What tips do you have for breaking down your project into deliverables and activities?

I asked this question on LinkedIn: What tips do you have for breaking down your project into deliverables and activities? Bill Duncan responded with the following tips (which I thought were great):

  1. Recognize that “work packages” are only the lowest level of the WBS from the buyer’s perspective in a contracting environment.

  2. Recognize that any deliverable can be described as an activity (by adding a verb) and any activity can be described as a deliverable (by removing a verb). Don’t worry about the distinction until you have the decomposition done.

  3. Decomposition happens phase-by-phase. You can’t develop a complete WBS for a non-trivial project at the start.

  4. When you are confident that you can estimate cost and duration, you have enough detail.

  5. Every lower level must be both necessary and sufficient for the item above it.

  6. Every item occurs once and only once.

What else would YOU add?

Check out my article on How to Break Down Your Projects.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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