awork templates

Work breakdown structure

A work breakdown structure is your guide through every project. Create the WBS as a task list so you can get started right away with your team!


From idea to reality without chaos 💪

Work breakdown structures (WBS) are often depicted like a large tree diagram. Your entire project is broken down into smaller, manageable parts. Each section of the tree represents a specific task, project area or phase - from broad overview to fine detail.

Quite nice, but helpful for implementation? Rather not!

Our tip: Use task lists instead of a tree diagram. You can fill these 1:1 in the same way as the branches of the trees, but store to-dos and responsibilities directly. This helps you to turn the PSP into an interactive tool and get started with your team straight away!

[.b-important-block]Use the work breakdown structure template with task lists so your team can hit the ground running! Simply test the template in the 14-day trial. [.b-important-block]

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What is a work breakdown structure?

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is your ultimate tool for clearly structuring projects. Imagine you have a complex puzzle in front of you - the WBS helps you to put all the pieces together in a meaningful way. It breaks your project down into manageable packages so that you can maintain an overview, allocate resources effectively and minimize risks.

What are the building blocks of a work breakdown structure?

Your WBS can be as individual as your unique project. Start with a clear division into phases, work packages and milestones.

You will see how easy it is to assign tasks and clearly define responsibilities. Whether resource planning or time management, the building blocks of your work breakdown structure can be used variably.

Example building blocks of a WBS:

  • Preparation
  • planning
  • Implementation
  • Documentation and control
  • Completion

As you can see, not only the planning, but also the entire execution, quality control and the final handover, documentation and retro are included in the structure plan.

Our tip: Make sure you really include every element in your plan. In the long term, this will help you to plan reliably in order to deliver the project cost-effectively and on time.

Advantages of using software

Use the awork timeline to track dependencies and the overall project progress.

Maximize your project efficiency with software that easily maps your work breakdown structure! Easily create detailed task lists and maintain an overview at every stage of the project.

Because yes, even though work breakdown structures are often used as tree diagrams. We think that a list structure will help you get started much faster. After all, you have the individual packages organized directly into tasks that you can then assign to the team.

And the best thing: Your plan, implementation and follow-up all take place in one place. Gone are the mailing, sending around files and status quos - simply bundle your project management in awork and rediscover the WBS.

Step by step to the perfect work breakdown structure

  1. Define the project goal: Clarify the main goal of your project.
  2. Identify tasks: Divide the project into main tasks and subtasks.
  3. Develop structure: Organize the tasks hierarchically. Start with the main tasks and divide them further into subtasks.
  4. Define work packages: Each element in the WBS should represent a work package that delivers clearly defined results.
  5. Assign responsibilities: Define who is responsible for each work package.
  6. Planning resources and budgets: Estimate the resource requirements and budget for each work package.
  7. Integrate schedule: Create a schedule that shows when each work package should be executed.
  8. Review and adjust: Make sure all aspects of the project are covered and adjust the WBS as needed, especially if parts of the project are still undefined or changing.

Sounds like a lot? Don't worry, our work breakdown structure template will guide you step by step through the structure of your project lists.

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Common mistakes when creating a work breakdown structure and how to avoid them

To avoid common mistakes when creating a work breakdown structure, you should consider the following:

  1. Avoid incompleteness: Make sure all project elements and tasks are included. Don't overlook small tasks as these can add up and impact the project.
  2. Avoid over-complexity: A plan that is too detailed can become confusing. Focus on the essentials and create subcategories as needed.
  3. Maintain flexibility: A work breakdown structure should not be too rigid. Plan buffers for unforeseen events.
  4. Define clear responsibilities: Each task should have a responsible person assigned to it to avoid irresponsibility.
  5. Ensure alignment: Every part of the plan should be focused on achieving the project outcomes to avoid detours and wasted resources.
  6. Optimize communication: Ensure that the plan is understandable and accessible to all stakeholders to avoid misunderstandings.

Use the awork template for your work breakdown structure

Nobody likes busywork and time-consuming tasks that just keep coming up. That's why we thought about creating practical templates for the most frequently used projects.

These templates help you to call up existing structures, adapt them to your needs and simply start planning straight away.

Save yourself the trouble of listing the preparation process, map the feedback loops via automations and never forget to schedule a team or an area again.

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Talent Acquisition Lead
The bear-strong Panda update is here, bringing one of the most frequently requested features to life: a new task level, or more precisely, real subtasks.

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