Work breakdown structure (WBS)

The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a hierarchical representation of all the tasks in your project.

Use the WBS to get a quick overview of the entire project, including the tasks and subtasks nested in the project. The Gantt chart gives you a similar overview using graphical elements like lines and bars to show dependencies and lengths of tasks. The WBS is more data-driven, presenting a wide variety of task information in expandable rows.

You can view the WBS on the planning console, or as a related list on the Project or Project Task form. See Open the project planning console or Access the WBS as a related list.

When the WBS is viewed as a related list on the Project or Project task form, several important columns from the table appear by default.
Table 1. Important columns
Column Name Description
WBS The number of the task in the WBS hierarchy. The first task in the hierarchy is assigned the number 1. Subtasks increment the number in the tenth place, such as 1.1 and 1.2. The numbers are read-only.
WBS Order A number that represents the task in relation to its parent. The first subtask under a task has an WBS Order of 1, and the next task 2. If you edit a number, all tasks are moved accordingly after you refresh the list.
Number The task ID number, which should not be changed.

Other useful information also appears by default, such as the description and percentage complete. You can personalize the list like any other list by clicking the personalize list icon (personalize list icon) and selecting the columns you want to view.