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    At the beginning of year 2012, I went to Casablanca, to work for JACOBS Engineering. It was a question of planning a phosphate treatment plant aiming to filter and dry the phosphate pulp transported by the future pipeline of the mines of Khouribga with an aim of obtaining dry phosphate intended for export. It was part of a huge project in Morocco.

    This project was of EPCM type (Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Management), it is the equivalent of a project of “control of work”. The contracts with the contractors had the characteristic to be mainly sign with a fixed price.

    Of course, I applied WBS 3D method to structure the project with the prototype software “WBS Matrix” which I developed. We had only very little time to carry out this schedule, also, we had chosen not to detail the Zones enormously and moreover detail the Products and the Activities, in order to build the WBS and a first version of the coordination schedule of the project. We thus wished a rather macroscopic planning.

    But, because they were contracts with a fixed price, therefore related to the results, i.e. with the Products: for a level of Zone given, we had detailed the Products more than the Activities, that seemed logical. Indeed, as a Project engineer, which counts more it is that the object of the contract (Products) is realized in time and hour. But the project engineer must nevertheless have a glance on the way in which the contractors work, i.e. on their Activities, from where importance to detail them, but in less of the Products, moreover that each contractor perform his way of working. The choice to detail more the Products was also related to the fact that it acted for the Project engineer of knowing which penalizes which, in the event of delay and of data input.

    I understood well on this project the concept of “extended Products”. In other words, one manages (what, or Product Breakdown Structure) varies according to the phases of the project. For the design, one manages functional systems and subsystems, but there, as a project engineer, for the procurement phase one managed contracts, whereas in construction phase equipments are installed somewhere, therefore one managed Products in construction phase. These changes of significance of the objects managed on the Product axis obliged us to produce matrices of logical links between each phase, to define for example which contract (Procurement phase) provides which equipment in construction phase, in terms of schedule logical links, idem between the detailed design and the procurement phase.

    On this kind of project, a factory, the Geographical zones useful in construction phase and integrated into planning must be accompanied by a diagram which defines each Zone clearly. It is simply a drawing accompanying the schedule; the goal is well to locate the works just by reading the schedule. It is the second lesson which I learned from this mission.

    We spent relatively much time to fill the WBS matrix (Prototype software), perhaps two weeks. I usually filled the WBS matrix in two days with an expert. But on this project, we were to seek information to define the whole of the Zones, of the Products and Activities, i.e. to define the WBS, and it is what took time to us. But the day when we considered that WBS matrix was sufficiently ended, we generated schedule PRIMAVERA P6 of 1,200 tasks of the factory in the course of the day. My mission was then finished.

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    At the end of 2009, I went on mission to Qatar, in Doha. I had 40 days to plan the construction of the light subway of Lusail, a town of dream which does not exist yet, for VINCI grands projets (QDVC).

    The scope of the project of Lusail LRT is composed of 4 lines of 30 km which cross each other, of 8 underground stations, 25 air stations, a workshop and a viaduct. The project was planned in several phases of design and construction.

    The complexity of this kind of project is to avoid the obstacles, this is paradoxical since the obstacles are invisible. Lusail, located a little north of Doha, is indeed in full desert! The obstacles are not seen, since they do not exist yet.

    I structured the project in 3D, by breaking up well the Geographical Zones, the Products and the Activities then by joining them together to form the WBS. As this manner of planning is not conventional and new, and that I innovated by applying it at the time, I had to explain it to the members of the team who besides understood it perfectly.

    But while exchanging with these persons, I must say it, were brilliant people, I understood new things concerning the 3D model. I discovered in particular that there exist vertical and horizontal Products. For example, a heating in the apartment of a building is a horizontal Product, whereas the elevator, which crosses all the floors of the building, is a vertical Product. That applied in fact to the track, which crosses all the Geographical zones. The track is a vertical Product.

    It is during this mission which I understood that there was a cube under the construction phase. We build Products somewhere, in other words, the WBS is the crossing between the Zones, the Products and the Activities.

    Because I had already developed at the time a first version of the prototype software “WBS Matrix” which merges the elementary breakdown structures of the projects, I carried out some additional developments, then I recovered information from the experts of the team, that took time to me, and I finally carried out a Gantt diagram of 3,000 tasks on MS PROJECT coupled automatically with a time-location diagram, made with TILOS software, in 30 days only! Then, I passed the relay to a local planner and my mission was finished, with 10 days in advance on what was envisaged initially.

    What is disconcerting, with the 3D WBS method, it is that I build the schedule without touching the software of planning. I build the WBS within the prototype software “WBS matrix”. I first structure the project, and when WBS matrix is sufficiently ended, I automatically generate schedule within the planning software. The schedule then builds itself “all alone” in a few seconds, this is almost magic! There is thus no seizure in the tools for planning. I do not touch the tools for planning, I parameters them only. This induces an important time-saver for realization of schedule. It is also why this approach 3D WBS is new and so effective, in addition to the fact that the schedules structured in 3D are done better than with a traditional method. The schedules structured in 3D are “symmetrical”, as told to me the client.

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    In summer 2010, I went on mission to Tours one week to carry out the schedule of the construction phase of the first tramway line of the city, for SYSTRA.

    I worked with the project coordinator, who knew its project under the end of the fingers. It had in head indeed the whole scope of the project, in terms of work to be realized. We worked together and carried out 80% of the schedule of the project in one week, which is a performance in terms of times. It was MS PROJECT schedule coupled to a time-location diagram carried out with TILOS of 1,500 tasks.

    I used the prototype software “WBS Matrix” in order to structure in 3D the project. We thus listed the Zones, the Products and the Activities then crossed we them within this tool, to deduce from it the list of the tasks structured and scheduled, which it remained to import in the planning software, parameterized as a preliminary, to obtain the schedule of the project.

    I understood well on this project that, the more the geographical cutting is fine the better is the project control thereafter, in operational phase. We thus cut out the tramway line in small sections of 200 meters or “Zones”. And what is characteristic on this kind of 3D structured schedule, it is precisely the planning of linear works. For example, for work “Track installation”, there were 5 to 6 phases of work “Track installation” on the line, I mean “teams” which work in parallel, and 30 Zones approximately. The error, it is to plan 6 tasks “Track installation” correspondents with the 6 phases of work. We did not do it, and we created as many tasks “Track installation” than there are Zones, i.e. about 30 tasks. These tasks were logically linked between them by logical links Finish to Start of the type “Zones”; since the 3D model tells us that a Finish to Start logical link can be of 3 natures: Zone, Product or Activity. By the end, on the time-location schedule, one saw well the 6 phases of work, but actually they were well broken up into about 30 elementary tasks, which could be seen on the Gantt diagram. Thus, in project realization phase, we knew that the project control of the “track installation” would be more precise and thus real.

    On this kind of project, it is precisely the “Track installation” which conditions all the planning of the project. All that follows (the completions on the infrastructures, the installation of the systems, and tests) is directly impacted by any delay of the Track installation. And all that precedes must be fixed right before the Track, with a little free float to limit the risks of impacts on the installation of the Track.

    Finally, after 3 or 4 iterations, i.e. generations of schedules with help of WBS matrix, we obtained the schedule that the project coordinator had in head. It is not me who thought the schedule, this is the Project coordinator. Me, I only gave a training to him on 3D WBS method and I parameterized the tools.

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    Here is a classical Gantt diagram, for a communication project.

    Same thing in 3D, with 3D WBS method.

    Interfaces can be read directly on the 3D Gantt by evaluting the distance between tasks.
    The more is distance is small, the more the interface is critical.

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    I carried out an expertise mission very recently on a project of installation of piping in a nuclear power plant, the power plant of Flamanville in France.

    At the beginning, that seemed complex, since the power station integrates some 15 buildings, 150 zones, and 2300 rooms. There were supports to be installed and pipes, knowing that each pipe belongs to an isometric line, I mean that it takes part of a functional system. Moreover, to install a pipe, about ten activities must be deployed, like the boarding, welding, control, etc. Same thing to install the supports.

    Very quickly, one could arrive to a huge schedule, in terms of number of tasks, therefore unmanageable. Let’s imagine: 15x150x2300x2x10, i.e. more than one million tasks if one wants to plan all !

    The complexity of this kind of project, it is that the pipes pass in all the zones: on the first floor, then the second, then they return to the basement, then on the first floor, etc

    The goal of this schedule was to be able to make it possible to know:  “What is the progress at such place of the factory? In terms of activity and concerning the installations of the supports and the pipes”.

    From data established beforehand under EXCEL (the tree structure of the zones), we used the 3D WBS methodology and the prototype software “WBS matrix”, and we carried out a schedule of quality PRIMAVERA P6 of 1700 tasks in 3 hours only!

    Not question of isometric in the construction phase (contrary to the tests), but of geographical zones. We limited ourselves to the Zones of levels 2 in the WBS, we defined the two products installed, i.e. the supports and the pipes, then we deployed activities on these products. The rooms were modelized like steps on schedule’s task, making it possible to measure the physical progress. Then, we defined the logical sequences in terms of Zones, Products and Activities, since the 3D WBS method tells us that there exist three natures of logical links. This way of structuring the project thus makes it possible to answer the essential question: “What is the progress is at such place?”.

    Finally, and in a few hours, 80% of schedule was generated. There remained small things to be made of course, like the adjustment of the durations, various finitions, and these 20% of things to complete the schedule can take time, but the performance was there.

    With the 3D WBS method and the prototype software “WBS matrix”, one can create schedules 10 times more faster and better done than with a standard method, it is a revolution in the world of project planning! That made already several years that I implement it on big project.

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    At the beginning of spring 2012, I carried out a planning mission on the project “BALARD”, for BOUYGUES Bâtiment in Paris. This new pentagon of the Ministry for Defense is currently the most emblematic project of building in France, only because it costs a few 3.5 billion euros!

    At the beginning, I had 6 months to carry out about ten schedules of buildings. It was a question of being limited to 1,200 tasks approximately per building’s schedule, in order to remain reasonable and to have manageable schedules.

    I worked with an expert of the discipline of the building and planning, and we applied 3D WBS method  to generate the schedules. We used the prototype software VBA EXCEL “WBS Matrix” which I developed, and, finally, we succeeded in finalizing 10 schedules with PRIMAVERA P6 in only one month! The client was satisfied, since the mission lasted 5 months less than envisaged, but on the other hand my employer who invoiced me by days spent was not so happy, because he lost money, but I must say that he understood the technical performance. The most important, even for my employer, was that the client is satisfied.

    On this mission, we also tried out the result of the prototype software “WBS matrix” concerning the identification of the interfaces; and, indeed, the expert with which I worked, recognized the interfaces of his projects! And it was completely natural, and reassuring even, taking into account to the fact that the schedules came from his head.

    On my side, I filled the “WBS matrix” under his directives, by directing him with a training about the 3D WBS method. All that to say that this concept of identification of the interfaces works well, it is not only some theory and a magic notion!

    At the end of the mission, we sit together on my PC during 1 hour, to fill the variations of a building compared to another within “WBS matrix”, and 15 minutes after, the schedule of 1,200 tasks was generated under PRIMAVERA P6! 3D WBS method makes it possible to generate schedules  at an extraordinary speed, it is revolutionist indeed.

    Of course, there remained still important finitions to finalize schedules completely, but these 20% remainders are a basic work which can take very a long time, sometimes even throughout the project…

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    Recently, I planned a project of a factory whose main problems was piping; we had to provide an estimate of the durations of the schedule’s tasks and to have a vision of the remaining workload over the three months to come.

    What is characteristic in the 3D model, it is that even the figures have three dimensions!

    Thus, we calculated the durations of the schedule’s tasks according to a metric on the 3 axes of the cubic project:

    • For the Zones, one used the number of isometric per room;
    • For the Products, one used the number of hours to carry out the two main Products of the project for each building, I mean the supports and the pipes;
    • For the Activities, one used volumes of work in % calculated by the number of hours necessary to carry out the installation of a support or a pipe.

    By multiplying these three quantities, we obtained the relative durations of each of 2,500 tasks of the schedule. It remained us just to multiply them by a coefficient calculated with the duration of the critical path of the project, and also with pipes installation’s rate, to obtain a correct estimation of the durations of the whole of the tasks of this project which had already lived. This weighting was used to adapt the initial budgetary estimate to reality.

    To measure the physical progress of a group of tasks on the 3 axes (Zones, Products and Activities) or of the project, one has to weight the tasks of the schedule, by using the well-known technique “weighting of items”. On a schedule of 2,500 tasks with some 600 different resources, it is not realistic to proceed by allocating the elementary resources on the elementary tasks of the schedule.  This is why the 3D project management method recommends an approach “Top-Down” for the weighting of the tasks of the schedule, rather as the traditional approach “Bottom-up”, which does not work in practice on big projects, so much there are data to manage.

    And the weight of each schedule’s task has 3 dimensions also!

    The Zones were calibrated by to the number of hours necessary to carry out each room, and for the Products and the Activities one applied the same principle as for the durations. One applied the “technical” weighting on this project, and the result was a number of hours per schedule's task.

    Finally, one obtained with PRIMAVERA P6 a planning system allowing to consider periodically the workload to come in men.hours, and thus to obtain a vision of the workload versus resources - what met the need perfectly.

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    Former state of the art of planning

    Previously, when a schedule had to be built, the planners started to open a software dedicated to the project planning such as MS PROJECT or PRIMAVERA P6 and defined and built the schedule directly within the software.

    They structured by iterations their project according to a top-down approach by breaking up the project into simple elements and manageable (classical WBS) directly within the planning software.

    The schedule of the project was built gradually to lead to the final result.

    Technique of planning with the 3D WBS

    The 3D WBS method proposes a different approach of planning.

    It results the observation that information must be structured before being integrated within the planning software.

    The development of the WBS of the project or its breakown structure is not obtained anymore by an top-down approach or a bottom-up approach but by a mix between the elementary structures which compose the project, I mean: Zones, Products and Activities. The structure of project (WBS), I mean the whole of the tasks of the project coded, is obtained using the “WBS matrix” (prototype software).

    The project is entirely defined within matrix WBS, then the resulting database is exported into the planning software to generate the schedule, in other words to create it.

    To create a schedule with the 3D WBS method is 10 times faster than a classical method.

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    The Project Manager is generally not the manager of the data of the project. On big projects, there are often a cost controller, a planner, an quality engineer, a risk manager, etc., who manage the data of the project. The tasks of project management are distributed to specialists. These managers give periodically the result of their analysis to their Direction, which can then make decisions. The project manager generally does not manage the data of the project, especially on a big project, he coordinates. Often, on a big project, the project manager is attached to a project Director.

    In the reality of the big projects, it is often difficult to coordinate methodically and by the use of the computer technology all the disciplines which work together with an aim of managing the project as well as possible.

    How many times as a planner I tried to link the costs and the times to apply the method of the Earned Value (EVM). The dates and physical progress come from the schedule but the expenditure and the budgets come from the cost controller, and costs must be spread out over the schedule’s tasks. The communication between the cost controller and the planner must be strong, and there must be common points between the costs and the planning in a computer point of view.

    Often, there is also a person in charge of the risks. But the quantitative risks come directly from planning - they are even calculated by the planner and his tools, the risks which relate to the costs come from the cost controller, etc., the communication between these various actors must be strong, same thing for the structure of the information which must have common points.

    For technical documentation it is the same thing. How to build a planning system without correlation with the Electronic Documentation management system? How the planner can make to calculate the physical progress of the design deliverables without strong connections with the cost controller and the person in charge of technical documentation?

    Of course the contract manager must be in relation to the other actors of the project, in order to carry out claims for time delays or over costs for example. And so on…

    Each actor needs information coming from other actors, and it is absolutely necessary there is an overall coherence, knowing that the management of the confidential data like the costs must be managed. All the disciplines are in interaction, and their common point is the WBS of the project (Work Breakdown Structure, or the structure of decomposition of work).

    It is appropriate that the Project Manager has an information system powerful and effective, connecting all the disciplines of the Project Management in a coherent and systematic way, capitalizing also progressively. Moreover, the project must be managed methodically, as well as the planning, the technical documentation or the costs, etc.
    The success of an “integrated project Management”, connecting all the disciplines together, is linked to the coding of information.

    After about fifteen years of consulting on big projects, I understood well how the projects are structured and I translated it in a method which I called “3D WBS method” and by extension “3D Project Management” - this because all the disciplines of management are turning around the WBS.

    3D WBS method is meta-method which can be applied to all the projects, I mean services projects, IT projects, or product development projects, infrastructure or industrial projects. The 3D Project Management is compatible with the existing methods such as the critical path, the PMI methods or PRINCE2. In the 3D WBS model, the project has the shape of a cube representing the work, on which the organization is assigned to it (colors of the little 3D cubes), and the time interacts. The more the project is large and complex, the more 3D Project Management brings value, but it can also be applyied to more modest projects.

    The 3 dimensions of the WBS are the physico-functional Zones, the Products and the Activities. The organization forms the fourth dimension. The time is the fifth dimension.

    I suggest to the Project Manager to set up a coding of information on all the disciplines intervening on the project: quality, contracts, planning, costs, risks, communication and documentation, resources, global project management and scope management. The codes of the various managed elements must imperatively have a code: Zone, Product, Activity and Organization. Thus, this makes it possible methodically to connect all the disciplines of the Project Management, which facilitates the exchange of the information.

    Independently of human dimension, the Project Manager must be “well surrounded” in terms of methods and of tools, it is the vocation of the 3D Project Management or 3D WBS method.

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    Conclusion : 
    The preferred alternative according to table is 3D model. This is because the WBS level of details and number of design activity phases are the top ranked attributes and the 3D model is the best of all over the two attributes. This will have a positive impact on reducing the possible change orders by refining the scope and eliminating any possible omissions or errors.

    To read the article of Mohammed Elrashid, it's here:

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    When I work on the concept that Jean-Yves develops long time ago, it was specially because I was “fed up” with the hierarchical approach that imply most of the WBS, and the fight about its standardization.

    I study conception for management software engineering in my youth, and I always keep a fascination to the relation database model.

    So my eager was to find a way to modelize something and respond to everybody in the company by turning it up in every senses in one instant.

    So as I work mainly in my youth with Artemis, with the very structured codification environnement of oil and gaz (Mobil and then Exxon), I simply use without knowing it this 3D approach to do the trick.

    Then I met Jean-Yves, that push the concept so far that new frontiers appears (in addition to the speed to develop a schedule).

    In particular, what is very important for me is the following:
    • 2 of The 3 type of codification (ABS & PBS) are fully able to be standardize in the company without fight (even if you should be careful with” PBS” that in fact is 2 codes and decompose it for the exercise in pure PBS and FBS to match the need of some of the phase of the ABS because you began to think functionnaly, then you go through the product, before finishing functionnaly)
    • ZBS (Zones) is specific to each project and can support the instantiation of the product (but could follow some guideline in its definition in particular the unicity of each code -  no overlap-)
    • Different level of each of the structure could be mixed at different stage of the project and depending the use of your WBS to create the project WBS (you can have a detail difference in your WBS for procurement and manufacturing because you manufacture some items for example), and the approach is still coherent,
    • When you create your mix with the OBS to obtain the share of work, you obtain as more difficult interface than the fundamental dimension of the WBS component are far in the concerned branch of the code (that lead to create an allocation of the package reducing those gaps to simplify the interface).

    Thus I without knowing it implementing it till many years, but with the full modelization of Jean-Yves is able to succeed in standard codification in my company because I say no more froze hierarchical WBS, just ABS, PBS, SBS/FBS and rules to create your ZBS. Then NO PACKAGE WITH TOO GREAT GAP ON EACH OF THE DIMENSIONS (or with logical huge gap like company who you subcontract high level specification and functional test & commissioning).

    WBS is dead, because 3D WBS allow you to keep it “relational” instead of hierarchical and this does the trick with a lot of things, specialy with those “fuc…” computerized financial management systems called ERP that most of the time impose to you a 20 digits codification (when not more) to link everything when a anonymous code will be greater if you use the 4 codes composing the 3D.

    Xavier Leynaud

    ALSTOM Renewable Power Hydro, Head of Planning & Load Management HEU Projects

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    PBS, Product Breakdown Structure or Products. Hierarchical tree structure of Products. Generally, PBS contains functional systems at the highest levels of the tree structure and physical components at the lowest levels of the tree structure. For example: ‘Technical specification’, ‘Calculation note’, ‘Project plan’, ‘Transformer’, Railway’, are products. It is the deliverables. More generally, ‘equipment’, ‘materials’ and ‘civil works components’ are pure Products. ‘Radio communication’ system is also contained in the PBS, it is a functional system but also a Product within the meaning “large”.

    ABS, Activity Breakdown Structure or Activities. Hierarchical tree structure of Activities. An Activity is an Action, a set of Activities forms processes. An Activity can be a verb. For example ‘studies’, ‘design’, ‘purchase’, ‘construction’, ‘installation’ are Activities.  An Activity is not a Task. Activities are deployed on Products, it is the processes that build Products.

    ZBS, Zones Breakdown Structure or Zones. Hierarchical tree structure of Zones. ZBS is physico-funtional Zones, it can be geographical or functional. The meaning of ZBS depends of the project type. For an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) project, ZBS is group of functional systems for the design and the commissioning phases. And ZBS is geographical areas for the construction phase. For Product development project, ZBS is waves of prototypes. For IT projects, ZBS is released/functional increment/Target machine type. For example, Zones of a linear project can be defined by: ‘lines’, ‘sectors’, ‘stations/inter stations’ and ‘sections’. It is locations here. In the WBS elaboration algorithm, Zones are the destination of Product during the project life, Products are grouped by Zones or Products are assigned into Zones.

    WBS, Work Breakdown Structure. Hierarchical tree structure of Work. WBS is the whole of work to be carried out within the framework of a project. The last levels of the WBS are the tasks. WBS is a crossing between Zones, Products and Activities.

    Task. It is the last item of the WBS, the Task is included in the WBS. A task is not an Activity. Task is the Work.

    OBS, Organization Breakdown Structure. Hierarchical tree structure of the organization. OBS is the internal vision of the company’s organization. OBS can also be the project team. For example, levels of OBS can be: ‘Departments’, ‘Services’, ‘Disciplines’, ‘Teams’. OBS is extended by RBS, Resource Breakdown Structure.

    Project interfaces. Degree of interaction between two tasks. When there is an overlap between two tasks, it can be an interface but not always. There are three types of interfaces: Zone, Product and Activity. Criticity of the interface is given by the distance between two tasks, in the project cube. Complexity of the interface is given by the difference of task’s colors (OBS) in the visible spectrum of colors, in the WBS cube.

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    The 3D Gantt is not always easy to visualize in 3D, so you can fix one dimension and analyse the resulting schedule on the two others dimensions.

    Different views of the schedule can be seen.

    Zones by Activities

    Zones by Products
    Products by Activities
    Products by Zones
    Activities by Zones
    Activities by Products

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    Graduation of the WBS cube’s axis, which concerns the ABS, PBS and ZBS axis of the 3D Gantt, is fundamental for the project interfaces calculation. This graduation allows to calculate the distance between two 3D little cubes (tasks) with the norm of vector formula, so the criticity of the interface can be calculated.

    To graduate the axis, a scheduling must be launched, then the dates are calculated and it is then possible to calculate the barycentre, in terms of date, of each group of tasks that belongs to one Activity, Product or Zone. The coordinate of each Task is given by its mean date, the duration of the task is the weight for the barycentre calculation. The codification of the tasks allows to define which task belongs to which Activity, Product or Zone. The scheduling allows also to define if the task are running at the same, in others words if the tasks are really in interfaces. That’s why we say that the tree structures ABS, PBS and ZBS  have a chronology, Activities, Products and Zones have a position in the time and on the WBS cube’s axis.

    In the example below, the Product (PBS) axis is graduated, as explained before, with the help of the schedule.

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    Instead of to cut up work into simple and manageable elements in a top-down way, 3D WBS method defines three elementary and independent tree structures which are the Zones, the Products and the Activities. Then, it crosses them within WBS matrix. The analysis of the whole of the crossings or correspondences provides the exhaustive and scheduled list of project’s tasks, integrating durations, which it remains to export into the planning software, for example MS PROJECT or PRIMAVERA P6.

    Thus, no data entering is necessary into the planning tool, it saves a considerable time, and energy also. It is the first factor of reduction of time that 3D WBS method brings.

    The second element which saves time is the factorization of Products within WBS matrix. More of that, each elementary information is entered only once, at only one place. Then, during the generation of the schedule or the analysis of all correspondences, information is developed or multiplied, that saves also a consequent time.

    It sometimes happened to me to build a schedule of 2,000 tasks on the basis of nothing in only 3 days (I had the data input), whereas generally it takes around 30 days to carry out such a schedule. The time-saving brought by the 3D WBS method and its tools can have a factor 10!

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    It is elementary mathematics but 3D WBS method integrates many mathematical concepts.

    In the construction of the WBS, it appears concepts of algebra. The Products are factorized in the WBS matrix or within Cubix 360 software, the two other arguments are the Zones and the Activities. To generate the list of the schedule’s tasks, an algorithm develops thefactorized elements. This is why it is so fast to produce schedules with 3D WBS method, because of this concept of factorization on the WBS.

    Behind the cubes of the 3D Gantt, there are obviously concepts of geometry.

    The graduation of the WBS cube’s axis calls a calculation of the schedule’s dates, in other words the graph theory is used. The concept of barycentre is also usedto position Zones, Products and Activities on the WBS cube’s axis.

    The identification of the interfaces calls also mathematical concepts, as the formula of the norm of a 3D vector to evaluate the criticity of an interface.

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    The 3D Gantt resulting from the the 3D WBS method allows to identify project interfaces (co-activity, physical, temporal). It is at the same time a time-location diagram.

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    A 3D structured schedule is a schedule done with 3D WBS method.

    The elementary tree structures are crossed to create the list of tasks, the three natures of logical links (Zone, Product and Activity) are defined, and the durations are calculated inside the 3 dimensions of the WBS. Cubix 360 software can be used to create the schedule.

    The result is a well structured schedule, as shown in the pictures below.

    The name of tasks are clear: Task name = “Zone-Product-Activity”, it is explicit.

    Each task has codes (attributes) Zones, Products, Activities levels #1, 2, 3 or more.

    If the schedule is well structured, information can be found easily by sorts, filters and groups.

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    The tasks, that are a crossing between Zone, Product and Activity, can be in interface. There are three natures of interfaces: Zone (co-activity), Product (physical) and Activity (temporal). The distance between two tasks gives the criticity or the importance of the interfaces, the more the distance is low, the more the tasks are in interfaces. The color (organization) of the tasks gives the complexity of the interface, the more the colors are far in the visible spectrum of colors, the more the interfaces are complicated to be managed.  All the tasks that are in overlap are not project interfaces, but in case of interface, the duration of the interface is also calculated.

    The interfaces are sorted by criticity, duration and complexity, as shown in the table below. The list of interfaces is the list of risks of the project. It is calculated automatically with the 3D schedule.

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    You can find a comprenhesive article about 3D WBS method on PM World Journal

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