project management tool that can keep team members informed, identify specific project deliverables, and help you develop a project schedule. This hierarchical structure makes it easier for a project manager to oversee a complex project and make sure every task gets done.

What are the 4 elements of a Work Breakdown Structure template?

  1. Hierarchy.

    In a hierarchical model each "child" element corresponding to a subtask of the parent task. When all the "child" elements are taken into account, this provides a clear overview of the parent task.

  2. 100% rule.

    Every level of the graph must make up 100% of the parent level, and it must have at least two “child” elements.

  3. Mutually exclusive elements.

    Having mutual exclusivity helps to reduce miscommunication and avoid duplicate work.

  4. Outcome-oriented.

    The Work Breakdown Structure is fundamentally a system that focuses on deliverables rather than activities required to produce them. A good rule of thumb is to describe elements using nouns rather than verbs.

How to Create a Work Breakdown Structure in 3 Steps

  1. Set goals & objectives

    Make sure you understand the goals and objectives of the project by scoping the entire project. This includes determining what your project team is trying to accomplish and how it fits into the goals of your organization.

  2. Lay out deliverables

    The next step is to catalog all of the major high-level deliverables of the project. These deliverables will be the second tier of the structure, and will be comprised of sub-projects that work towards the overall goals & objectives laid out in the first step.

  3. Break deliverables into individual tasks

    Break down the deliverables even further into smaller tasks that need to be completed daily in order to complete the project.

Work Breakdown Structure Example

In FigJam’s work breakdown structure the product launch steps divided into departments. In this example, you will find the tasks divided according to these areas:

  • Research
  • Design
  • Development
  • QA
  • Measurement

You can add tasks under each department to make the template work best for your organization. Tasks could include user research, product development, performance tracking, etc. Having the entire process laid out in this way will help improve your project efficiency by allowing you to see at a glance who is responsible for what.

FAQs about Work Breakdown Structure

What is included in a work breakdown structure template?

A work breakdown structure has three typical levels: first, overall goals and objectives, next deliverables, and finally individual tasks.

Why use a work breakdown structure?

The work breakdown structure is an excellent tool for breaking a project down into its individual tasks. It also allows you to align each task with priorities, goals and objectives.

How do you create a work breakdown structure?

You can create a WBS template in 3 simple steps:

  1. Define goals and project scope
  2. Set deliverables in the second tier of the structure
  3. Break deliverables into individual tasks and assign them

What are the benefits of a work breakdown structure?

The WBS template can help you better manage your team capacity and resources by visualizing your project needs and outcomes.

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