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Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
By Donna Ritter

A work breakdown structure (WBS) maps out the deliverables of the project, with sub deliverables and activities stemming in a tree format. A Guide to the PMBOK describes a WBS this way: “A WBS is a deliverable oriented grouping of project components that organizes and defines the total scope of the project; work not defined in the WBS is outside of the project”.

A Work Breakdown Structure is a break down of the work packages to enable you to roll them back up to a schedule that is complete. A work package is usually no more than 40 hours.

The WBS should detail the full scope of work needed to complete the project. Accuracy and completeness are required when composing your WBS.

Decomposition is one of the tools you will use when preparing your WBS. You should be able to break down the deliverables to a point where you can easily plan, execute, control and close out the project deliverables. Read the Complete Article

Decision Trees and Risk Management

Decision Trees and Risk Management
By Donna Ritter

A decision tree is a popular tool to use to share information about risks using expected value. Every decision has an outcome and something will happen as a result of the decision. The decision “tree” helps us decide whether we can live with the choices we make; if we choose to eat lunch out or stay in for lunch, whether to build or buy, whether to pursue a line of business or not. These events are out outcomes of whatever decisions are made – not on probability. However, the outcomes of events do have a probability associated with them. There is a chance they will occur, as well as a chance they will not. It’s important to acknowledge that the outcomes from a single event are mutually exclusive of one another. If outcome 1 happens; outcome 2 cannot. If outcome 2 happens, outcome 1 cannot. Read the Complete Article

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PMP Notes for Scope Management

PMP Notes for Scope Management
By Donna Ritter

Scope Management is the process of defining what work is required and then making sure that all of the work and only the work is done. This Process includes scope planning, scope defintion, creation of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), scope verification and scope control.

Any Project Manager will tell you that “scope creep”is one of the worst problems on a project. That means you must institute a formal Change Control mechanism. All scope must fit the Program’s charter (defined earlier in the process).

You should be giving the customer what he asked for; no more, no less. I heard someone once compare it to having a customer order a VW and the engineering team building a Cadillac. Giving away extras is a waste of time and adds to the risk of the project. Maybe it only takes 30 minutes to code; but what about testing, documentation, and training to name a few. Read the Complete Article

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