How to Make a WBS in Microsoft Project 2013

Microsoft Project 2013 is an incredibly helpful tool for creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). It’s user-friendly and has lots of features for planning, scheduling, and tracking projects. It enables you to break down complex tasks into smaller, easier-to-manage parts.

The software helps you build a hierarchical structure that outlines the project scope. You can assign specific durations, dependencies, and resources to every task. Plus, it generates Gantt charts for a clear overview of the project timeline. They let you identify potential bottlenecks and critical paths. You can also use the software to track progress and analyze project performance.

Microsoft Project 2013 is now one of the most popular project management tools. It’s perfect for project managers who want to streamline their workflow.

Overview of Microsoft Project 2013

Microsoft Project 2013 is an awesome project management software. It’s user-friendly and has plenty of features. Project managers across industries rely on it.

A key feature is the ability to make a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). This is a hierarchy of tasks and deliverables necessary to complete a project. It helps organize activities, making a roadmap for the team.

To create a WBS in Microsoft Project 2013, begin by finding the major deliverables. Break them into small sub-tasks. Assign each to a level in the WBS hierarchy. This outlines the scope of work and sets accountability.

Then, calculate the duration and effort for each work package. This helps allocate resources and plan the timeline. Microsoft Project 2013 has tools for scheduling tasks, assigning resources, and tracking progress.

It’s essential to define dependencies between tasks in your WBS. This shows which tasks must be done before others. Microsoft Project 2013 allows setting task relationships like finish-to-start or start-to-start.

Milestones in your WBS provide checkpoints for tracking progress and evaluating success. Milestones are significant events that mark stages in your project timeline. With Microsoft Project 2013, you can monitor if you’re on track or if changes need to be made.

Regularly update your WBS during the project. Adjustments must be made as new tasks arise or priorities change. This keeps everyone informed about the project’s progress.

Understanding the Importance of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a crucial part of project planning in Microsoft Project 2013. It gives a clear and organized layout of project tasks, allowing for easier understanding and management. This allows us to define the scope of work, assign resources, and track progress. A WBS is paramount for successful project execution.

The importance of a WBS involves its role in project management. It divides complex projects into smaller, manageable tasks. This makes it simple to plan and allocate resources. Each task within the WBS becomes a separate module that can be assigned to team members, making it obvious who is responsible and when tasks should be done. This organized approach ensures all parts of the project are covered, decreasing the risk of neglect or late delivery.

Furthermore, with a WBS, communication among team members is improved. There is a clear outline of tasks and dependencies, so everyone understands project objectives and timelines. This encourages collaboration, coordination, and accountability from the start to the finish of the project.

On top of this, Microsoft Project 2013 makes creating a WBS even better. It offers a user-friendly interface with many tools specifically designed for project management. From Gantt charts to resource tracking, Microsoft Project 2013 simplifies project management processes and boosts productivity.

Step 1: Defining the Project Scope

Defining the project scope is very important in Microsoft Project 2013. Make sure to outline goals, objectives, and deliverables before you start to plan and execute. Here’s a guide to help you:

  1. Understand Project Objectives:
    • Work out the desired outcomes of the project and document them.
    • Clarify what needs to be done and why.
  2. Identify Stakeholders:
    • Work out who will be impacted by or have an interest in the project.
    • Engage with stakeholders to learn their demands and expectations.
  3. Define Project Boundaries:
    • Set clear boundaries on what is included and excluded from the project.
    • Put limits on scope to prevent expansion during execution.
  4. Create a Scope Statement:
    • Create a short and direct statement that describes the scope of work.
    • List down key deliverables, milestones, constraints, assumptions, and dependencies.
  5. Review and Approve Scope:
    • Show the scope statement to stakeholders for review and approval.
    • Make sure everyone involved agrees before continuing.

Communication is key to making sure this process goes smoothly. Defining the project scope accurately sets a strong base for successful planning and execution.

Here’s something interesting: According to a Standish Group study in 2018, only 28% of software projects were successful while 52% faced difficulties or failed.

Step 2: Identifying Major Deliverables

Identifying Major Deliverables is an essential step in creating a WBS in Microsoft Project 2013. Defining them clearly helps the project stay on track and reach its goals. Here’s a 6-step guide to help you with Step 2:

  1. Review the project scope statement or project charter. It’ll give insight into the project objectives and help you identify the major deliverables.
  2. Break the project into smaller components or work packages. Each should have a unique deliverable that contributes to the overall project goals.
  3. Use a hierarchical structure to organize the deliverables. Start with high-level categories and then break them down into more specific subcategories.
  4. Make sure each deliverable is clear, concise, and measurable. It should be easy to understand what needs to be achieved.
  5. Assign a unique identifier to every major deliverable. This will help you track and manage them during the project lifecycle.
  6. Validate the identified deliverables with key stakeholders to make sure everyone agrees on project scope.

Remember, identifying major deliverables correctly sets the foundation for successful project planning and execution. Additionally, consider any dependencies or interdependencies between them. Understanding these relationships can help you allocate resources, schedule tasks, and manage risks.

Enhance this process further by involving relevant team members or subject matter experts, communicating with stakeholders, and refining/updating your list of major deliverables as new information becomes available or changes occur within the project. By following these suggestions, you can effectively identify major deliverables in Microsoft Project 2013 and increase the chances of project success.

Step 3: Breaking Down Major Deliverables into Sub-Deliverables

Breaking down major deliverables into smaller, more manageable sub-deliverables is a must for creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Microsoft Project 2013. Here’s a 3-step guide for doing so:

  1. Identify the main project deliverables. List all the major deliverables that need to be accomplished for the project. These are the primary outcomes or final products.
  2. Analyze and decompose the deliverables. Take each major deliverable and look at its components and dependencies. Break it down into smaller, measurable tasks or sub-deliverables. Use hierarchy techniques like indenting and outlining to show these.
  3. Assign resources and establish dependencies. Once you have identified the sub-deliverables, assign resources and set up any dependencies between them. Make sure tasks are completed in the right order.

Breaking down major deliverables into sub-deliverables helps plan, track, and control the project timeline and progress. Set milestones at key points during the project to track progress effectively.

Microsoft Project 2013 is popular among project managers worldwide. It has various tools for scheduling, resource allocation, progress tracking, and reporting.

Step 4: Adding Dependencies and Sequencing Tasks

Adding Dependencies and Sequencing Tasks in Microsoft Project 2013 is vital for project management. It lets you make connections between tasks, so your project runs without any issues. Here’s a guide to help you out:

  1. Figure out the tasks: First, list out all the tasks that need to be done. Break them into smaller, doable units for better accuracy.
  2. Set task dependencies: Next, decide the logical order of your tasks. These dependencies can be FS (Finish to Start), SS (Start to Start), FF (Finish to Finish), or SF (Start to Finish).
  3. Add lag time: If there are delays or gaps between tasks, account for those with lag time. This allows a reasonable gap between the end of one task and the start of its dependent task.
  4. Define constraints: Constraints are restrictions on task scheduling, such as start date, end date, or duration. Define the necessary constraints for each task.
  5. Identify critical path: The critical path is the longest string of dependant tasks that determines the duration of the project. Knowing this helps you manage key tasks more closely.
  6. Use lead time: Lead time is when you can overlap a task with its dependent task before it is finished. This makes the timeline shorter.

Microsoft Project 2013 also offers various features and options to customize your dependencies and sequencing. Organizations use it to manage their projects more efficiently. For instance, a software dev firm used this feature to streamline their projects. As a result, they were able to meet their deadlines without compromising on quality. This proves how important the right project management tools are for success.

Step 5: Assigning Resources to Tasks

  1. Open Microsoft Project 2013 and pick your project.
  2. Go to the “Task” tab and press the “Assign Resources” button.
  3. A dialog box will appear with resources. Select the ones you need and enter a value in the “Units” column.
  4. Click “OK” to assign them to the task.
  5. Repeat this for every task.

Now you know how to assign resources to tasks!

Remember: Assigning resources effectively requires knowledge of their availability, skills, and workload. Consider constraints and dependencies when assigning.

Pro Tip: Update and review resource assignments regularly throughout the project. This maximizes efficiency and ensures optimal resource allocation.

Step 6: Estimating Durations and Setting Deadlines

Estimating durations and setting deadlines is essential for a WBS in Microsoft Project 2013. Here’s a guide to help you:

  1. Assess tasks. Identify all project tasks and break them into manageable components.
  2. Estimate durations. Figure out how much time it’ll take to finish each task. Think about resources, complexity, and other tasks it depends on.
  3. Set deadlines. Use your estimated durations to establish realistic deadlines. This helps the project progress and stay on track.
  4. Consider constraints. Think about any constraints or limitations which could affect task durations or deadlines. These could include resource availability, budget constraints, or external dependencies.
  5. Monitor progress. Review and update task durations and deadlines as your project progresses. This lets you make necessary adjustments and keep things on schedule.

Accurate estimates and deadlines are vital for successful project planning in Microsoft Project 2013. Remember that estimating durations and setting deadlines require regular reassessment. Adjustments may be needed due to delays, resource availability, or shifting priorities.

Fun fact: Microsoft Project first launched in 1984 as a DOS-based program called ‘Project Manager for Macintosh’ by Apple Computer Inc.

Step 7: Creating the WBS in Microsoft Project 2013

Creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)? Microsoft Project 2013 has got you covered! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Open the software and create a new project.
  2. Click the ‘Task’ tab, select ‘Summary Task’ and define the main deliverables or phases of your project.
  3. Give the tasks concise and clear names.
  4. Select the respective summary task and click ‘Task’ followed by ‘Insert Task’ to add subtasks.
  5. Keep breaking down the subtasks until they are manageable and easily understandable.
  6. Link all related tasks for proper sequencing by selecting the first task, clicking on ‘Task’, then selecting ‘Link Tasks’.

When creating the WBS, assign durations, resources, start dates, dependencies between tasks and other relevant information to each task. This will help you accurately track progress and manage your project better.

Take advantage of Microsoft Project 2013 to plan and execute projects with ease and precision. Start creating your WBS now!

Customizing the WBS View

In the busy and ever-changing business world, personalizing your WBS view in Microsoft Project 2013 is key to successful project management. With tailored views, you can get a better grasp of tasks, schedules, and resource allocations. Here’s a guide to customizing the WBS view in six easy steps:

  1. Select the “View” tab at the top of your Microsoft Project interface.
  2. Click on the “Tables” dropdown menu and pick “More Tables”.
  3. In the “More Tables” dialog box, select a predefined table or create your own.
  4. Go back to the “View” tab and press the “Outline Data” button.
  5. Tweak the fields displayed in your WBS view by adding or removing columns. Check or uncheck the boxes to edit your view.
  6. Save it by clicking the “View” tab and selecting “Save View As”.

Follow these steps to make your WBS view in Microsoft Project 2013 your own. To improve your experience, review and update it regularly. Use the filtering and sorting features to easily analyze and track progress. Don’t miss out on higher efficiency and productivity! Customize the WBS view in Microsoft Project 2013 today.

Adding Milestones and Control Points

To add milestones in MS Project 2013, go to the Gantt Chart view. Find the task you want to insert it in and right-click. From the context menu, select “Task Information” and go to the “Advanced” tab. Check the option that says “Mark Task as Milestone” and click “OK”. A diamond-shaped symbol will appear to show the milestone.

Control points are checkpoints for evaluation. Create a new task for this purpose. Set a duration of one day. Define criteria or objectives to assess progress.

Pro Tip: Use clear names for milestones and control points. Align them with your project goals. This helps track and manage the project better.

Monitoring and Updating the WBS

Monitoring and updating the WBS is essential for successful project management. Regularly review and make needed tweaks to stay on track and meet your objectives. To help you, here’s a step-by-step guide for effectively monitoring and updating the WBS in Microsoft Project 2013:

  1. Review the Work Breakdown Structure: Take a look at the current WBS to spot any changes or updates. Look out for missing tasks, duplicated tasks, or any discrepancies that could impact progress.

  2. Update Task Dependencies: As you review the WBS, pay attention to task dependencies. Ensure relationships are accurately reflected in your project schedule. Make adjustments as needed to reflect the real flow of work.

  3. Track Progress and Adjust: Keep an eye on the progress of each task against its planned duration and completion date. Note any deviations or delays and make suitable adjustments to keep your project on schedule. This could include reallocating resources, revising task durations, or dealing with unforeseen obstacles.

Remember to communicate with team members and stakeholders about any updates or changes to the WBS. This will keep everyone aware and in sync throughout the project lifecycle.

Pro Tip: Use Microsoft Project’s built-in tracking features like Gantt charts and resource allocation tools to streamline the monitoring and updating process. These tools can give valuable insights into task progress, resource utilization, and overall project performance.

By observing and updating the WBS in Microsoft Project 2013, you can control your projects, address issues in advance, and ultimately achieve success. Stay attentive and adaptive throughout the project lifecycle to optimize efficiency and reduce risks.


Reviewing Microsoft Project 2013’s WBS creation process reveals that it provides an efficient platform for organizing and managing complex projects. By following the steps outlined, users can generate a comprehensive work breakdown structure.

Project managers benefit from this software’s user-friendly interface and customizable features. Plus, it offers various visuals like Gantt charts, timelines, and reports that help stakeholders understand project milestones and deliverables. This ensures transparency and aids decision-making.

Microsoft Project 2013 also supports integration with other Microsoft Office applications. Data can be transferred between platforms, enhancing productivity and streamlining workflows.

A PMI study shows that organizations using project management software have higher success rates in completing projects within scope, time, and budget constraints.

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