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Software Project Management

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Software Project Management (CS615)
7. Work Breakdown Structure
WBS Preview
Salient features
Large, complex projects are organized and comprehended by breaking them into
progressively smaller pieces until they are a collection of defined "work
packages" that may include a number of tasks.
A $1,000,000,000 project is simply a lot of $50,000 projects joined together.
Work breakdown structure (WBS) is a technique to decompose the project for the
purpose of management and control. It provides the framework for organizing and
managing the work.
A project may be divided into subprojects. Subprojects are subdivided into
smaller, more manageable work components (work packages) at the lowest level.
The work packages may be further decomposed to project activities. It provides
the framework for organizing and managing the work.
A project may be divided into subprojects. Subprojects are subdivided into
smaller, more manageable work components (work packages) at the lowest level.
The work packages may be further decomposed to project activities.
The WBS is commonly used at the beginning of a project for defining project
scope, organizing Gantt schedules and estimating costs.
It lives on, throughout the project, in the project schedule and often is the main
path for reporting project costs.
WBS includes activities like management, procurement, installation, software
development etc.
Many of the WBS development tasks are derived from the development method
that will be used, and from the design and architecture of the system.
WBS is related to planning and scheduling a project
It is a functional decomposition of the tasks of the project.
Software Project Management (CS615)
It starts with the end objective required and successively subdividing it into
manageable components in terms of size and complexity of:
tasks, subtasks, and
work elements
The WBS is first and foremost a technical data gathering structure, developed so
that the achievement in technical progress can be measured and analyzed against a
formal baseline plan.
The WBS aids the customer in understanding the status of the project as time
elapses. The WBS aids the customer's customer in understanding the status of the
All managers, internal and external need to use the planning and status
information within the WBS structure to:
­ Aid in the adjustment to the current program paths and
­ For maximizing the attainment of short term and long term goals
WBS-What is it?
WBS is a definition of a project in terms of its work or a deliverable-oriented
grouping of project elements that organizes and defines the total scope of the
Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the
project's work.
It's an outline of the work of the project, not the work itself, created by those
doing the work ­ that may include all functional stakeholders.
WBS- What it contains?
Maps all contractual obligations (SOW) regarding deliverables
Details project objectives
Detailed enough to meet performance (measurable) objectives
Contains built-in WBS and Project Plan review and update
Software Project Management (CS615)
WBS- When is it produced?
The WBS is produced following the development of the scope statement, before
the schedule. It is a "bridging" document between the Scope and Schedule. (what
and when)
Uses of WBS
­ Defines 100% of the scope and can communicate the scope of the project
without the presence of the scope statement or document.
­ Communicates effectively to all stakeholders
­ Defines and clarifies
­ Boundaries (Life cycle of the project ­ not the product)
­ Deliverables
­ Refines Scope
Defines scope in project management language (perhaps down to work package
level which may lead to development of project schedule)
It's not a single document that can be mistaken for the project plan, schedule or
scope statement
WBS- A Mandatory Management Tool
WBS as a Project Management Tool
A WBS is a valuable management tool that is used throughout all life-cycle
phases to:
a. Manage Risk
It helps in managing risk by providing insight into technical aspects of program
b. Manage Costs
A WBS can be used to help make program management decisions.
For example, if the costs of an element in the WBS are too high, the WBS can be
used to identify possible tradeoffs. Identifying and analyzing tradeoffs can help
the manager decide how best to stay within budget.
c. Assign Work
The WBS is also useful for determining an acquisition strategy and/or assigning
work. The information contained in the WBS can help a Program Manager
Software Project Management (CS615)
develop a statement of work that describes what products or services are to be
d. Schedule and Track activities
A schedule of key events can be developed for each element in the WBS.
Completion of these key events is then tracked.
Schedule and Track activities
The work breakdown structure defines all tasks to be performed during the
development of the project. This will include tasks from such project
categories as:
Software development
e. Align with Terms of Reference and scope of project
At all times, any, work being performed by a member of the software project
team must be part of a WBS task: No member of the team should ever
perform any task that does not appear in the WBS list of tasks.
The WBS is essentially a management tool that provides the ability to assign
well-define tasks to members of the development team.
It is through the WBS that progress is monitored as tasks are completed and
potential problems are discovered.
New tasks that were overlooked are identified, and estimates are revised based
on the actual resources used for completed tasks.
f. Report Expense
The WBS is also a budgetary tool that provides a means of charging each
development activity to the appropriate section in the project budget.
This is one of the basic methods for planning and monitoring project
There are mainly computerized utilities available to support the maintenance
of the WBS.
These utilities run both on small PC type computers and large mainframes.
Software Project Management (CS615)
WBS utilities are often available as part of a manager's general planning
utility, and provide other scheduling and monitoring features, such as PERT
analysis and report generation.
Table of Contents:
  1. Introduction & Fundamentals
  2. Goals of Project management
  3. Project Dimensions, Software Development Lifecycle
  4. Cost Management, Project vs. Program Management, Project Success
  5. Project Management’s nine Knowledge Areas
  6. Team leader, Project Organization, Organizational structure
  7. Project Execution Fundamentals Tracking
  8. Organizational Issues and Project Management
  9. Managing Processes: Project Plan, Managing Quality, Project Execution, Project Initiation
  10. Project Execution: Product Implementation, Project Closedown
  11. Problems in Software Projects, Process- related Problems
  12. Product-related Problems, Technology-related problems
  13. Requirements Management, Requirements analysis
  14. Requirements Elicitation for Software
  15. The Software Requirements Specification
  16. Attributes of Software Design, Key Features of Design
  17. Software Configuration Management Vs Software Maintenance
  18. Quality Assurance Management, Quality Factors
  19. Software Quality Assurance Activities
  20. Software Process, PM Process Groups, Links, PM Phase interactions
  21. Initiating Process: Inputs, Outputs, Tools and Techniques
  22. Planning Process Tasks, Executing Process Tasks, Controlling Process Tasks
  23. Project Planning Objectives, Primary Planning Steps
  24. Tools and Techniques for SDP, Outputs from SDP, SDP Execution
  25. PLANNING: Elements of SDP
  26. Life cycle Models: Spiral Model, Statement of Requirement, Data Item Descriptions
  27. Organizational Systems
  28. ORGANIZATIONAL PLANNING, Organizational Management Tools
  29. Estimation - Concepts
  30. Decomposition Techniques, Estimation – Tools
  31. Estimation – Tools
  32. Work Breakdown Structure
  33. WBS- A Mandatory Management Tool
  34. Characteristics of a High-Quality WBS
  35. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  36. WBS- Major Steps, WBS Implementation, high level WBS tasks
  37. Schedule: Scheduling Fundamentals
  38. Scheduling Tools: GANTT CHARTS, PERT, CPM
  39. Risk and Change Management: Risk Management Concepts
  40. Risk & Change Management Concepts
  41. Risk Management Process
  42. Quality Concept, Producing quality software, Quality Control
  43. Managing Tasks in Microsoft Project 2000
  44. Commissioning & Migration