A work breakdown structure element may be a product, data, a service, or any combination. A WBS also provides the necessary framework for detailed cost estimating and control along with providing guidance for schedule development and control. Additionally the WBS is a dynamic tool and can be revised and updated as needed by the project manager.
The Work Breakdown Structure is a tree structure, which shows a subdivision of effort required to achieve an objective; for example a program, project, and contract. In a project or contract, the WBS is developed by starting with :
- the end objective and
- successively subdividing it into manageable components
- in terms of size, duration, and responsibility (e.g., systems, subsystems, components, tasks, subtasks, and work packages)
- which include all steps necessary to achieve the objective.