Project 2 | accounting | Brown University



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I just need you to do a write up of the WBS and of Scope of Work

I also need you to do an inventory cost breakdown on the 10 product groups that highlighted on the project charter

Based off these numbers and this info i will probably need another estimate of project cost too


The work has been done. I need the writer to break it down. The scope will be the Microsoft project file that I sent. I need them to write it out as to how those tasks will be accomplished.

And also, I need them to use the budget given for inventory and divide it amongst the product groups, and also breakdown how each task is accomplished

I’m just making sure he knows my actual part. My one teammate did that Microsoft project piece so he doesn’t need to redo that part. Just take what he has already done and write it out as the scope and how he would accomplish each task

Tell the writer to include this in the scope: Elements not included in this scope. The only one is quality management. Whatever reason they come up with for us not using this is fine. Just have a reference for it. Below is a pic that should help explain what I mean. 



Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Gantt Charts

Among the many details of a project are the required tasks and schedule. Every project, of course, needs a schedule, but the project team first needs to define the specific work tasks required to complete the project. A key tool for this process is the work breakdown structure, or WBS.

The WBS 

A WBS is a graphic decomposition of the individual tasks required for the project to be completed. Depending on the complexity of the project, the WBS may be fairly general or very detailed. Each box in a WBS chart will represent a work package, which is the lowest group of tasks that can be managed, analyzed, and controlled in terms of time and cost.

The readings below will provide more detail and include a simple example for finding a new home. This project might be separated into several sets of tasks—work packages—such as the following:

  • choose location
  • select a new home
  • sell current home
  • occupy new home

Some or all of those work packages might be further divisible, depending on the level of effort required for such tasks. For example, there are many subtasks required to selecting a new home, such as finding a real estate agent and determining the type of home to purchase. Subtasks usually have an order in which they must be completed. For instance, you would not be able to make an offer before you were determined prequalified for a loan.

Preparing the Work Breakdown Structure

By Merrie Barron and Andrew R. Barron

After the deliverables and requirements are defined, the process of breaking down the work of the project using a work breakdown structure (WBS) begins.

The WBS defines the scope of the project and breaks the work down into components that can be scheduled, estimated, and easily monitored and controlled. The idea behind the WBS is simple. You subdivide a complicated task into smaller tasks, until you reach a level that cannot be further subdivided. Anyone familiar with the arrangements of folders and files in a computer memory, or who has researched their ancestral family tree, should be familiar with this idea.

Diagram showing the sequence of activities needed to clean a room.

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for Cleaning a Room

You stop breaking down the work when you reach a low enough level to perform an estimate of the desired accuracy. At that point, it is usually easier to estimate how long the small task will take and how much it will cost to perform than it would have been to estimate these factors at the higher levels. Each descending level of the WBS represents an increased level of detailed definition of the project work.

As an example, if I want to clean a room, I might begin by picking up clothes, toys, and other things that have been dropped on the floor. I could use a vacuum cleaner to get dirt out of the carpet. I might take down the curtains and take them to the cleaners, then dust the furniture. All of these tasks are subtasks performed to clean the room. As for vacuuming the room, I might have to get the vacuum cleaner out of the closet, connect the hose, empty the bag, and put the machine back in the closet. These are smaller tasks to be performed in accomplishing the subtask called vacuuming. The diagram below shows how these tasks might be portrayed in WBS format.

List showing the sequence of activities needed to clean a room.

Outline Format of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

It is important to note that we do not worry about the sequence in which the work is performed or any dependencies between tasks when we do a WBS. That will be worked out when we develop the schedule. For example, under 3.0 Vacuum in the diagram, it would be obvious that “3.2 Vacuum carpet” would be performed after “3.4 Connect hose and plug”! However, you will probably find yourself thinking sequentially, as it seems to be human nature to do so. The main idea of creating a WBS is to capture all of the tasks, irrespective of their order. So if you find yourself and other members of your team thinking sequentially, don’t be concerned, but don’t get hung up on trying to diagram the sequence, or you will slow down the process of task identification.

A WBS can be structured any way it makes sense to you and your project. In practice, the chart structure is used quite often (as in the example in the diagram), but a WBS can be composed in outline form as well.

Diagram showing the sequence of activities to produce a sell a book, DC, and DVD.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Based on Project Deliverable

You’ll notice that each element at each level of the WBS (in the diagram or outline form) is assigned a unique identifier. This unique identifier is typically a number, and it’s used to sum and track costs, schedules, and resources associated with WBS elements. These numbers are usually associated with the corporation’s chart of accounts, which is used to track costs by category. Collectively, these numeric identifiers are known as the code of accounts.

Diagram showing the sequence of activities in Phase 1, 2, and 3.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Based on Project Phase

There are also many ways you can organize the WBS. For example, it can be organized by deliverable or phase. In one example, the major deliverables of the project are used as the first level in the WBS. For example, if you are doing a multimedia project, the deliverables might include producing a book, CD, and a DVD.

Many projects are structured or organized by project phases. Each phase represents the first level of the WBS, and the deliverables of that phase would comprise the next level, and so on.

As mentioned earlier, the project manager is free to determine the number of levels in the WBS based on the complexity of the project. You need to include enough levels to accurately estimate project time and costs, but not so many levels that it becomes difficult to distinguish between components. Regardless of the number of levels in a WBS, the lowest level in a WBS is called a work package.

Work packages are the components that can be easily assigned to one person, or team of people, with clear accountability and responsibility for completing the assignment. The work package level is where time estimates, cost estimates, and resource estimates are determined.

Project Statement of Work

By Adrienne Watt and bpayne

The statement of work (SOW), sometimes called the scope of work, is a definition of a project’s parameters—factors that define a system and determine its behavior—and describes the work done within the boundaries of the project, and the work that is outside the project boundaries.

The SOW is typically a written document that defines what work will be accomplished by the end of the project—the deliverables of the project. The project scope defines what will be done, and the project management plan defines how the work will be accomplished.

No template works for all projects. Some projects have a detailed scope of work, and some have a short summary document. The quality of the scope is measured by the ability of the project manager and project stakeholders to develop and maintain a common understanding of the products or services the project will deliver.

The size and detail of the project scope is related to the complexity profile of the project. A more complex project often requires a more detailed and comprehensive scope document.

According to the Project Management Institute (2008), the scope statement should include the following components:

  • description of the scope
  • product acceptance criteria
  • project deliverables
  • project exclusions
  • project constraints
  • project assumptions

The scope document is the basis for agreement by all parties. A clear project scope document is also critical to managing change on a project. Since the project scope reflects what work will be accomplished on the project, any change in expectations that is not captured and documented creates an opportunity for confusion.

One of the most common trends in project management is the incremental expansion in the project scope. This trend is labeled scope creep. Scope creep threatens the success of a project because the small increases in scope require additional resources that were not in the plan.

Increasing the scope of the project is a common occurrence, and adjustments are made to the project budget and schedule to account for these changes. Scope creep occurs when these changes are not recognized or not managed. The ability of a project manager to identify potential changes is often related to the quality of the scope documents.


Project Management Institute, Inc. (2008). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide) (4th ed.). Project Management Institute, Inc.