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Deliverable-Activity Breakdown Structure for Bicycle WBS from Practice Guide for Work Breakdown Structure
Let's apply ThinkDo principle works to the famous example from the Practice Guide for WBS – bicycle WBS.
Bicycle WBS from Practice Guide For PMI's Work Breakdown Structure is shown on the picture below.
What blue marks mean to us? For example, the point of the intersection of the row “Fork” and the column “Assembly” shows that Fork has to be assembled and this activity is in our project scope.
Perhaps, you can understand that DABS contains more information than initial WBS. Also it occupies less space and, for me, to work with a matrix is much easier than with the hierarchical structures.
But DABS can give us more interesting advantages. ThinkDo Project can build project schedule without manually placing links between the tasks.
Posted 22nd May 2011 by Oleksandr Tugayev
As I said in the last blog post we’ll add to the two variables of deliverables and activities, a third variable: time. As a result, a three-dimensional chart was obtained.
This chart was named as Deliverable-Activity-Time or DAT chart.
In this chart every project task represents a line segment in three-dimensional space: deliverables-activities-time.
Two dimensions of this space are discrete: deliverables and activities, the third one: time, is continuous.
Deliverables –Time(DT) chart can be created as a section of the 3D task area by planes in parallel to coordinate plane deliverables of time.
Naturally, that section can be placed just in the points on the activities axis, where this discrete variable exists.
Each plane will include the project tasks carried out at the certain stage of project lifecycle. Thus, all the project tasks will be located in the planes passing through the points at A axis, in which discrete variable activity exists. In other words, in each plane there will be Gantt chart, not for the whole project but only for its selected stage corresponding to A variable fixed value.
This chart was named Delivery – Time (DT) chart. It can be interpreted as a set of timelines for each deliverable. Each line of this chart corresponds to a certain deliverable and contains timeline for this D.
Three-dimensional multi-layer DT charts can be looked through by layers.
Let’s have a look at all the layers simultaneously from this side, perpendicular to DT section plane.
As for me, I think it’s easier to work with a DT chart than with Gantt. For example, it’s much easier to have the whole project chart “at sight” and select the necessary layer or layers from it than to turn over multi-page Gantt charts. The user is free to choose each section separately, all sections together, or only some section groups. The choice is generally not limited and can be defined for each case individually.
If a detailed multi-layer Timeline may seem to somebody too difficult to work with he or she can always look through separate layers of DT chart.
There is also possibility to look through a DT chart as Gantt chart or bar diagramm, i.e. to connect all the layers sequentially.
The similar situation occurs if we consider sections which are parallel to another coordinate plane activity and time.
This chart was called Activity-Time (АТ) chart.
Both above mentioned diagrams correspond to deliverables- and activities-oriented WBS correspondingly. As they are two-dimensional charts of one and the same three-dimensional chart we have the following advantage: having prepared DA matrix and DAT chart once we’ll be able to work simultaneously with both types of WBS: delivery-oriented and activity-oriented WBS. In this case there is no need to make the choice in the beginning when the WBS type for the project is defined.
As all those present know, this is the way we have to act while working with popular commercial software.
Let’s have a look now at what we’ll get if we take a projection of our three-dimensional chart onto DA coordinate plane.
As it was mentioned earlier, the whole project scope is presented as DA matrix which can be interpreted as a PERT chart or backlog for whole project. It’s because the whole project scope is presented as a complete set of non-zero elements of this matrix.
As it was mentioned earlier, the whole project scope is presented as DA matrix which can be interpreted as a network chart or backlog for whole project. It’s because the whole project scope is presented as a complete set of non-zero elements of this matrix.
If for DA matrix setup we use not the whole project time, but, for instance, the term of one sprint, we’ll obtain respectively a sprint backlog when we separate time interval corresponding to single sprint.
Originally posted 30th May 2011 by Oleksandr Tugayev
Today, all PM software is based on a Gantt chart or its modifications. As we all know, Gantt charts are two dimensional. They are based on two-dimensional math model using two-dimensional works-time space.
IMHO the reason for this is the following. Gantt was invented in pre-computer times and was designed to be drawn by hand in ink on sheets of paper. If in 1903 when Karol Adamiecki invented the Gantt chart, we would have wanted to use math models in three dimensions instead of two, we would have had no other choice, but to make the sculpture.
Fortunately, more than 100 years already passed. Modern hardware and software offer us a lot of new opportunities. Why are they not being fully utilized? Why are we still using the same outdated charts? Think what a revolution in design has made the three-dimensional virtual models and multi-layered GUI of AutoCAD, which replaced the old drawings, which were made by hand in ink on sheets of paper as Gantt charts before.
Why don’t we try to do something similar in the PM?
Two-dimensional math model and two-dimensional charts, in my opinion, are the bottleneck of today’s PM. One of the two dimensions is occupied by time. Just one variable – works left for project scope. IMHO, this is a serious limitation.
First of all PMBOK doesn’t like it. PMBOK itself, as well as Practical Standard for Work Breakdown Structure uses binary concept of deliverables and activities. The use of these two variables, as convincingly shown in the above-mentioned PMI standards, enables us to formulize the scope of any project with any grade of complicity in any business.
But the problem is different. Before being used in any calculations or chart set-up, WBS hierarchical structure has to be collapsed into a one-dimensional list.
As the consequence of long-size vectors, which decomposes WBS hierarchical tree, Gantt, PERT and others charts occupy so much space on paper or computer displays.
The basic principle of Three-Dimensional Time Scheduling is to cut of this bottleneck. Thus we can offer to use for project scope modeling the DABS concept, based on PMBOK’s deliverables and activities instead of traditional WBS, based on work concept.
As a consequence of the addition of the third variable - time to DABS, we’ll obtain three-dimensional math model and three-dimensional charts. In the next posts, I’ll try to convince you that the PM in three-dimensional space and abandoning the old charts in favor of 3D virtual models and modern GUI, can put computer-aided project management to the next higher level.
Originally posted 13th May 2011 by Oleksandr Tugayev.
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