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Chapter VIII. The Work Breakdown Structu... > PROJECT STRATEGY AND THE WORK BREAKD...

PROJECT STRATEGY AND THE WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE

The WBS is a means for the project manager to define the strategy by which the project will be performed. Some of the strategy is dictated by technology. For example, a school building's structural system was largely precast concrete. One beam weighed some 120 tons. It was precast in the basement and lifted three stories by two large cranes. This dictated the sequence of much other work to provide access for the cranes until that beam was in place. On a software project, it may be important to design, code, and test many utility routines prior to completing coding on most application routines. In preparing a Ph.D. dissertation, it may be important to keep all chapters moving ahead concurrently, lest developments in one chapter require a rewrite of another chapter.

Some strategic decisions are a result of the resources that can be brought to the project. Some are a reflection of the political pressures, real and potential, internal and external, that the project faces. Some are personal preferences of the project manager. The personal preferences should be based more on the project manager's weaknesses than strengths, a consideration that grows in importance with the magnitude of the project. While the project manager is likely selected due to specific strengths, designing the project strategy based on the project manager performing lower-level responsibilities can result in an unbalanced view of and inadequate attention to other problems and opportunities that are inherent in any project.


  

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