Complex business projects are already overwhelming just thinking about them. Companies must ensure all members know their responsibilities and deliver the tasks accordingly to get the job done. The work breakdown structure template lets you organize specific tasks to make them more manageable.

What is a work breakdown structure template?

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Some refer to the work breakdown structure template as the WBS template. It's a visual illustration of a project's hierarchical elements which aim to achieve project deliverables. The WBS template is a helpful diagram allowing project managers to illustrate the vital aspects of the project geared towards achieving the ultimate objectives.

The availability of a work breakdown structure template online lets project managers easily create the framework and share the WBS template with the whole team. There are 3 essential types of the work breakdown structure template, including the following:

  • Deliverable-based WBS template. This template provides a clear relationship between the deliverables and the project scope.
  • Phase-based WBS template. Unlike the first work breakdown structure template type, phase-based has no direct relationship between deliverables. While managers must consider multiple elements, they can handle projects in phases with significant time between stages.
  • Time-based WBS template. The final work breakdown structure template uses the time to break down essential elements in project management. This WBS template is rarely used as it does not focus on deliverables.

When to use a WBS template?

A work breakdown structure template can come in handy in most aspects of project management. Here are a few situations when businesses and organizations use the WBS template.

  • Estimating a project cost. One of the deliverables in a project is the budget. Managers will get detailed information about project costs to achieve deliverables with a WBS template.
  • Identifying project schedules and timelines. Project managers always want to have sufficient time to complete their projects. The work breakdown structure project lets you quickly determine how long it will take to complete every task.
  • Tracking the progress of the project. The WBS template lays out the phases within a process. This allows project managers to see the project's progress and track whether it's on schedule.

Example of Work Breakdown Structure

Let's consider a simple project to organize a company event. The WBS for this project can be broken down into major deliverables, sub-deliverables, and tasks.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for Company Event


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Project: Organize Company Event

1.1 Define Event Scope and Objectives

1.2 Obtain Management Approval

Venue Selection

2.1 Research Potential Venues

2.2 Compare Venue Options

2.3 Select Final Venue

2.4 Negotiate and Finalize Contract

Event Planning

3.1 Develop Event Schedule

3.2 Coordinate with Speakers and Presenters

3.3 Arrange Catering Services

3.4 Plan Audio-Visual Setup

3.5 Arrange Decorations and Signage

Marketing and Promotion

4.1 Design Event Promotional Materials

4.2 Implement Social Media Campaign

4.3 Coordinate Email Marketing

4.4 Distribute Printed Materials

Registration and Attendee Management

5.1 Set Up Online Registration System

5.2 Manage Attendee Registration

5.3 Prepare Attendee Badges

5.4 Handle On-Site Registration

Logistics and Operations

6.1 Arrange Transportation for Speakers

6.2 Coordinate Event Setup and Teardown

6.3 Manage Parking Logistics

6.4 Provide Event Security

Budgeting and Financial Management

7.1 Develop Event Budget

7.2 Track Expenses

7.3 Process Invoices and Payments

How to use a work breakdown structure template in Boardmix?

The best thing about online diagramming tools is that you can experiment and customize the design of your WBS template, especially if there are other aspects of the project you decide to add. Here's how you do it with Boardmix's work breakdown structure template.

1. Start a new board: Log into your Boardmix account and click on 'Create New Board'. Choose the 'Work Breakdown Structure' template from our extensive collection.


2. Define your project: At the top of your WBS, write down the name of your project. This will be the highest level of your structure. 


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3. Break down your project: Start breaking down your project into main tasks or deliverables, then break these down further into subtasks. You can do this by adding boxes or nodes under each task.


4. Assign responsibilities: For each task or subtask, assign a team member responsible for its completion.


5. Track progress: Use color codes or markers to track the progress of each task and subtask.

work breakdown structure Boardmix track progress

FAQs about work breakdown structure

How do you create a work breakdown structure?

The WBS template comes in different styles, depending on the specific areas you must focus on in your project. Also, the framework has several kinds, so WBS templates will sometimes be different. When creating the template, you must remember to set the goals and the project scope, identify the deliverables, and break these deliverables into individual tasks before assigning them.

What is the main purpose of a work breakdown structure?

The primary purpose of using a work breakdown structure is to digest the overall project into individual tasks. Furthermore, the template helps managers visualize the project needs and the outcomes and better manage the team's capacity and resources.

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