Work Breakdown Structure Examples (WBS) that You Can Use as References in 2022
The concept of a work breakdown structure (WBS) is widely used to represent the project’s scope and deliverables in a hierarchical way.
Sometimes the structure may seem confusing for beginners who are new to project management. Therefore it’s crucial for any project manager to always have a reliable work breakdown structure example at hand.
In this post, we share some simple work breakdown structure examples that will help you to deconstruct your project production processes in different spheres into manageable components.
- Choosing a project work breakdown structure example.
- WBS example for software development.
- WBS construction project example.
- WBS healthcare example.
- Example of a work breakdown structure WBS for an event.
- Example of WBS for opening a restaurant.
- Find the best WBS for your project.
The graphical nature of a WBS is typically visualized as a result-oriented tree that covers all project procedures in an organized way. This is what differs WBS from other project management charts.
A tree view is not the only representation of a work breakdown structure. You can also find the examples of creating a WBS in the form of a horizontal hierarchical list, which is most successfully visualized by a Gantt chart.
It provides a convenient system with the numbering of tasks and subtasks. The essence of the breakdown is essentially the same, but the representations are different. You’ll see this in more detail in the examples below.
A work breakdown structure is the foundation of project planning alongside a Gantt diagram. Therefore, to excel your project management skills, it’d be also good for you to know how to read a Gantt chart.
Project managers apply these two approaches to divide complex projects to get things done faster and efficiently. Breaking their projects down into smaller parts means that work can be performed simultaneously by different employees. It boosts productivity and improves project management.
There are many examples, templates, and project management tools that assist in creating a visually appealing work breakdown structure. Let’s dive into some common samples from various spheres that will allow you to select the best WBS work breakdown structure example for your needs.
Choosing a project work breakdown structure example
A work breakdown structure can be different for each project. Trying to find the most appropriate example of a work breakdown structure in project management, you should spend some time experimenting and see which WBS performs best for your team. There is no need to rush here, as the result of the entire project will depend on your choice.
You can find a project work breakdown structure example visualized with the help of a flowchart, a spreadsheet, or can create a Gantt chart online. However, the main idea is to visualize the hierarchy of your projects and make progress clear to everyone involved.
For example, you have a project that consists of two global parts or key tasks. These tasks will contain certain subtasks that must be followed strictly one by one. These subtasks can also have a list of activities in a smaller hierarchy. All this makes up a WBS structure.
This project management work breakdown structure example can be easily built with the help of an online Gantt chart. This way is one of the most reliable and demanded among modern project managers.
The diagram will include both your project work hierarchy and a timeline. Therefore, you will be able to link task dependencies, mark milestones, and track when each activity is supposed to start and end.
It means that using any available work breakdown structure in project management example, you’ll be able to generate your own WBS without headache.
Now it’s time to list some common cases where you can apply WBS. Let’s start with a work breakdown structure example for project management in IT, and end with the example of a work breakdown structure for a project related to some creative project management activities.
Work breakdown structure example for software development
Software development is one of the most popular areas in terms of using WBS.
Let’s consider a software development work breakdown structure example related to creating a new e-commerce application. Experienced project managers usually generate such WBS structures using a Gantt chart (this is where GanttPRO is a perfect helper), but many still apply simple tools, for example, an Excel template.
A new e-commerce site must be executed impeccably and clearly, since there are so many competitors on the market. Therefore the work breakdown structure software development example must also be clear, concise, and detailed.
We will show how this can look like in a classic tree view and in a variant on a Gantt chart with numbering and a horizontal list hierarchy.
As you see, this result-oriented tree work breakdown structure example of a software project focuses on the project management, analysis, designing, developing, and testing stages.
- Project management. The first stage of our work breakdown structure for software project example includes planning, defining scope, scheduling, risk management, and work with possible plan changes.
- Analysis. At this stage, project teams conduct required interviews, work on requirements specifications, and prepare use cases.
- Design is one of the most essential parts of our software development work breakdown structure example. Here, you should care about the prototype design, architecture design, and site performance improvements.
- Developing. This is typically one of the most active phases of software development, so you will need to thoroughly work on developing the new e-commerce site and care about all the details, meaning graphics and interface, content creation, database implementation, catalog engine, transaction processing, iOS and Android integration, security, and other important issues.
- Testing and production are what end the process. This is when test configuration, reviewing design, releasing the site, closeout meetings, and preparing closeout documents happen.
This example of a work breakdown structure WBS in project management for software development needs is pretty clear and simple to be implemented with the help of an online Gantt chart. You can check this by opening your project in GanttPRO and visualizing your WBS there.
Look at how convenient the tasks and subtasks are displayed on a Gantt chart in GanttPRO:
Work breakdown structure construction project example
When millions are on the line in construction project management, avoiding costly mistakes becomes your priority. That is why, your vital objective is to prepare an ideal WBS, referencing any reliable work breakdown structure construction project example. Again, you can create it using a professional tool or even utilize an Excel WBS template.
For better understanding, let’s analyze a work breakdown structure example for a construction project related to building a cottage. This is a popular case, as people round the world constantly seek a breakdown structure for building a house example. Such projects usually require detailed preparation and careful planning.
This example of a work breakdown structure for a construction project demonstrates that all the elements are listed under the WBS levels. The lowest levels represent the project deliverables, and all activities and tasks will be grouped under these lowest levels.
- Level 1 is the overall project.
- Level 2 is the key stage of this project.
- Levels 3, 4, and 5 represent the major and minor deliverables.
Let’s look at all these levels on a tree-like WBS in detail.
- Site preparation. It’ll all start with the site cleaning. The nearby area should be ready for all upcoming activities. It will take some time. After that, you will need secure fencing in order to carry out all the internal work.
- Buying resources. The next stage of our construction work breakdown structure example includes estimating costs, purchasing the necessary materials and construction equipment, and recruiting manpower.
- Construction. This is one of the most important steps in the process of building the cottage, as it relates to building a foundation and various structures. Painting works are also included into this part of the WBS.
- Cleaning. After all construction work, you will need to remove scrap and unnecessary building materials.
- Handover deliverable. Our work breakdown structure for construction project examples will end with the release of the cottage and the dissolution of the team.
Nothing difficult, right?
Now look at how a WBS can be visualized in GanttPRO.
A friendly timeline and dozens of useful features make your WBS a perfect visual tool. This fully explains the fact that so many project teams around the world use GanttPRO templates as the example of a work breakdown structure for housing construction projects. It really makes life easier and simplifies many processes, saving valuable time.
Work breakdown structure healthcare example
The existing WBS formats have their typical pros and cons. Project managers in the healthcare area should pick up a type of work breakdown structure based upon the specifics of the projects they manage.
WBS formats for medicine and healthcare emphasize different aspects of the correspondent projects.
Imagine, you have been hired as the PM to oversee the project of the City hospital repairs and renovation. You are to create a work breakdown structure for this project.
Your WBS will be broken down into the major wings of the complex, from critical care units to food service.
Here’s how your work breakdown structure healthcare example may look like in a tree orientation:
- Acute care. Here you’ll need to make required repairs and provide new equipment to the trauma units (the emergency room, burn units, critical care), and speciality wards (the oncology center, cardiovascular care, labor and delivery).
- Critical care. Your purpose now is to manage the renovation of the intensive care units, newborn intensive care, and the cardiovascular ICU.
- Surgical wing. This wing includes the pathology and laboratory, sterile processing, operating rooms, organ transportation center, endoscopy, and other important objects that need to be repaired. А
- Support services. These services will need the new equipment, so your objective is to provide respiratory services, the hospice, the pharmacy, and the physical therapy wing with the new stuff.
- Administration. These are not the highest priority, but no less important objects. To bring the City hospital renovation to completion, you need to take care of the executive office, finance, human resources, IT, and food service. Don’t forget about facilities management.
All these tasks seem complex and time consuming.
Would you like to get a more convenient way to visualize these complex tasks? That’s right, you can plan them with the help of GanttPRO. You will immediately see the benefits and understand what to do and when.
Example of a work breakdown structure for an event
Is finding a good example of a work breakdown structure for an event a challenge? Not really.
Event planning is an integral part of many businesses that require the coordination and execution of successful events.
From opening local conferences to arranging global trade shows, event planners put together a work breakdown structure for the activity event they plan.
They use a WBS as a guide to coordinate their efforts such as planning, catering, entertainment, decorating, security, and much more. So, you can find an available example of a work breakdown structure for an event without extra efforts.
Recall the previous example of the City hospital renovation. Now you will be a responsible media manager who needs to hold a big press conference related to the opening of the hospital.
To start such an event, you will need a WBS. You tree-oriented work breakdown structure event example will contain the following parts:
- Planning. The first thing you should do as the event manager is to plan every step of your upcoming press conference. Consider all budget issues and coordination activities, including total timing.
- Venue. This point is about choosing the appropriate venue for your conference, booking it, and deciding what catering you will provide to your guests.
- Speakers. Choosing the speakers and preparing their speeches are crucial objectives during this phase. In the case of the new hospital you’ll definitely prepare the speech for the Сhief Medical Officer. Decide the topics and think about the briefing time for the other speakers
- Marketing. Now it’s time to think about printing flyers, sending email reminders, preparing press-kits, and other essential marketing materials.
- Registration. This stage includes creating a register, registering media representatives, sending confirmation, getting approvals from the committee, and balancing accounts. Everything must be thought out to the smallest detail.
The event WBS is an efficient tool that provides a clear overview of the tasks needed to be performed. Consider the option of creating a Gantt chart WBS in GanttPRO:
Example of a work breakdown structure for opening a restaurant
This type of a work breakdown structure will help you to track processes to eliminate unnecessary activities and expenses.
The main activities will relate to marketing research, design, construction, installation, resource management, advertisement necessary equipment, etc.
So, the tree-like example of a work breakdown structure for opening a restaurant may look like this:
- Market research. The initial objectives of a project manager in a restaurant will be related to working with focus groups, different surveys, competitors’ analysis, and market research findings. This will give a clear picture of the current state of the market.
- Construction phases. At this stage, the manager should care about constructing the restaurant according to the concept and required design. It is important to think over the design of the indoor and outdoor dining area, the kitchen, the reception and cashier section, the storage room, the washroom, and the parking lobby.
- Human resources. The restaurant staff consists of managers, chefs, waiters, cleaners, security officers, receptionists, and other roles. It’s crucial to care about timely staff recruitment and training. The quality of restaurant cuisine must also be controlled.
- Marketing. Any opening event contains many marketing activities, including preparing the opening strategy, work with press and celebrities, advertising, designing brochures, and other tasks.
What do you think about this work breakdown structure restaurant example? Perhaps, you’d like to add some levels or essential blocks. It’s easy to do, choosing a horizontal hierarchy and a list view of your WBS. This is where a Gantt chart comes to the rescue again.
Don’t forget that you can easily create such an appealing work breakdown structure using GanttPRO Gantt chart maker.
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The only thing that remains is to remind you how to add a WBS feature in your GanttPRO project.
You can actually create as many projects as you need with an unlimited number of tasks.
Find the best work breakdown structure example for your project
A WBS has proved to be one of the tools that provides the base of successful project management.
Knowing and understanding this tool is extremely useful, especially if you want to get a PMP certification. Therefore you should have an efficient work breakdown structure example at hand to be always ready to work with any project plan.
You can organize your WBS as a Gantt diagram that links task dependencies and reflects project milestones. Available Gantt chart examples will help you to better understand all the features of this project management diagram.
We hope that by this part of the article you have already appreciated all the advantages of GanttPRO as a WBS software, because with its help you will be able to build handy and reliable work breakdown structures with ease.
Use GanttPRO to generate a WBS for:
- Software development.
- Event planning.
- Opening restaurant, and many other spheres and professional areas.
After all, you can utilize such a structure for personal purposes and special events – to plan your own anniversary or prepare for exams. The strength of the WBS lies in its versatility and adaptability to various purposes. Feel free to discover it!