Tip #4: Speeding up development of your WBS and Estimating chores
A fast way to build the WBS, estimate the length of the task and secure buy-in on these elements from your team members… is to have them do it! Begin by building a template in Excel. The table in Excel should have two columns: Deliverable/Task Name and Duration (or Work if you prefer). Below this table, provide precise instructions for how to complete the table and give examples. For example, Enter the Deliverable name in all capital letters and use the noun/name form. Example: Hydraulic Pump.
Have your team members send you this Excel .xlsx file. Open it from Project 2010. When you attempt to open a file with this extension, Microsoft® Project will launch a wizard whose job is to map the Excel fields to the Project fields. When you finish with this, the WBS and estimates will already be in your schedule and you didn’t even have to hold a meeting. Your team members were able to do this on their own time. As a final step, I would have all team members review the final product.
Ed Lively (PMP, APMC, MCTS, MCITP, MCSE) is a highly skilled IIL trainer and consultant with extensive project management experience across several industries. His broad level of experience includes operations, information technology, corporate finance, and process improvement.