Work Breakdown Structure in Eclipse

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In this post I show you how to use the Model Driven Project Management (MDPM) project  to define a WBS.

In Project/Program Management a WBS is the first main decomposition of the whole work required to perform a project (or a collection of projects in the scope of a Program). 

Being a decomposition a WBS always realizes a tree structure where the children of each node represent the activities required to perform the parent node. 

The first node of a WBS represents a Program or a Project. If the first node is a program then its children nodes will be, for instance, all the projects needed to realize the whole program.

There can be different approaches in the definition of a WBS. For instance a WBS can be driven by the activities or by the deliverables. 

In the first approach each project may have as children activities or work packages. A work package is the smallest task that can be performed. 

Deliverable nodes are used to represent the main deliverables (i.e. artifacts, documentation, tests, etc.) which shall be produced as output of the described activities. 

In the second approach (driven by the deliverables) the children nodes of a project can be all the desired deliverables and the children nodes of each deliverable the activities required to realize it.

MDPM provides an DSL for the definition of the WBS which enables both the described approaches.

In order to create a WBS select a folder in which create the new file

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right click on the folder then select New->Other… and in the window that will pop up choose “New WBS Model” then press Next

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give a name to the file which shall always have wbs extension, in this example we have chosen wbsExample.wbs. The file should be created with a template code inside it as depicted in figure.

In this case a program consists of a project which consists of just an activity which consists of two work packages. Each node (i.e. program, project, activity and work package) may have an associated description. This can easily be defined by adding a multi line comment before it 

for instance

/*
* program description
*/

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now if you want o have a graphical representation of the WBS you are defining select the Window menu and select ShowView->Other…

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then in the window that will pop up choose WBSTreeView

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As you can see the Tree representing the WBS is nicely depicted in the view

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and update according to the current selection in the text or int he outline

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in the following figure we have copied and pasted the project and renamed the copy in projectName2 (we have therefore similarly renamed its children nodes). As you can see the tree for the parent program is updated showing a more complex WBS.

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As you can see in the following figure we have changed the WBS so that it is driven by the deliverables. In this simple example the project consists of just one deliverable which can be obtained through two activities each one consisting of two work packages.

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In the next posts I am going to show you how to model resources and plans with MDPM.

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