4-8-1-1 WBS Categories and Examples


nComponents of a product – this means you start with the finished product and progressively it down into subgroups until you get to eventual work packages
nFunctions/organizational units – a WBS can be based on functional units and sub-functional until again the final element is a work package
nGeographic areas -WBS can be based on locations and sub-locations. For example, for a project spanning multiple continents, the first level could be say North America, Europe, Africa, Asia. Then the next level could be a breakdown of the North America group into Canada, USA and Mexico. Then the USA could be broken down to Winston-Salem, San Francisco, and Detroit etc.
ntime phasesa multi-year project could be broken into say Year1, Year 2 etc. The each year could be broken down to quarter 1, quarter2, and each quarter broken down into month 1, month2 etc in a manner that makes logical sense.
n deliverables- the same logic as explained above applied here where the project outcome is broken down into major deliverables, followed by deliverables, sub-deliverables, etc.

Here are two different representations of a work breakdown structure. Be aware that a WBS is not a precedence diagram. It is represents a logical grouping of tasks that belong together.