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Task Breakdown Checklist


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Task Breakdown Checklist This Task Breakdown Checklist is created to support efforts of individuals who need building a work decomposition structure. Task breakdown in Project Management stands for modularizing the project into manageable segments and smaller tasks (or deliverables), so the managers can obtain overview of work scope to be done. This Checklist is a walkthrough explaining the baseline of the task decomposition method and its purposes.

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Task Breakdown Management:

  • Project management task breakdown (aka WBS, or work decomposition) is a hierarchical tree-like structure of deliverables and smaller tasks that need to be performed to complete a project or a greater task (it shows the scope of work decomposed from general to specific matters);
  • Define whether you need Activity-oriented or Deliverable-oriented breakdown format;
  • Define the level of detail necessary: task decomposition goes down to a terminal element that is the lowest possible level which is not further subdivided;

The process of sub-dividing the work should go only far enough to identify assignable tasks. 

  • The WBS should result in a list of discrete, measurable and feasible deliverables or actions;
  • Determine an appropriate organization for your work breakdown structure;
  • Identify how the team members will be involved into creating the work breakdown structure and educate them on their roles (provide them with trainings if necessary) to make sure that the team members will contribute to the definition of the work;
  • Identify the major work efforts (a series of project phases or stages) or major deliverables;
  • Break the top level of your task breakdown further into a hierarchical set of smaller units;
  • Determine the Critical Path of the work – the sequence of vital activities (or deliverables) which make up the backbone of workflow and underlie the longest work duration;
  • Identify dependencies between the WBS items (they are to be linked up by interdependencies);
  • Estimate the terminal elements in terms of the resource requirements, budget, and duration;
  • Allocate responsibilities for WBS items to specific empowered individuals or groups;
  • Design appropriate WBS coding scheme (task breakdown sheet) for all embedded elements to be numbered sequentially to reveal the hierarchical structure (WBS dictionary to describe each component in detail), such a project breakdown template may comprise:
    • Breakdown element ID feild;
    • Element descriptor field;
    • Field to denote element predecessor;
    • Element owner field;
    • Start date;
    • Finish date;
  • Ensure that every aspect and area of the project has been covered adequately without any gaps;
  • When employing agile methodology, it can be necessary to review and update some content within the accepted task decomposition structure pattern every workflow iteration, for example when updating the work breakdown content every Scrum’s sprint;
  • Project management software products can appear very helpful for developing Task Breakdown Structures, and collaborating through them with a team. For example, you may try using VIP Task Manager which is teamwork software for planning and scheduling tasks.

Task Breakdown Analysis:

  • Make sure that your WBS assists you on developing a rational picture of resources and efforts required to accomplish the job (the amount and scope of work);
  • Make sure it helps you to understand the skills required;
  • Make sure it provides a framework for assigning clear-cut work definitions to individuals and controlling the criteria for completion (work packages);
  • Make sure it assists you on defining the inter-dependencies between tasks;
  • Make sure it forms up the basis for scheduling the project ...;

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