Part 64: Decomposition
(Project Scope Management: Create WBS)
(Project Schedule Management: Define Activities)

  • Decomposition means subdividing the project scope/deliverables into smaller components
  • Level of decomposition depends on degree of control needed to manage the project, and therefore depends on the size of the project
  • Decomposition process
    • Identify/analyse deliverables and related work
    • Structure/organize the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure)
    • Decompose the upper WBS into lower-level components
    • Develop/assign identification codes to each component
    • Verify that the degree of decomposition is appropriate
  • Each of the lowest level components is a verifiable product, service, or result
  • Each project deliverable can have a different level of decomposition
  • Care must be taken to not decompose deliverables more than necessary (this can waste time)
  • Rolling Wave Planning may be used
    • We don’t have to break down the entire project right away
    • We only break down the components that are being produced in the immediate future
    • Components being produced later can be broken down later
    • We might not know enough about them to break them down now
    • We call this Rolling Wave Planning
  • The WBS contains all the work for the project, including Project Management Work
  • 100% Rule = nothing is left out of the WBS and no additional work is performed outside of the WBS