I'm seeking help for a project I'm involved with. I'm assigned to create a WBS for a project.

I'm quite new to PMP and I'd like to ask for help or any advice in creating the WBS of the project we're building. Here are the top-level hierarchy phases that I've set up at the moment:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring & Control
  • Closing


  1. How am I gonna be able to identify the deliverables of our project accurately? How about the workpackages or subtasks?
  2. With the phases I have outlined above, are there any standards I should follow in structuring the phases for a project?

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 22nd of August 2021, Sunday

  • I think this confuses phases with deliverables. the WBS should focus on deliverables & value to the customer. "Execution" has no value to the customer. "Deliver strawman draft" is something the customer can understand and value. This is the wrong audience to ask about the deliverables; I'd advise asking your customers, stakeholders and SME.
    – MCW
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 12:20

3 Answers 3


The first thing you need to do is remove those phases. They are straight from the PMBoK and are process groups, not phases. Trying to organize your work around that will yield nothing useful. In fact, don't think phase at all when doing your WBS. Phase is for scheduling purposes.

I'd recommend using a product-oriented WBS, where your top level is your project's finish product. If you're building a house, your 1.0 is "House". From there, break it down into smaller components.

Your deliverables and work packages are where you define it within your WBS.


Deliverables depend entirely on what you are building. You may find it best to start by stating the end result of the project then work backwards to find the interim deliverables. In the case of a house, these may be something like: complete interior fit-out, complete the roof, complete the walls, complete the foundations, prepare the site, obtain building permissions, draw up plans, appoint a contractor, appoint an architect. Then break these down further if necessary. The tasks are the activities required to get from one deliverable to another, so again, these are specific to your project.

People who should be able to help with the WBS will include: the system architect, technical leads, team leaders, system designers, technicians. Get them all to review the plan at the start, and ask if they agree with the tasks and deliverables. However, don't be surprised if they disagree with what you have put down as your draft plan: what seems logical to you may be completely meaningless from a technical perspective.

Rather than trying to find standards for the phases of a project, your organisation may have some generic milestones or phases that you are expected to adhere to. If you do have these, they may well be "gates" that you have to pass through by completing certain documents or gaining certain sign-offs, such that without these documents or sign-offs you can't progress to the next phase of your project. If this is the case, then these documents or sign-offs should also be deliverables, and the action of developing or obtaining them are tasks for your WBS too.


As a starter, it is difficult and less effective to look at the project management as you listed its phases, these phases as David said:

Phase is for scheduling purposes and it is like WDS for project management itself.

to be more objective try to know about each phase delivery in other words what is the value or outcome of this phase and also the input a advise you to follow this quick course Google Project Management it will learn you particularly these phases and the required documentation and how to build the needed document within the project life cycle. I have recently completed 4 courses of this certification and recently been assigned to manage a project, I feel confident because I have all the needed templates and I know the input and output of each phase, you can also visit this link to use the most useful templates PM Templates

WBS is just a tool for optimizing predictability, if I ask you: How long does it take you to build a house? in your mind, you will think "we need to "

  1. Building the foundations of the house
  2. Building the walls of the house
  3. House roof installation
  4. Interior cladding

each of the previous steps is a milestone, a milestone used to smooth the time estimation of your project and each of them can be divided into tasks, these tasks are assigned later to your team, so this is a simple WBS and it will enhance and manage your estimation

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