Dear PM Advisor. Mar 17, 2014

Dear PM Advisor, Can I make a horizontal Work Breakdown Structure? 

Outside the box in Boston

Dear outside the box,

I suppose you could but I'm not sure of the advantage. And I can think of plenty of disadvantages.

Considering that you have between 3 and 15 activities per deliverable and most projects have more than 15 deliverables, you end up with a rectangular structure with the number of deliverables defining the large side. Creating a WBS on the wall makes it convenient to place the deliverables along the top and your activities below each one. You'll typically have room for the 15 activities though you're stooping near the end.

If you are placing your deliverables vertically, people are working above and below each other rather than next to each other and someone is stooping to fill out the activities on the lower deliverables. Walls are typically wider than taller and it's easier to move sideways than up and down.

Good luck,

PM Advisor

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