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How to create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in MSP, Asta and P6

When you are planning construction jobs, you have to structure your programme to provide a coherent story of your construction methodology. When we are planning a programme, we have an established Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) approach. This allows for consistency in the way your programme reads and is presented. The Work Breakdown Structure is divided into levels, which provide summary headings and have tasks and milestones underneath them.

Level 0: Project Title
Level 1: Key Milestones, Pre-Construction / Offsite Works, Construction / Onsite Works
Level 2: Design, Authority Approval, Procurement, Site Establishment, Civil / Earthworks, Demolition, Excavation, Structure, Services, Finishes, External Works
Level 3: Architectural Design, Mechanical Design, Ground Floor Finishes, First Floor Finishes

If you have Separable Portions (SP), the SP would be Level 1 and the other ones will move down the Level count.
When you have a consistent WBS, your clients get accustomed to the uniform style of reading your programme. Additionally, we can use the summary headings to get the overall durations for the various sections / work packages / separable portions.

Each of the Big Three planning software – Asta Powerproject, Microsoft Project and Primavera P6 – have specific ways of creating Work Breakdown Structures (WBS).

WBS in MS Project
WBS in Asta Powerproject
WBS in Primavera P6
A coherent Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) significantly improves project planning and communication. We will soon offer educational videos on developing effective WBS in leading project management software, aiming to enhance professional knowledge and project success within the construction industry. For tailored support in implementing these practices, Solid Support is here to assist.

About the writer

Daren Maynard BSc (UWI), MSc (Warwick), PhD (UTS) MIISE, PMP®. works as the National Training Manager at Solid Support. He is an Industrial Engineer specialising in Projects Portfolio Management. In the past 15+ years, he has taught at all levels of education. This teaching experience has been concurrent with his project management experience.
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