PBS According to PRINCE2
When it comes to project planning methods, many project managers refer to Prince2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments). This widely used project management method provides all of the essentials for managing a successful project. One planning tool under the Prince2 method is the Product Breakdown Structure. The product breakdown structure (PBS) ensures that all required products for a planned product are considered during the planning process. In addition, the product breakdown structure is reviewed and revised multiple times by its creators to ensure that no component is forgotten.
The PBS comes in the form of a hierarchy. The hierarchy is composed of the products, sub-products, and final end-product. The term "product" in the case of PBS can be used to refer to products required to manage the product. These management items can include paper based products and quality products such as approval or quality reviews.
By adopting the product breakdown structure, planners can accurately project the requirements of a product, project, or system. The PBS also allows its users to see the outcomes of a product and in turn provides a greater understanding for the objective at hand.
PRINCE2 defines PBS as a visual aid that "represents the relationship between the products and sub-products in a project." Before creating the Product Breakdown Structure the products required by the customer must first be identified. From there, team members must identify the products that are required to support the customer's products. The organization of the PBS is best when the entire Project Team is involved in its development.
The PRINCE2 method encourages planners to work together and ensure that all products involved in the project satisfy the business needs when developing the PBS. In sum, the PBS provides project teams with the information they need to understand the requirements of a desired project outcome. In the latest version of the Prince2 methodology, Prince2 recommends mind mapping as a fast and effective way to create the PBS.
A PBS is displayed as a hierarchy. That means that products can be organized into parent and child relationships. That is, products are further decomposed into sub-products. Each level must represent 100% of its preceding level, or parent. The levels of the hierarchy can continue to descend until a project team is confident that all requirements are accounted for.
Essentially, the product breakdown structure method deconstructs a final product into its required components. This allows for a more manageable representation of what is essential for the final product. The PBS provides a clear representation of a product, its components, and the most important elements. Most importantly, the PBS provides a visual representation that makes a project more comprehensive and understood.
Since PBS is visual display of summarized information, it is easy to share across a team and with managers in an organization. A PBS for large scale products is likely to fit on one page or two which allows for simplified reviews and revisions. This view of the information can be used as a template for future projects. The PBS improves with each product that is applied to. For the reason that, every product can become a basis for improved delivery management. After using this method, your project team will refuse to execute a planning process without it.