Setup Your Work Breakdown Structure

In this section, you will see how you can easily setup the work breakdown structure in your 2-plan Desktop and the advantage it offers over other project management software.

graphical work breakdown structure

How your 2-plan Desktop's WBS scores above other PM software

While most PM tools focus on the project duration, your 2-plan Desktop focuses on the cost/effort through the provision of effort-driven projects/work packages. Likewise, it also caters to the project duration through its fixed-duration projects/work packages. Hence, 2-plan Desktop provides top-down and bottom-up planning. Moreover, your 2-plan Desktop doesn’t auto-adjust the resource-allocation/cost/duration. Instead, it makes the adjustment depending on the type of work package. The main advantage of this flexibility is that you can configure your 2-plan Desktop right at the onset of the project.

With your 2-plan Desktop, you can assign effort/cost to top level work packages and keep splitting these into smaller work packages as you go. The effort of the top level work package isn’t adjusted to match the sum of efforts allocated to its child work packages. Such mismatches are highlighted in red color instead of auto-adjusting so you'll know what is going on and you are always in control. You can correct the mismatches on your own (at the right moment). It’s only when you schedule work packages (using the ‘Project’ menu) that the corrections are reflected.

Top-down planning

What are work packages?

Work packages are basically packets of work that are arrived at by breaking down the work or project into smaller, more manageable and logical pieces of work. These work packages are also linked to each other and are arranged into a logical structure that project managers call the WBS or work breakdown structure.

Types of Work Packages in Your 2-plan Desktop

There are 4 types of work packages that are available in your 2-plan Desktop – deactived, effort-driven, manual and fixed-duration. However, for manual projects, there is no choice for type of work package and only the manual work package is available (so, you don’t have a list of options to choose from when you're in manual mode).

Effort driven. For this work package, you specify the effort and not the duration. The duration for such work packages is then calculated based on the resource assignments such as person-days or quantity of persons assigned.

Fixed duration. For this work package, you specify the duration during which the work package has to be completed. The other parameters are accordingly calculated. For instance, resource assignments might appropriately be made to ensure the completion of the project for a fixed duration or set amount of time.

Manual. This work package doesn’t have a duration or effort parameter. It only has start and finish dates (as specified manually).

Deactivated. This work package has no impact on the calculation of dates. This way, neither the allocated resources nor dependencies on other work packages are considered.

Properties of a Work Package

The properties of a work package (for an effort-driven project) are as follows:

Workpackage

Set the name of the work package, provide a description, enter the WBS code for project accounting chart of accounts, and also link the work package to a milestone.

Plan

Choose the type of work package from the available list, specify the duration/effort and start/finish dates.

Resource

Specify the resource assignments for the work package.

Predecessors

Specify the dependencies of the work package with work packages.

Details

Specify preconditions, deliverables and acceptance criteria.

Add/Modify the Properties of a Work Package

To add/modify the properties of a work package:

  • Select the work package (in workspace) whose properties you need to specify/modify.
  • Go to the BOEditor and specify/modify the properties as you wish.
Initially when developing the WBS for your project, you will just be specifying the type of work packages and planned effort. Other properties will typically be specified when you are already scheduling your project for execution by your teams.

Add Work Packages Using the Work Breakdown Structure or Graphical WBS View

Previously, 2 methods for adding work packages have already been discussed. However, you can also add work packages using the Work Breakdown Structure or Graphical WBS view.

To add a work package using the Work Breakdown Structure or Graphical-WBS view:

  • Open the Work Breakdown Structure/Graphical WBS view.
  • Select the work package for which you want to add child work packages.
  • Click the work package icon in the local top menu within the Work Breakdown Structure/Graphical WBS view. The child work packages are then added to the selected work package.
The Graphical WBS also works in exactly the same way as Work Breakdown Structure view except that it is a graphical representation.

Modify the Workpackage Tree Using the WBS or Graphical WBS View

To modify the position of a work package in the WBS tree:

  • Open the Work Breakdown Structure/Graphical WBS view.
  • Select the work package that you want to move to a different position in the WBS tree.
  • Click one of the yellow arrows (part of the toolbar that is just below the top menu bar) – right, left, up, down – based on where you want to move the work package.