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Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence by [Norman, Eric S., Brotherton, Shelly A., Fried, Robert T.]
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Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Description


"This book is written for everyone responsible for project management or product development work. The topic of the book is a critically useful and important technique for describing and understanding any new product or project development. I applaud the efforts of the authors in showing not just the relevance of a WBS (Work Breakdown Structures) and WBS dictionary to planning a project but also to its execution. A significant contribution of this book is the prominent highlighting the scope of the project management function itself as one of the deliverables in the WBS." ( Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2010; 778–783)

From the Back Cover

Business & Economics/Project Management

Understand and apply new concepts regarding Work Breakdown Structures

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) has emerged as a foundational concept and tool in Project Management. It is an enabler that ensures clear definition and communication of project scope while performing a critical role as a monitoring and controlling tool. Created by the three experts who led the development of PMI′s Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures, Second Edition, this much–needed text expands on what the standard covers and describes how to go about successfully implementing the WBS within the project life cycle, from initiation and planning through project closeout.

Filling the gap in the literature on the WBS, Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management Excellence gives the reader an understanding of:

  • The background and key concepts of the WBS

  • WBS core characteristics, decomposition, representations, and tools

  • Project initiation and the WBS, including contracts, agreements, and Statements of Work (SOW)

  • Deliverable–based and activity–based management

  • Using the WBS as a basis for procurement and financial planning

  • Quality, risk, resource, and communication planning with the WBS

  • The WBS in the executing, monitoring, and controlling phases

  • New concepts regarding the representation of project and program scope

  • Verifying project closeout with the WBS

Using a real–life project as an example throughout the book, the authors show how the WBS first serves to document and collect information during the initiating and planning phases of a project. Then, during the executing phase, the authors demonstrate how the WBS transitions to an active role of project decision–support, serving as a reference and a source for control and measurement.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5500 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470177128
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (23 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00452V4RM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,439,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Lots of information but the authors consistently refer you to the PM BOK, it's as if they don't feel confident enough wirh their own expertise or experience. I guess I was hoping for more practical examples from real projects rather than a school text book. It's still useful and I have tried to apply the contents to my projects but as with all learning, the theory and practical application are two entirely different things and for me that is the key weakness of the book, lack of real world application and examples; the authors have failed to demonstrate how they have applied the theory. I would still recommend it as a good reference but I do feel the need to go and buy the PMBOK now, as it would appear that this is true font of all knowledge, which is what this book infers throughout. I'm just dreading another school text book full of theoretical ideas with little real world application, oh well, the truth is out there, somewhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8a06bcf0) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89a71d44) out of 5 stars A Practical Guide to Using the WBS 26 Jan. 2009
By George A. Ksander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a readable book about a difficult subject, the creation and, especially, the use of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), for planning and managing a project. It is written for professional project managers but is approachable by any non-professional with a personal or work-related project. The authors are among the world's experts on the WBS since they led the Project Management Institute (PMI) team that developed the official Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures - Second Edition. The book serves as a user's manual that shows how the official Standard can be applied in every day practice. The key word for this book is practicality.

The WBS is the basis for all project management tools and procedures. Accordingly the book provides insights into the whole range of project management practice. It initially provides an overview of what a WBS is, how to recognize whether a specific WBS is appropriate for any given project, and how to create a WBS using ground-up planning, templates, or standards. It then provides in-depth explanations of the practical use of the WBS in the major project management knowledge areas of scope, time, cost, quality, communication and risk management.

I particularly like chapters 3 and 4 on initiating a project by using the WBS to define the project scope. This discussion really brings together the integrated use of all of the scope tools, e.g., Project Charter, Scope Statement, Statements of Work (SOW), WBS Dictionary, Scope Baseline, Acceptance Criteria) in a way that, I suspect, practitioners rarely appreciate. A side effect of this discussion is to clarify how each of the other deliverables is used and individually adds value to the project management process.

The authors introduce a valuable new concept, the "Scope Relationship Diagram" which is both a way for thinking about dependencies in the WBS as well as a very useful technique for communicating dependencies across WBS hierarchy levels in an intuitive visual way. It should be especially useful in the context of horizon planning where future tasks are not yet defined in the same detail as early tasks. Very nice!

The informal writing style makes the subject matter much more understandable than does the more formal and proscriptive style that is usually used to describe the WBS. The authors often use the form of a dialog with the reader: "This is Eric speaking...This is Rob...". This style defuses some of the authoritarian atmosphere surrounding WBS discussions and makes it a more appealing tool. The concepts presented in each chapter are illustrated by repeated use of a house metaphor as a practical example of applying the concepts presented to the planning and execution of a hypothetical new home construction project. Each chapter provides references and review questions with answers and the appendix provides examples of key deliverables.

I strongly recommend the book.

(Full disclosure: This reviewer worked with the book's authors during the development of the Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures - Second Edition but was not involved in writing this book.)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89a71d98) out of 5 stars WBS - Key to Success 21 Dec. 2008
By German Bernate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WBS - Key to success

Most experienced project manager's practitioners know the WBS importance. This is the result of a good planning. This book teaches to the reader how to construct a high-quality WBS. Authors include their own experience during several years working in Project Management. The book is aligned to PMBOK -Project Management Body of Knowledge Third Edition.

There are several examples (whit all the information) of WBS developed by: Process Group, Knowledge Area, and an interesting Knowledge Area Lite. Certainly, I enjoy reading; also, I learn many new elements than have improved my understanding.

German Bernate
HASH(0x8981dc3c) out of 5 stars good text 25 Mar. 2013
By Tom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is required for one of my PM classes. Very easy read, informative, hits the points well without over-writing....Arrived well within time frame stated in perfect shape
HASH(0x89992864) out of 5 stars Five Stars 19 Nov. 2014
By Tony L - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another book for my library as a Professional Planner/Scheduler
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a203ac8) out of 5 stars Open up the process 2 Nov. 2009
By Mr. Charles L. Ducher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Work Breakdown Structures: The Foundation for Project Management ExcellenceHaving worked in project management for 30+ years - I know it is necessary to have a birds view, whether it is a product or service, of the tasks at hand and to ensure that, a Work Breakdown Structure is vital...
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