1.4 What does a Work Breakdown Structure Accomplish?
This handbook addresses two fundamental and interrelated types of work breakdown structures—the Program WBS and the Contract WBS. The Program WBS provides a framework for specifying the objectives of the program. It defines the program in terms of hierarchically related product-oriented elements. Each element provides logical summary points for assessing technical accomplishments and for measuring cost and schedule performance. The Contract WBS is the government-approved work breakdown structure for reporting purposes and its discretionary extension to lower levels by the contractor, in accordance with government direction and the contract work statement. It includes all the elements for the products (hardware, software, data, or services) which are the responsibility of the contractor. Further, the work breakdown structure serves as a coordinating medium. Through the Program WBS and the Contract WBS, work is documented as resources are allocated and expended. Technical, schedule, and cost data are routinely generated for reporting purposes.
Replaced/Superseded by document(s)
1.1 Handbook purpose and structure
This handbook presents guidelines for preparing, understanding, and presenting a work breakdown structure (WBS). After the general purpose of work breakdown structures is discussed in Chapter 1, the handbook provides instructions on how to develop a program work breakdown structure (Program WBS) in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 offers guidance for developing and implementing a contract work breakdown structure (Contract WBS). Chapter 4 examines the role of the work breakdown structure in contract negotiation and award and in post-contract performance. The appendices present definitions of work breakdown structures for specific applications. The handbook’s primary objective is to achieve a consistent application of the work breakdown structure. The information it contains is intended to provide guidance to contractors and direction to government project managers.