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Others break down deliverables into lists of specific tasks or activities in the WBS itself.For example, in a project where the ultimate goal is producing a new household appliance, the marketing strategy for the product might be one of the deliverables.They have varied opinions regarding whether the WBS is an independent document from the project schedule, and to what degree work is broken down.It's up to your organization to decide how to handle the WBS.“The project schedule relates to the work breakdown structure in that they are inherently one and the same, if utilized efficiently,” says Alona Rudnitsky, Managing Partner at digital marketing agency Helix House.However, all this information is subject to change once the project is underway.The schedule is typically created during a project’s early stages, but is referred to throughout its life cycle.As with many aspects of project management, scheduling is done in iterations.
Project managers use project schedules to communicate this important information to the team and stakeholders.
The main difference between the project schedule and the WBS is that the WBS focuses on deliverables, while the schedule is more comprehensive, including resource requirements and assignments, timelines and durations, assumptions, and risks.
There are differing views on the WBS among project management experts and organizations.
Sumit Bansal, Founder of Excel training platform Trump Excel, uses the WBS to break down tasks, but also suggests using both the WBS and the project schedule, presenting different documents to different audiences.
Bansal advises, “As a good practice, when you are discussing the project with high-level executives, use the project schedule, but when you work with client teams or project-level personnel, use [the] work breakdown structure.” Tasks or activities are the lowest-level components of work that may be included in a WBS.