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Work Breakdown Structures and Network Diagrams

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Work Breakdown Structures and Network Diagrams
Work Breakdown Structures and Network Diagrams
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Work Breakdown Structures and Network Diagrams
In this age of globalization, when the business environment is constantly changing, many
businesses rely upon project management tools and practices in order to start, design, control,
and complete various important projects. Although there are various tools in project
management, two important initial tools that help a business’s project management team to
manage a project include the work breakdown structure (WBS) and the network diagram. These
two tools help to determine the timeline, the allocation of tasks and resources, and the budgeting
and costs pertaining to the overall success and completion of a project (Lessard & Lessard,
2007).
The work breakdown structure (WBS) provides a project management team with a
guideline for categorizing the project’s essential activities into related components in a
hierarchical list. According to Lessard & Lessard 2007, the WBS is fundamental in project
management and “provides the basis for planning and managing project schedules, costs, and
changes” (pg. 28). In order to create a WBS, a project management team can either use a top-
down approach or bottoms-up approach (Lessard & Lessard, 2007). For the top-down approach,
the team starts with the total work content of the project and breaks those large items down into
the least level work components or work packages (Golany & Shtub, 2007). In the bottoms-up
approach, the team starts with the lowest level work components and builds them up (Lessard &
Lessard, 2007).
Using these approaches, most likely the top-down approach, the project management
team can allocate the lowest level work components to various individuals and thus the WBS
helps to divide labor across the project (Golany & Shtub, 2007). Overall, the hierarchies in the
WBS help the project management team to regulate work at every level. The completed WBS
helps the project manager and team to create a schedule, list resources needed to finish each task,
2Work Breakdown Structures and Network Diagrams 32

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Anonymous
Had to paraphrase some of the content but overall, really useful material.

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