The Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary
Now take a look at the contents of the image on your left, which is the dictionary that accompanies the WBS sample above.
This is usually prepared for large and complex projects that have many tasks and is prepared by the project manager in coordination with the team members, who will contribute by providing work-related inputs.
Both the project manager and the team members should furnish a collective description of each task, which will serve as a set of clear definitions about each assigned activity and project requirement as they are linked to all underlying functions.
The document is useful for maintaining a clear line of communication, since team members would know the owners of a particular project function.
A closer look at this sample will show that each major function is provided with numerical indices that matches each function under each type of functional category. In this example, the WBS is described as Phase 1 while the first major function is stated as Project Management - Project Manager. This particular component was then assigned with the numeric code 1.1. and is owned by the Project Manager. Henceforth, all dictionary entries should have a matching definition for each of these numeric codes.
Where other workplace environments make use of the officers' and staff's initials to identify a related function or concern during meetings, planning and deliberations --- the identifying numeric codes may also be used as a form of identification. It is possible for complex and large-scale undertakings to experience turnovers while the project is still incomplete or ongoing; hence, using numeric codes as alternative, dispenses with the need for name recalling.
Although structures and manners of presentations may vary, this project management tool serves as a point of reference for other task-related information, which generally includes the following:
- An identifier or label for each individual task
- Job owner
- Functional requirements to be fulfilled
- Technical requirements for completing the task
- End objective
Each component should end with a statement about the function's main objective.