If you have ever been to an automobile manufacturing plant, you will find that manufacturing a car is never done in one single shot. If you watch closely, the whole process of manufacturing an automobile such as a Car or a Bike is split up into multiple processes that work parallel towards achieving the objective i.e. building an automobile. In technical terms, this is quite popularly known as “Parallelization”.
Even though we are not going to study what Parallelization here is, but we are doing to deal with the crux of performing such an activity. The reason for breaking the tasks i.e. manufacturing an automobile into multiple processes such as Design, Parts Manufacturing, Internal Assembly, Body, Paint, Quality Control and others is to make sure that the process of manufacturing speeds up and better efficiency is derived. The first company to deal with such an activity was Ford, one of the giant automobile companies to improve production process.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on that first one.”
By, Mark Twain
Similarly when it comes to projects, a Work Breakdown Structure helps in breaking down complex or a big project into multiple tasks also known as Components, so that the process of completing the project becomes more manageable, improves in time and that more efficiency is derived.
Majority of the companies today utilize WBS as a part of their project activities. It enables them to divide the project into multiple smaller chucks that can easily be managed, monitored and controlled for better execution.
To talk in technology terms, let’s take an example of building a new personal computer. Building a new personal computer is not a simple task. It involved designing, manufacturing, integration, executing and delivery of the final computer. Let’s see how this overall process can be undertaken using the WBS:
Building up a computer system follows the same WBS concept. The entire work of building a computer is divided into multiple processes or components that can easily be managed for better efficiency and quality.
Why is WBS so beneficial?
WBS plays a critical role in determining the success of your project. In fact WBS is one of the most primitive stages before starting any project. The key focus that needs to be taken care if to look at a bigger picture of your project
The Big Picture
It is important to think of a project from a bird’s eye view in order to list out the various processes involved in it, so that you do not miss out any requirement. A WBS will help you list out all the activities/task involved in a project, so that you don’t miss out any requirement.
Prepare a list of tasks that would finally accomplish the given project. Ask questions that will assist you in identifying the components.
- What are the tasks that need to be performed to achieve the desired goals?
- What are the critical stages that need to be identified for utmost quality and assurance of the final product?
Once you have identified this, break up your project into different components or tasks that you can easily manage and handle for better efficiency
If you feel that a particular component needs to be further split into more sub-components for easier manageability, then you should do it.
The benefit that achieves using this is speedier execution of project components as all is being handed parallel, better management of components, and easily tracking of deliverables.