Work Breakdown Structure Template
Scope projects and keep track of all the moving pieces with the Work Breakdown Structure Template. Know right away what needs to be done and execute tasks more efficiently.
About the Work Breakdown Structure Template
Planning complex projects can be challenging. Use the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Template to quickly decompose the project’s total scope, including specific deliverables and activities. This helps with estimating resources and costs, creating a phased schedule of tasks, and managing each phase.
What is a Work Breakdown Structure Template?
A Work Breakdown Structure Template is a project management tool that lays out everything a project must accomplish, organizes those tasks into multiple levels, and displays these elements graphically. It’s a deliverable-based approach, meaning you’ll end up with a detailed project plan of the deliverables you must create to finish the job.
When to use a Work Breakdown Structure
Use the WBS Template when you need to deconstruct your team's work into smaller, well-defined elements to make it more manageable. The template makes it easy to keep team members informed, identify specific project deliverables, and help you develop a project schedule. The hierarchical structure makes it easier for a project manager to oversee a complex project and make sure every task gets done.
What are the 4 elements of the Work Breakdown Structure template?
Each Work Breakdown Structure is hierarchical. That means every “child” on the graph has a hierarchical relationship with its parent task. When you add up all the “child” elements, it’ll give you a clear picture of the parent task.
2. 100% rule.
While every Work Breakdown Structure is a little different, they all follow the 100% rule. Every level of the graph must make up 100% of the parent level, and it must have at least two “child” elements.
3. Mutually exclusive elements.
Every element at each level of a WBS template has to be mutually exclusive. That means there can’t be any overlap between deliverables or work. Enforcing mutual exclusivity helps cut down on miscommunication and avoid duplicate work.
The Work Breakdown Structure is fundamentally a deliverable-oriented system. That means your graphic depiction must focus on the outcomes rather than the activities required to produce them. A good rule of thumb is to describe elements using nouns rather than verbs.
How to Create a Work Breakdown Structure in 3 Steps
Get started by selecting the WBS Template and adding it to your board. Then, follow these steps to fill it in:
1. Set goals & objectives
First, scope the entire project and make sure you understand the goals and objectives. That means determining what your project team is trying to accomplish with the project, how it fits into the broader goals of your organization.
2. Lay out deliverables
Next, catalog all of the major high-level deliverables of the project. These will be the second tier of the structure, and will be comprised of sub-projects that work towards the overall goals & objectives laid out in the first step.
3. Break deliverables into individual tasks
Finally, break those high-level deliverables into smaller pieces for a third level of activities that need to be done to complete the project. These are the specific daily sub-tasks required to get the project off the ground and ultimately completed.
Work Breakdown Structure Example
As a product manager, you probably need to organize projects and align different teams across product launches and updates.
In Miro’s WBS Template, you can see the product launch steps divided into departments:
We know that every organization is different, and for that reason, you can easily customize the Work Breakdown Structure Template to meet your specific project's needs.
To complete your work breakdown structure, you can add the tasks under each area or department. It can be user research, product development, performance tracking, etc. Once you are done, you will be able to see the whole process at a glance.
What is included in a work breakdown structure template?
There are typically three levels to a work breakdown structure: first, overall goals and objectives, with deliverables as the next level, and finally individual tasks as the final level.
Why use a work breakdown structure?
A work breakdown structure is a great way to break down an overall project into distinct individual tasks, along with aligning each of those tasks with priorities, goals & objectives.
How do you create a work breakdown structure?
You can create a WBS template in 3 simple steps: 1. Set goals and project scope 2. Set deliverables in the second tier of the structure 3. Break deliverables into individual tasks and assign them
What are the benefits of a work breakdown structure?
The WBS template can help you visualize your project needs and outcomes easily and better manage your team capacity and resources.
Works best for:
Flowcharts, Mapping, Diagrams
Trying to explain a process or workflow to your team — or just wrap your head around it yourself? Sometimes the best way is to see it, and that’s when you create a flowchart. Using common shapes (generally just ovals, rectangles, diamonds, and arrows), a flowchart shows you the direction a process or workflow goes and the order of steps. Beyond giving you a clear understanding, you’ll also be able to see potential flaws and bottlenecks, which helps you refine and improve your process and create a better product more efficiently.
Impact Mapping Template
Works best for:
Agile Methodology, Mapping, Agile Workflows
When you’re building products and shipping goods (oh, and everything in between) there’s nothing more important than staying organized and on-task. Impact mapping is a great way to do it. This trusty product planning technique creates a graphical representation of all your goals and the steps it’ll take to reach each one — so you can clearly communicate with your teammates, align on business objectives, and build better roadmaps. Our template will help you do impact mapping for any type of project planning.
3x3 Prioritization Method Template
Works best for:
Operations, Prioritization, Strategic Planning
It’s all about assessing a task or idea, and quickly deciding the effort it will take and the potential impact it will have—ranked low, medium, or high. That’s what the 3x3 prioritization method does: Help teams prioritize and identify quick wins, big projects, filler tasks, or time-wasters. With nine bucket areas, it offers slightly greater detail than the 2x2 Prioritization Matrix (or Lean Prioritization Method). It’s easy to make your own 3x3 prioritization matrix—then use it to determine what activities or ideas to focus on with your valuable resources.
Stakeholder Analysis Template
Works best for:
Project Management, Strategic Planning, Project Planning
Managing stakeholders is integral to completing a project on time and meeting expectations, so here’s how to use a stakeholder analysis to help. A stakeholder analysis empowers you to meet expectations and complete projects on time by identifying individuals, groups, and organizations with a vested interest in a program or process. In a typical stakeholder analysis, you’ll prioritize stakeholders based on their influence on a project and seek to understand how best to interface with them throughout the course of the project.
Visual Story Map Template
Works best for:
Marketing, Desk Research, Mapping
Some people like to think of a visual story map as a stylized to-do list, but it’s a lot more powerful than that. Visual story mapping allows your product management team to visualize multiple dimensions of information.
Go-to-Market Strategy Template
Works best for:
Marketing, Desk Research, Strategic Planning
It doesn’t matter how innovative or effective a new product is — if it doesn’t get noticed and adopted by the right audience, the product won’t get off the ground. That’s where your Go-to-Market Strategy comes in. It’s a single resource that houses all of your research, insights, and data, and includes your business plan, target audience, marketing approach, and sales strategy. A GTM is especially important for any startups who grow fast, have to make split-second decisions, and have to be fully in sync.