Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Codes

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a hierarchical decomposition of work that breaks down the schedule into manageable sections. It allows for more than just one subcategory, or level, and can be thought of as an overall outline of the project.

Codes are also used for organizing or sorting but have limitations that the WBS does not. For example, codes can only have 1 level of sub-categories, or “values”. Also, values can be assigned to activities, but not codes themselves. Take a project with a code called “Area” with the values “North,” “South,” “East,” and “West”. An activity could then be assigned to “North” but not to “Area” itself. (If desired, an activity could be assigned to “North” AND “South” by choosing the assignment behavior Multiple). In general, codes are not necessarily related to one another and are optional; the WBS is a single cohesive hierarchy which effectively summarizes the project.

Both the WBS as well as codes can be used as a basis for swimlanes to lay out the network, and they can be exported or imported from Excel. This chapter includes details for the following:

  1. The Codes Manager
  2. Configuring the WBS
  3. Adding/modifying codes
  4. Making Assignments
  5. Creating swimlanes
  6. Exporting/importing from Excel