Oracle Primavera Cloud (OPC), Oracle’s cloud-based scheduling solution, allows project teams to create and manage an unlimited number of projects. Once a project has been successfully created within the cloud, the next step is to begin to define the project’s deliverables through the creation of activities. To ease with activity organization and navigation, you may want to first create a work breakdown structure.
A work breakdown structure (WBS) is a method of organizing the activities in a project within an outline. The WBS breaks the schedule down into smaller chunks of work. A WBS is a hierarchical structure composed of different levels, with each level representing a different project phase or deliverable. Although work breakdown structures aren’t mandatory for project management, they are highly recommended to help group and sort related activities together. Creating a WBS before adding activities is beneficial, as it will provide an outline that can then be filled in with individual tasks.
In this article, we will cover how to create a work breakdown structure for a project in Oracle Primavera Cloud. Before creating a WBS, you will want to first have a project created within OPC – you can find instructions on how to do that here.
ACCESSING THE WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE
To create a work breakdown structure, first have the desired project open. If it’s not already, you can open a project by selecting the Object Selector > Projects and using the search bar to search for the project.
Within the project’s left toolbar, hover your cursor over the Schedule app. Within the dropdown menu that appears, select WBS.
This will take you to the WBS page. The purpose of the WBS page is to create an outline that can then be displayed on the Activities page. We can create the work breakdown structure on the WBS page, and then utilize it on the Activities page when we begin to add activities to the project.
The work breakdown structure will be pre-populated with one root node, representing the project as a whole. A WBS can be created by adding child nodes to this root layer.
ADDING WBS LAYERS
To add a new layer to the WBS, select Add from the top toolbar.
This will create a child layer to the project root. Each WBS layer will be given a default Code and Name, but you will generally want to adjust these fields to differentiate each layer.
The WBS Code is a unique identifier for the WBS item – no two layers can have the same code. By default, the WBS code will be the project’s code followed by a ‘.WBS#’, where the # is a number that indicates the position in the hierarchy.
The WBS name is best used as a descriptor for the item. By default, the WBS name will be the same as the WBS Code
Both the Code and the Name can be adjusted by double clicking in the cell within the table and typing in a new one.
You can also assign a WBS Manager. This allows you to assign a user to be responsible for managing that WBS layer. The person who created the project will automatically be added as the manager, but this can be adjusted by selecting the … button.
In the Select Manager window, choose a new user from the list and press Select.
After the first WBS layer has been added, you can now build your hierarchy by adding sibling or child layers to it. Selecting the Add button again will create a sibling layer – or a layer in the same hierarchical level as the layer before it.
To add a child layer to an already created WBS layer, select the context menu next to the desired layer and select Add Child WBS. This will create a layer lower in the hierarchical order to the one selected.
Continue to add layers to the WBS in this manner until you’ve completely broken down the project’s work. Oracle Primavera Cloud supports WBS hierarchies with up to 50 levels.
MOVING WBS LAYERS
WBS layers can be moved around in the hierarchy as well by selecting the Context menu and selecting the Move Left, Move Right, Move Up or Move Down buttons. Move Left will turn a child layer into a sibling layer by bringing it to the same hierarchical position as the layer above it. Move Right will turn a sibling layer into a child layer, by moving it to a hierarchical position lower than the layer above it. Move Up and Move Down will not change the hierarchical order of the layer, but will simply move it above or below within the WBS list.
DISPLAYING THE WBS ON THE ACTIVITIES PAGE
You can now set the WBS to display on the Activities page as an outline while you add activities to the project. To get to the Activities page, hover the cursor over the Schedule app in the left toolbar and select Activities.
Depending on the View that you’re using, the WBS may already be displaying on the Activities page. If it is not yet displaying, it can be added to the Activities table by adjusting the Grouping settings for the current View. To adjust the View, select the View dropdown menu in the top toolbar and select Manage Views.
In the Manage Views window, select the Grouping tab at the top of the screen.
Select the Group By dropdown and select WBS.
If you created your work breakdown structure before adding activities to the project, you will also want to make sure that the Hide If Empty checkbox under Band Options is NOT selected. If this is selected, the WBS grouping bands will not display on the activity table until activities have been added to specific layers. Because we are using this WBS as a project outline to aid with adding activities, you will want that option unchecked.
In the upper right hand corner, select the Apply button to apply the View changes and close the Manage Views screen.
By default, the work breakdown structure will be collapsed, and only the top WBS layer of the project itself will display. To display the entire WBS, select the context gear next to that top layer and select Expand All.
The full work breakdown structure will appear within the Activities table, and can now be used as an outline to organize added activities. It will now be much easier to conceptualize our schedule activities as we add them to the schedule.
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Lauren Hecker is an Oracle Primavera Cloud Instructor and teaches onsite and virtual Oracle Primavera Cloudcourses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!