This video builds on the concept of the WBS. Jim demonstrates the creation of a work breakdown structure using a sample project, and describes how to break down each work activity to make it easy to use the plan to formulate the schedule.
- Let's take a look at a more graphical representation of a work breakdown structure. I'll use the example of a fairly small project at a school where the overall scope of work consists of building a few tennis courts in an unused portion of a field at that school. I'm going to say that this will be several post-tensioned concrete tennis courts that are fenced in and lighted, and there's some site work to be done. To get started, I'm going to say that our top level is the whole project, the tennis court facility. Then I'll break this down into some higher level components, and I'm going to say that those will include site work.
We have the tennis courts themselves. We'll put in fencing and lighting. Next I'll start to break down each of those packages. Let's look at site work. I'm going to break that down into clearing, grading. There needs to be a site fence. I also realize, looking at the plans, that I have some landscaping. If I were to come back and break down the tennis courts, I would break this into concrete, surfacing, and hardware. But let's continue and break that down even a little further. I mentioned that these are going to be post-tensioned concrete tennis courts, and it appears that I'll probably hire a post-tensioning contractor to install that reinforcing.
I want to break concrete down into grading, install post-tensioned reinforcing, concrete, and then, since I watched this great course here in the online library about concrete, I know that post-tensioned reinforcing has to be tensioned after the concrete's placed, so I'm also going to add an item for tension reinforcing. Surfacing, that's probably broken down as far as I need it to be. Then I have hardware. Now if the job just has tennis court nets and posts, I might be good breaking it down at this point, but if I check the plans and I see that we have nets and posts, and we also have a few benches to install, I might have to break that down into two activities because I'm going to have two different subcontractors doing each item.
I would continue this process, breaking each top level item down into smaller and smaller pieces until I get to those individual work packages that each have a distinct timeframe and are assigned to just one specific entity. Let's go back to that hardware item. If I had one subcontractor installing the nets and the benches, and this was all planned as a single move-on in a single continuous operation, then I would stop the breakdown at hardware, but with two different subcontractors I need it broken down to nets and benches.
Notice that I'm not paying any attention to time or overall sequence, just scope and who will do it. For example, when I break down the fence item I'm going to break it into pieces like footings and posts, but I don't care at this point if they get installed before or after the courts. We'll do that later. This is what a work breakdown structure looks like. You can see that we're really defining our scope of work and we're making decisions on who activities get assigned to. You can also begin to see that even on this little project with a relatively small scope of work, I'm getting a lot of items that are going to need to be scheduled.
That's why we do this first, so you don't leave any items off the schedule.
This course identifies the steps needed to develop a proper plan, and demonstrates how that plan is transformed into a construction schedule. Throughout the course, instructor Jim Rogers shares examples of his own successes and failures in the areas of construction planning and scheduling, so as to lend real-world context to the concepts he covers.
- Types of schedules
- Planning versus scheduling
- Work breakdown structure
- Developing a schedule
- Creating a network model
- Assigning durations, costs, and resources
- Identifying the critical path
- Letting the software do the calculations
- Checking and updating the schedule
- Scheduling's impact on productivity