Channel: CUBIX PROJECT MANAGEMENT - 3D Work Breakdown Structure method
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Part #132: how to define the relationships in WBS matrix?

We know how to define the tasks and the durations efficiently simply by crossing the elementary tree structures Products (PBS), Activities (ABS) and Zones (ZBS) in interfaces matrix. We can use the WBS matrix for that, or Cubix360for those who don’t know how to do it in VBA EXCEL.

The tasks (WBS coming up to the tasks) are the crossing between ZBS, PBS and ABS. Activities are deployed on Products which are sometimes instantiated and then assigned into a Zone.

For the duration, we use, in the WBS matrix/Cubix360, the formula: Duration = Quantity x Unit Rate, with:

  •    Unit rate = standard duration between Products and Activities, in working days;
  •     Quantity = Coefficient function of the volume of works/complexity of the Zones.

For the relationships, I think the best way to define it is to use interface matrix, as shown below:

For instance, for Activities, we must do first A2, then A4, A5 and A7. We can put Finish to start logical links. But if into a Product’s process there is no the Activity A5 (in the structuration part), then we have the sequence A2, A4, A7.

We have to understand that Activities are deployed on Products, and then when 2 Products are linked, it is in fact the 2 activities of the 2 Products that are links, for instance we have P1(A5) linked to P4(A6).

Same thing for the Zones, when 2 Zones are linked, it is in fact 2 Products that are linked including 2 activities, for instance the relationship Z2(P3, A3) to Z5 (P5, A7).

Activities relationships have 1 dimension, Products relationships have 2 dimensions, and Zones relationships have 3 dimensions.

Part #133: Why to identify the interfaces?

3D WBS method is the only method that allows to identify the interfaces of a project.

The three elementary tree structures of the WBS are projected on the axis of the WBS cube, and then, after the structuration, the durations estimate and the relationships definition, the schedule is calculated and the axis of the WBS cube are graduated function of the barycenter of each Product, Activity and Zone, along the time axis. It results that the distance between the tasks inside the WBS cube can be calculated, it gives the criticity of the interface. The analysis of the distances on the three axis allows also the qualify the nature of the interface which can be either Activity (temporal, logical), Product (physical or functional) and Zone (physico-functional). Interfaces can also have a complexity function of the Organization (responsible of tasks), indeed the more the organizations are different, the more the interface is complex. To be noted that an interface has a duration and happens at one date, and two tasks can be in interface only if they happens at the same time.

So, the interfaces allows:

  • To identify the risks of the project;
  • To define theworkpackages, by grouping the tasks containing the most of interfaces, in order to reduce the complexity of the work;
  • To secure the schedule, by optimizing the interfaces, by leveling the schedule to remove them.

That is why it is so important to know them, and to understand 3D WBS method…

Part #134: And the Costing?

Costing is usually calculated by Products. In fact, there is also the Activity which is usually “Construction”. It is a macro level activity; sometimes we do not name it because it is obvious that we are treating the construction phase. The Products are much more detailed than the activities, that is why we say that Costing is Product oriented. Then we do Quantity estimated multiplied by the Unit rate, and we obtain the cost.

But with the 3D WBS method, we have 3 dimensions for the Work. We have also the Zones. Therefore the 3D WBS method recommends to do the Costing by taking in account the Zones. We estimate one quantity for each Zone. The result is more precise

We can see an example below.

In others words, each schedule task has a budget (task = crossing between one Zone, one Product and one Activity).

Part #135: The foundation is the standard…

If you take a piano, well for example between C and D there are 1.5 tone, and between E and F there is a semitone. that's the standard. Now if you take your hand and you put it on the piano keys so that between the first and second finger there is 1.5 tone, and between the second and third finger there is one tone, well you get a major chord. If between the first and second finger there is 1 tone, and between the second and third finger there is 1.5 tone, well you get a minor chord. That's the method. And the piano is the tool.

The tool needs the method that requires the standard.

  • The toolsare Primavera P6, Spider Project, MS Project, Costing tools, 4D BIM, etc.
  • The methodis the 3D WBS.
  • And the standard is OmniClass, Uniclass2, ISO12006, Norsok Z-014, KKS, ..., and internal standards (crossing PBS x ABS).
Do not go faster than the musik !

Part #136: Overall project structuration in a multidimensional way

Sometimes the goal of the project is to finish the project as earliest as possible, sometimes it is to finish it with the lowest cost, sometimes it is to obtain the best Product with a high quality and design/functionalities, and sometimes it is a mix between cost, time and scope. That is why on the picture below, I call Project control the interaction between the Time, the Cost, the Product’s physico-functional characteristics with the value that the project brings.

We can see on this picture the Work, with its 3 dimensions: PBS, ABS and ZBS (=3D WBS). We can see also the Organization with the Resources which works.

Why do we do the Project? To create Value.

The schedule and the cost are calculated with the Work and Organization constraints.

A Project structuration has 8 dimensions, but there is also an abstract and parallel table to be added and taken in account, it is the Risks evaluation with an impact on all axis of the Project structurationtetrahedron. I mean that there are Risks on each dimensions of the Project: ZBS, PBS, ABS, OBS, Schedule, Costs, Value, and Product's characteristics.

Part #137: 3D WBS lecture at Swiss Project Management association, remenbrances

I did a lecture about 3D WBS method the 9 September 2014 at Lausanne in Swiss. It was very nice.


Functional needs of Project Management...

Before the lecture...

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