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  Creating the WBS - 3-part series by Joseph Phillips

Joseph Phillips, author of many famous project management books, provides a very good and practical advice on creating the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), on his blog. Here are the links to the 3 part series:
Creating the WBS I
Creating the WBS II
Creating the WBS III

Even better, subscribe to his blog Project Seminars and get all the articles delivered to you. That's what I've done. He has some excellent stuff on the blog.


  1. Thanks for the links, Joseph does good work. I just left some comments for Joseph and wanted to show them here as well since the posts are referenced:

    Absolutely spot-on Joseph! In some cases a gerund is reasonable, although I try to avoid it as well because it can get confused with a function or team.

    I'll add that the 8/80 rule can have valid exceptions, such as in the case of analytical, support, or project management elements. In these cases there are intangible service deliverables or LOE (level of effort) that may break the 8/80 rule in a valid manner.

    Here I have to differ slightly. True, phases are used to organize the WBS at the high-level in many projects, but I think they should not be. It diverts focus off the unique deliverable(s) being produced and in my experience can lead to missed details of scope and risk. For me it's always better to focus solely on the product and deliverables, and get to the temporal aspects later when scheduling comes into play.

    Josh Nankivel
    WBS training instructor

  2. Hello Josh,

    Thanks for your comments. Having reviewed your WBS Coach program, I was pretty sure that you'll have some comments on Joseph's posts. I could also see some points where I thought you might differ.

    BTW, your Top 7 WBS Mistakes report also gives a really good insight on the use of WBS. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks !


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