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President, GWI
Extension 3400
Mailstop 01-01

The key question is, Who will prepare and sign the memo? Being a self-starter, Perry prepares the memo
himself and presents it to Amelia for signature. He believes she is the internal customer and sponsor for the
project. In many circumstances, however, there is a distinction between the two. Exhibit 5-3 shows the
announcement.
With publication of the project announcement, Perry can begin planning. The planning function, as described
in Chapter 1, entails many tasks, which are covered in Chapters 6 through 8.

Questions for Getting Started

1. Provide answers to these questions about your project:
• What are the goals and objectives of the project?
• Who are the principal participants?
• When must the project be started and finished?
• Where will the project be executed?
• Why is the project being launched?
• How will the product or service be?
2. If you don™t have the answers to any of the above, how are you going to get them?
• By interview?
• Document research?
• Contact with the customer?
3. Is a statement of work, or understanding, necessary? If so, do you know what is contained in each of
these sections:
• Introduction?
• Assumptions?
• Constraints?
• Performance criteria?
• Product/service description?
• Major responsibilities?
• References?
• Amendments?
• Signatures?
4. Do you need a project announcement? If so, do you know:
• Who will prepare it?
• Who will sign it?
• What the contents should be?


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Project Management Practitioner's Handbook
by Ralph L. Kleim and Irwin S. Ludin
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814403964 Pub Date: 01/01/98

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Title
Chapter 6
The Work Breakdown Structure
Perry now has the visibility he needs and the details for building the project. Now he will use the SOW to
-----------
develop a work breakdown structure, or WBS. The WBS is a detailed listing of the deliverables and tasks for
building the product or delivering the service. It is a top-down, broad-to-specific hierarchical outcome of the
work to perform.
There are several benefits to developing a WBS.
1. The WBS forces the project manager, team members, and customers to delineate the steps required
to build and deliver the product or service. The exercise alone encourages a dialogue that will help
clarify ambiguities, bring out assumptions, narrow the scope of the project, and raise critical issues
early on.
2. It lays the groundwork for developing an effective schedule and good budget plans. A well-defined
WBS enables resources to be allocated to specific tasks, helps in generating a meaningful schedule, and
makes calculating a reliable budget easier.
3. The level of detail in a WBS makes it easier to hold people accountable for completing their tasks.
With a defined WBS, people cannot hide under the “cover of broadness.” A well-defined task can be
assigned to a specific individual, who is then responsible for its completion.
4. The process of developing and completing a WBS breeds excitement and commitment. Although
Perry will develop the high-level WBS, he will seek the participation of his core team to flesh out the
WBS. This participation will spark involvement in the project.
Of course, developing a WBS is not easy. For one, it takes time”and plenty of it. A large WBS (one that
identifies several thousand activities) can take several weeks to develop. For another, it requires effort. There
is a knowledge transfer and exercise of brain power. The larger the scope of the project, the larger the WBS
will be. More people must provide input and then approve the portion they are responsible to perform.
Finally, the WBS requires continual refinement. The first iteration is rarely right and as the project changes,
so does the WBS. Still, the advantages outweigh the challenges. A good WBS makes planning and executing
a project easier.
Where WBSs Go Wrong
More often than not, a simple WBS can improve the overall performance of a project. Sometimes, however,
a WBS can do more harm than good. The reasons some WBSs fail are as follows:
1. The WBS does not have sufficient detail. If it is kept to too high a level, estimating, and tracking
the schedule and cost performance become “guesstimation.” Composite or roll-up views lack
meaning because the lower-level content is missing or too general to be reliable.
2. The WBS is the result of one individual and does not include those who will work on the tasks.
When the WBS is published, few team members have a sense of ownership or commitment to the
contents.
3. The WBS does not cover the whole project. It contains only the activities needed to build the
project. It might omit other important activities, such as project administration and training. The result
is that subsequent delivery of the product or service is unsatisfactory.
4. The entire WBS is not used in subsequent planning. The project manager takes an eclectic view of
the WBS, using only selected portions. The result is incomplete planning, lacking a comprehensive
view of the work to be done.
5. There is a failure to put the WBS under configuration management. Once everyone agrees on its
contents, the WBS should not become “frozen” or “baselined,” with all future changes not identified
or evaluated for their impact on the project. Failure to manage changes to the WBS can result in
unanticipated impacts on the scope, schedule, or cost.

As Perry progresses down each leg of the WBS, he gets to a level of detail that provides the ability to track
and monitor progress, make assignments that build accountability, and reliably estimate the hours to perform
tasks. How detailed the WBS gets depends on the level of control the project manager wants. Generally, the
more specific the WBS, the more accurate the planning and the greater the ability to monitor progress. A
common heuristic Perry uses is the 80-hour rule: each of the lowest-level items in the WBS should not exceed
80 hours™ effort. If the job requires more, then he breaks down the task into smaller tasks. Perry recognizes
that he will have to continually refine the WBS as he estimates the time to complete tasks.
To begin developing a WBS, Perry identifies all the requirements for the wedding. First he reviews the SOW,
which provides a guideline since it is representative of a high level and contains all the necessary information.
Other sources of information for building the WBS are documentation, including the WBS, of related
projects; interview notes; legal documentation; and memorandums.
With this information, Perry decides on how to approach the WBS. There are many ways to draw up a
WBS”for example, by responsibility (see Exhibit 6-1); by phase; or by deliverables. He decides on
deliverables for this WBS since that worked best for him in the past. It is also easier to determine progress at a
higher level when reporting to senior management or the customer.




Exhibit 6-1. Work breakdown structure based on responsibility.
The WBS generally consists of two components. The first component is the product breakdown structure
(PBS), which delineates the segments that constitute the final product or service. It may also contain items
deemed important (e.g., training). Each item in the PBS is described with a noun and a unique number.
The other component is the task breakdown structure (TBS), which contains the tasks to build or deliver
something (see Exhibit 6-2). It may also list tasks deemed important to the project. Each task in the TBS is
described with an action verb, a noun, and a unique number.


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Project Management Practitioner's Handbook
by Ralph L. Kleim and Irwin S. Ludin
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814403964 Pub Date: 01/01/98

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The lowest level in the WBS is the work package level. These are the tasks or subtasks he will use to assign
Title
responsibilities, construct schedules, and track progress. Consider the WBS as a giant topical outline. Each
level lower is a breakdown of a higher level. The items in the lower level constitute the one in the next higher
level. Sometimes the higher levels of a WBS are managerial levels; the details are “rolled up” to the
managerial level for reporting purposes. Lower levels are called technical levels.
-----------




Exhibit 6-2. Task breakdown structure (TBS).
On very large projects, each task in the work package has an accompanying description, contained in a WBS
dictionary. Each entry in the dictionary describes the expected output of the task. Thus, a WBS dictionary can
help the project manager determine whether a task has been completed.
Perry™s WBS for the Smythe wedding is shown in the Appendix. He used a word processing program to
produce it. But he can also display the WBS graphically, as a tree diagram, by using graphics software.
Another way is to post sticky notes on a wall to display the hierarchical relationship. Either way, the display
will look like Exhibit 6-3.
With his draft of the WBS ready, Perry is now able to solicit input from the key players. He presents it to the
steering committee and obtains their acceptance. Next, he identifies the key skills needed to perform the tasks
and obtains additional input from team members. The PBS gives him an idea of the following needed
expertise:
• Attendants
• Cosmetologist
• Drivers
• Florist
• Hair stylist
Exhibit 6-3. Graphic display of task breakdown structure.
• Jewelers
• Lawyer
• Musicians
• Photographer
• Planners
• Public relations expert
• Receptionists
• Tailor
• Travel agents
• Ushers
• Valet
• Videographer
• Waiters
• Wedding consultants
At the moment, Perry has no idea how many people with the requisite expertise are necessary. But he will
require at least one of each on the core team (the key participants).
To acquire core team members, Perry needs once again to present his case to the steering committee, and
upon receiving its approval, to contact the relevant functional organizations. Perry now has his core team, as
shown in Exhibit 6-4. Perry then solicits input from these core team members regarding the WBS and gets
ready to take on the next step in planning: estimating the time to complete each task.
The work breakdown structure, although time-consuming to prepare, is an excellent foundation for the
remaining project planning functions. Next we consider the work-time estimates; which aid in the preparation
of schedules and costs.

Questions for Getting Started

1. What are the deliverables for your project? Did you display them in the product breakdown structure
(PBS) of the WBS?
Exhibit 6-4. Core team members.
Attendant, Pat Jones Public relations expert, Eva
Brewster
Cosmetologist, Cynthia Fralusinski Receptionist, Wonda Wrangell
Driver, Terry Karla Tailor, Frank Galucci
Florist, David Rockford Travel agent, Larry Eisenberg
Jeweler, Henry Winkless Usher, Michael Cramer
Lawyer, Robin Schister Valet, Danny Smith
Musician, Vy Toon Videographer, Raymond Leazowitz
Photographer, Gina Davies Waiter, Ted Rogers
Planner, Hank Wilson Wedding consultant, Mary Ewing

2. What are the tasks for your project? Did you display them in the task breakdown structure (TBS) of
the WBS?
3. Did you receive input from all relevant parties when building the WBS?
4. Did you perform the following when building the WBS:
• Explode each leg down to the lowest level of detail (e.g., using the 80-hour rule)?
• Give each item a unique number?
• Give each item in the PBS a name consisting of an adjective and a noun?
• Give each item in the TBS a name consisting of an action verb and an object?
5. Did you put the WBS under configuration control in the event that an item is added, removed, or
modified?


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Project Management Practitioner's Handbook
by Ralph L. Kleim and Irwin S. Ludin
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814403964 Pub Date: 01/01/98

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Title
Chapter 7
Techniques for Estimating Work Times
With the work breakdown structure complete, Perry can now estimate the time required to complete each task.
-----------
But remember, an estimate is just that, an estimate. The best Perry or any project manager can hope to
develop are reliable estimates ” ones that offer confidence in being achievable.

The Benefits and Challenges of Estimating Work Times
Estimating the work times provides several benefits for the project manager. It gives an idea of the level of
effort required to complete a project. This information then enables the project manager to produce a realistic
plan based upon that effort. Estimating also helps the project manager anticipate the budget for the project.
Allocated funds are largely based on the effort, or labor, to produce the product or deliver the service.
The estimate becomes the basis for developing a schedule. Hours are converted to flow time, which in turn is
used, with the interrelationships among tasks, to calculate start and stop dates. Lastly, doing an estimate
breeds commitment. If the people who will do the work also help make the estimates, they will feel more
committed to their tasks and keep within the allotted time.
While it offers many benefits, estimating is not easy, for two reasons. First, it takes time and effort to develop
reliable estimates. Many people take the path of least resistance and generate either an extremely pessimistic
or an overly optimistic estimate. Good estimating requires extensive calculation and research to avoid
skewing the calculated values. Second, estimating requires dealing with ambiguity. By its very nature,
estimating has both knowns and unknowns. The unknowns can generate fear or cause people to react out of
ignorance. Either way, confidence in the resulting estimate is low.

Types of Estimating Techniques
Perry and his team can use one of four techniques to estimate the time it will take to complete each task:
1. Scientific wildly assumed guess
2. Global efficiency factor
3. Productivity adjustment percent
4. Program evaluation and review, or three-point estimating, technique

Scientific Wildly Assumed Guess (SWAG)
This technique is the most popular, yet the most unreliable. The SWAG is most popular because it is quick.
The estimator determines a single value for time to do the work; no long calculations are necessary. The
estimator provides one figure for each task, quickly. The SWAG is also popular because it requires very little
research. Often, one or two individuals can do the entire estimate. It is rarely based on in-depth analysis to
derive the values.
However, the SWAG is also very unreliable for two reasons. First, it is highly subjective, based on one
person™s estimate of doing a task. It accounts for only a limited number of factors, relying on an hour estimate
that is based on a “feel” for doing the work.
Second, it understates or overinflates the time. If the estimators hold themselves in high regard, then the
estimate will be optimistic; if they lack confidence, then it will be pessimistic. As long as the same people do
the same work, then the estimates may prove reliable. What happens, though, if someone does the work who
had no input to the estimate? What happens if an obstacle arises that the new person cannot handle? Then the
estimate becomes unreliable.
For these two reasons alone, Perry decides not to use the SWAG technique. Now he is thinking about using
the global efficiency factor technique.

Global Efficiency Factor (GEF)
This technique is also easy to use and attempts to incorporate nonproductive time into the estimate. The
estimation assumes that a person is 100 percent productive. Then the estimator accounts for nonproductive
factors that are each assigned a percent relative to each other. The estimator deducts the percents from 100
percent to derive a more realistic estimate, as follows:
Task 10.4 Arrange for food and beverage
Deficiency Percent to Deduct

Unsatisfactory skill level 8

Unfamiliarity with project 10

Unfamiliarity with tools 5

Lack of well-defined requirements 2

Total Deficiency 25

Estimate to perform work 100 hours
Adjusted estimate 125 hours [100 hours + (100 hours — 25%)]

The GEF is not as popular but it does have its adherents. They believe that it accounts for nonproductive time
and eliminates the tendency toward unwarranted optimism.
However, the GEF technique has its drawbacks. The percents to deduct are often subjective themselves,
thereby skewed and subjective. The percent for each deduction will also often vary among people. Perry
decides, therefore, to look at another estimating technique: the productivity adjustment percent.

Productivity Adjustment Percent (PAP)
The PAP technique attempts to do on a more global scale what the GEF does. It applies an overall
productivity factor to the estimate for all tasks. For our example, we assume people are 80 percent productive:
Task 8.2.1 Determine floral requirements
100% - 80% = 20%. We now add this 20% factor to our baseline of 100%, giving us a PAP of 120%, or 1.2.
Estimate to perform work 100 hours
Adjusted estimate 120 hours (100 hours — 1.20)
The PAP has its adherents, for two reasons. First, it is based on historical figures. Work measurement studies
are frequently used to derive the overall percent. Second, it is easy to apply this calculation. There are no
percent deductions on a task-by-task basis nor any burdensome mathematical calculations.
Despite these two benefits, there are some disadvantages. The historical records are not always available to
determine the productivity factor for an organization. Also, the figure is so global that it may not be relevant
to a specific task. Finally, it does not account for the complexity of issues involving individual tasks. For
these three reasons, Perry does not use the PAP technique. That leaves one other option: the PERT.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
The PERT, also known as the three-point estimating technique, uses three estimates of time to complete a
task. The three estimates are the most likely, most pessimistic, and most optimistic. The most likely time is
the effort (usually in hours) to complete a task under normal or reasonable conditions. The most pessimistic
time is the effort to complete a task under the worst conceivable circumstances. The most optimistic is the
effort to complete a task under the best or ideal circumstances. The three variables are then used to calculate
an expected time to complete a task, as shown below:




Task 1.3.2.1 Determine type of entertainment/music




This estimating technique accounts for the level of effort to complete a task after accounting for all the
parameters to do the work. The estimator assumes that a person is 100 percent productive during the time to
complete the task. Realistically, of course, no one is 100 percent productive. Some time is inevitably spent
being nonproductive, so the hour estimates are adjusted to account for this nonproductive time (e.g., telephone
calls, meetings, break times). This time has no direct relationship to the work being done; the results have no
impact on progress on the actual work. Below is an example of how to calculate the revised expected time:
Task 10.3 Coordinate transportation (ground and air)
Estimate to perform work = 500 hours
500 hours — 1.10 (for 10% nonproductive time) = 550 hours
Revised expected time = 550 hours


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by Ralph L. Kleim and Irwin S. Ludin
AMACOM Books
ISBN: 0814403964 Pub Date: 01/01/98

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