Channel: CUBIX PROJECT MANAGEMENT - 3D Work Breakdown Structure method
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Part #113: Time, Cost and Scope variations management

Time, Cost and Scope management tree structuresare defined with 3D WBS method.

3D WBS method goes further of project structuration, I call it then 3D Project Management. It is 3D structured projects with advanced project management methods.

Then, it must be understood that Time, Cost, and Scope variations are managed in the same way. There are always a baseline and a current state that are compared periodically. The result of this comparison is the variation.

Variations shall be managed as qualitative risks. It shall be identify, classify, prioritized, treated, and capitalized.

Variations shall be classified, managed, and traced as shown on the figure below.

Variation sheets can be done to formalize the variations.

Part #114: Advanced EVM S curves

3D WBS method goes further of project structuration, I call it then 3D Project Management. It is 3D structured projects with advanced project management methods.

For the EVM S curves, I recommend to use paid costs (and not commitments or amounts of invoices received), with payment terms and conditions assigned on schedule’s tasks, in order to obtain the cash out curve. Because, with the cash incurve, it is easy to obtain a cash flow curve linked to the schedule. Therefore, the planned value curve is function of the payments, plus the hours spreaded on the schedule’s tasks. No need to assign resources on tasks, a weight in hours is enough.

Regarding the Earned Value calculation, I recommend to put in place intermediate milestones method on schedule’s tasks. Each milestone has a weight so that if the schedule has no delay then the theoretical earned value S curve is equal to the planned value curve. So, if the schedule is over-time, then there is a variation between the Earned Value and Planned Value curves.

To be noted that Actual Cost curve extension gives the cost estimate at completion. And the earned value curve extension gives the final date estimate. At the intersection, there is the final point of the project.

To be noted also that the planned value late curve is on the graph and is calculated with the schedule.

Part #115: Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)

Part #116: 3D V lifecycle of an EPC project

Below the 3D V lifecycle of an EPC project (Engineering, Procurement, Construction).

We start and finish with abstract items (Zones, Products, Activities), and at the middle of the cycle we have physical items on the three axis, as for others type of projects.

Part #117: 3D V lifecycle of a NPD project

Below the 3D V lifecycle of an NPD project (New Product Development).

We start and finish with abstract items (Zones, Products, Activities), and at the middle of the cycle we have physical items on the three axis, as for others type of projects.

Part #118: The 5W2H method and the Project Management

3D WBS method answers all the fundamental questions what, how, where, who, when, why and how much. More of that, it put in relationship all these questions.

WHATare we doing ?

We do Product (PBS, Product Breakdown Structure), like IT modules, civil works components, functional systems, equipment, deliverables, etc.

HOWare we doing Products?

We deploy Activities (ABS, Activity Breakdown Structure) on Products to produce them, like design, procurement, installation, etc.

WHEREare the Products assigned?
Products are assigned into a Zone (ZBS, Zone Breakdown Structure), like release, wave of prototype, process unit, geographical area.

WHOis doing the work?
Resources (RBS, Resource Breakdown Structure) which belong to an organization (OBS, Organization Breakdown Structure) do the work.

WHENis the work done?

Tasks (crossing between ZBS, PBS and ABS) are scheduled in the time.

WHYis the work done?

We do the project to obtain the Project/Product Value (ROI/NPV) required.

HOW MUCH is the cost of the project?
Resources (RBS) are assigned to tasks to calculate the cost of the project.

FOR WHAT is the work done?
We work to do Products (PBS) with the physico-functional characteristics required, and the quality level required.

Part #119: N dimensions of a WBS

3D WBS does not say that there are only 3 dimensions (ZBS, PBS, ABS) for the WBS (dimension = elementary tree structure that answer an elementary question), but it says that there are 3 MAIN dimensions in the WBS, it’s quite different! Of course there are N dimensions but only 3 dimensions must be used together (Zone, Product, Activity) for one view of the WBS.

This, because to Work (WBS) is doing (ABS) something (PBS) somewhere (ZBS). There is also the fourth dimension, the OBS which is the Organization.

If you describe your project with 15 tables, like with OMNICLASS tables, then you have to choose 3 dimensions among the 15 tables available to obtain a view of your WBS. For instance, tables 11 (ZBS), 21 (PBS) and 31 (ABS) can be used together, or tables 14 (ZBS), 23 (PBS) and 32 (ABS).

You have to join triplet of tree structures to build a WBS, but of course there are N dimensions in a project, but there are only 4 dimensions linked together for one view of the project (OBS, ZBS, PBS, and ABS).

Some tables of OMNICLASS for instance belong to the same family, I mean it is either Zone, Product, Activity or Organization dimensions. Hence, we can have parallel dimensions to the four main dimensions.

Part #120: Star tetrahedron projects !

As Garrett Lisi’s theory of everything, 8 dimensions can be envisaged for a project.

In blue, the SCOPE dimensions of the 3D WBS : PBS (what?), ABS (How?), ZBS (Where?), and configuration management (For what?).

In red, the VALUE dimensions of the 3D WBS: OBS/RBS (Who?), Cost (How much?), Time (When?), and Value of the Project/Product (Why?).

For reasons of clarity, the dimensions are reduced to a point.

Thanks to Doctor Paul D. Giammalvo for his initial idea: 

Thanks to Stephen A. Decaux for his help, last book 
"Managing projects as investments":

Part #121: Project break down as fractals !

In fractal method, the basic structure repeats, not only at the macro level (the universe for instance) but also at micro and micro micro levels as well. 

For a project it is the same, the star tetrahedron of the project repeats up to the micro level, as tasks. But it is also the same for a project portfolio...

Finally, a project environment looks like that !

I mean that when you structure a program, a project, a task or a projet portfolio, you always ask the same questions: what, how, where, who, why, for what, how much and when. Whatever the level, it is the same, as fractals.

Thanks to Doctor Paul D. Giammalvo for his initial idea: 

Part #122: Thoughts of Xavier LEYNAUD


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:

  1. 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 SBS 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)
  2. ZBS 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-)
  3. 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,
  4. 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 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.

Head of planning and load management

Part #123: Thoughts of Doctor Paul D. GIAMMALVO


The trend is clearly towards MULTI-DIMENSIONAL WBS structures. (Relational Database vs Flat File)

I believe one of the world's leading authorities on multiple WBS structures is Jean Yves Moine. Take the time to link up with him if you get the chance.

CSI did this with Master: 

and Uniformat
the Norwegians did it for offshore oil and gas with Norzok Z-014:
and now we are urging our IT and Telecommunications clients to recognize the value and importance of not only STANDARDIZING the WBS but also creating multi-dimensional WBS (3D WBS).

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo
Develop and Deliver Graduate Level, Blended Learning Programs in Applied Portfolio, Program and Project Management

Part #124: 3D WBS process of projects structuration

Part #125: Project cube synoptic

It looks like that...
We find the WBS: ZBS, PBS and ABS. And also "For what" which belongs to the scope items too.
And we find Project Value dimensions: why, who, how much and when. 

Part #126: Conference 3D WBS at the SMP

In september 2014, I will do a conference at the Swiss Project Management Association (SMP). 

Sorry, it will be in French...

Part #127:The Value Breakdown Structure (VBS): Features & Benefits

The value solves the question WHY 
of the 3D WBS modeling...

Copyright 2014: Stephen A. Devaux, Analytic Project Management

Every project and program is an investment, undertaken to generate benefits that are of greater value to the sponsor/customer/investor than the cost of the resources invested. In this sense, the relative success or failure of the project can be represented as expected project profit, i.e., the difference between the total cost of the resources invested and the value that, at completion, the project is expected to generate.

The above stipulation illustrates a serious misunderstanding in project metrics: the conflation of the unfortunately misnamed “earned value” with the project’s “business” or “investment” value. Earned value is always based on resource usage: the total resource budget or the budget for labor or for a specific material. But this has nothing to do with the value the project is expected to generate. Indeed, no intelligent sponsor would ever invest S1M in a project the product of which he values at exactly $1M – even the least project risk and shortest project duration would dictate that the sponsor would only invest $1M if he expects it create more than $1M in value. And sometimes that expected value may be much greater than $1M – an enabler project, for instance, such as a new platform on which many valuable systems may be loaded, may create value and opportunity worth many multiples of the platform-creation’s project budget. Yet that budget would be the basis for the project’s earned value.

Value, in the form of ROI or NPV or any other name, is the raison d’etre of every program and project, and is carefully analyzed and tracked on all other types of investments. Yet, on projects alone (where the project team often has the ability to make decisions that can greatly impact value), this driving investment metric is often never estimated, and even when it is, is not tracked and/or conveyed to the project team as a precision metric for decision-making.    

The project’s value is created by the scope: mostly the product scope, but occasionally with some value added by the project scope (e.g., improved organizational skills with a new manufacturing technology). Yet while the resource budget is loaded into the elements of the work breakdown structure and summed to the top to create both the budget and the earned value baseline for each summary element and for the whole project, the project’s expected value, even if estimated, is not decomposed to the work elements.

Value behaves differently from cost, yet tracking it is no less important. Whereas cost is always additive (the sum of the dollar costs of five detail activities ALWAYS is equal to the dollar cost of their parent summary activity), value is not. The value of two activities may be less OR more than the sum of each, i.e., they may either duplicate some of the other’s value or kindle each other’s value.

  1. Mandatory activities/work packages/projects have a value equal to that of the entire project/program: if we build an airplane valued at $1M but leave out the left wing, the value of the project is zero unless and untilthat wing is added, making its value-added $1M. Interestingly, its right wing is exactly the same! But the value of the two (mandatory) wings does not sum to $2M – it only sums to the $1M value of the whole project.
  2. Optional activities have a value equal to the difference between the total expected project value and what the project would be worth if we did all the other work except that optional work (activity/work package/project within a project/program).
The value breakdown structure (VBS) may be identical in format to the WBS, but will simply be loaded with different data (dollars of value instead of cost) and not necessarily be additive up the branches. It provides the following benefits:
  •     Prioritization of work based on classification of mandatory vs. optional work;
  •     Prioritization of work based on classification of different optional work based on its relative value;
  •     Recognition of project value accumulation on terms other than earned value (i.e., cost);
  •     Recognition of accrued (i.e., salvageable) project value if considering project truncation;
  •     Quantification of the value impact of scope reduction;
  •     Identification of work whose value-added is less than its true cost. This is particularly important whenever there is a change in the schedule such that new optional work migrates to the critical path and acquires critical path drag and drag cost (true cost = resource cost plus drag cost).  
Stephen A. DEVAUX
Author, Instructor, & Consultant
Author of "Managing projects as investments"

Part #128: Consulting in Project Control


Do you need: 

  • To create standards WBS for your company? 
  • To Plan your project well and quickly? 
  • To create a cash-flow curve related to schedule? 
  • To Manage both costs and time together
  • To Identify interfaces of your project (risks)? 
  • A VBA EXCEL tools, for costing or cost control? 
  • Monte Carlo risk analysis with EXCEL or MS PROJECT? 
  • A Training on planning or 3D WBS
  • A Training on Cubix360, MS PROJECT or PRIMAVERA P6
  • Another service project control? 

Contact the company Cubix Project Management, your partner in project control

website: http://cubixpm.fr 

email: jean-yves.moine@cubixpm.com

Part #129: Another view of the 3D WBS

For one Product line, the crossing between ABS and PBS is standard. For two projects of the same Product line, the changes are the Zones.

In the picture below, ABS and PBS tree structures are projected on the axis of the square. We can see that the triplet {ZBS, PBS, ABS} forms one Task. We can choose the level that we need on each tree structure to form one Task, for instance ABS level #2, PBS level #2 and ZBS level #1.

As shown in the WBS matrix, we can assign several ZBS elements to the couple {PBS, ABS}. In other words, some process (ABS) associated to one Product (PBS) can be repeated in different Zones (ZBS).

Part #130: Cubix360, the software that applies 3D WBS method

I created with myAMS Cubix360 software that is the only software that apply 3D WBS method. It allows to build quickly and well, and with method, MS PROJECT or PRIMAVERA P6 schedules.

To buy Cubix360, write me an email here: jean-yves.moine@cubixpm.com

Part #131: 3D V lifecycle of a building construction project

Below the 3D V lifecycle of a building construction project.

As you can see, there are always 3 dimensions for the Work (ABS, PBS, ZBS) and we can add the fourth dimension OBS to describe the whole schedule.

To be noted that OMNICLASS, that is a standard for Building construction, has 15 tables but not 15 dimensions ! Because each table belongs to either PBS, ABS, ZBS or OBS. Each table answers only one elementary question: What?, How? Where? or Who?. So, it must be clear that OMNICLASS has only 4 dimensions.

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...