Thursday, July 5, 2007

How to define WBS Codes in Microsoft Project?

How to define and assign WBS Codes?

1. Choose Project > WBS > Define Code. Project displays the WBS Code Definition dialog box. Code preview box shows you the format of the WBS code that you’re designing as you design it.
2. WBS Code Prefix: Use the Project Code Prefix box to apply a prefix to all WBS codes that you assign. For example, you may want to use the initials of the project name.
3. For each level in WBS, do the below steps.
3.1. Sequence: In the Sequence column, select the type of character that you want to use for each level of the WBS code. If you choose Characters (unordered), Project inserts an asterisk at that position of the WBS code.
3.2. Length of WBS Code part: Select the list box in length column and choose the length of the level of WBS code.
3.3. Separator: In the separator column, use the list box to select period (.), dash (-), plus (+) or slash (/) or any character that is not number or a letter
4. Check Generate WBS Codes for new tasks and Verify uniqueness of new WBS codes checkbox
5. Click OK to finish.
For example, WBS code is defined with a mask of Numbers (Ordered) Length 1, Numbers (Ordered) Length 1, and Characters (Unordered) length 2. While entering the WBS code for a task in second-level, you would initially see a WBS of 1.1.**. This can be later changed to 1.1.ab

By default, the WBS code does not appear in Gantt Chart view; to view it add the WBS column.

Problems with WBS Codes
1. They don't automatically renumber themselves when you change the structure of project outline
For example, AM-04.1 Request Purchase Order task comes under AM-04 Order Food summary task.

When, AM-04.1 Request Purchase Order task is promoted to its parent level its WBS code is regenerated to the next available WBS code (AM-08)

2. If you want to renumber them, then choose Project > WBS > Renumber.

Next post: How to assign codes to tasks that are not tied to the outline structure?

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