3D Work Breakdown Structure method


By Jean-Yves Moine 


  • 1.   Introduction

After more than fifteen years of consulting on different kinds of projects, I propose a new vision of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): the 3D WBS concept.

Since the beginning of my career, the tree structures have always been in the heart of my thoughts. I had to find a way to build schedules and budget decompositions well and quickly. Many tree structures exist; they are described in books like the PMBOK Guide from PMI and others books. These structures include:

  • GBS (Geographical Breakdown Structure),
  • PBS (Product Breakdown Structure),
  • SBS (Systems Breakdown Structure) or FBS (Functional Breakdown Structure),
  • ABS (Activity Breakdown Structure),
  • OBS (Organization Breakdown Structure),
  • RBS (Resources or Risks Breakdown Structure),
  • CWBS (Contract Work Breakdown Structure),
  • etc.

The question was: how all these structures are mixed?

One day, during one mission on a huge railway project in Qatar I realized that for the construction phase, activities (ABS) were deployed on products (PBS) and products were constructed somewhere (ZBS).

There were three dimensions and the WBS could be represented by one cube under the construction phase.

Hence, there was one cube under other phases: basic design, detail design, procurement, construction and commissioning, knowing that phases are the level #1 of the ABS.

Later, I understood that there was the same cube under each phase. Finally, there was only one WBS cube to describe the project.

The 3D WBS model was born.


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About the Author

flag-francejean-yves-moineJean-Yves Moine


Project management consultant, Jean-Yves Moine has been working in project control for more than fifteen years, in prestigious French companies, on more and more huge and complex projects, in different sectors in France and abroad.  Knowing that the Work Breakdown Structure is the heart of the project control, during his different missions he developed an approach to structure quickly and well the schedules: the 3D WBS model. Most of his add value is to establish it in the beginning of the project and then create a system to manage costs and time linked together, taking in account the risks.

He has a good knowledge of the project management theory, he has already written four books, published by the French Normalization Association (AFNOR). He has just finished another book about “3D project management – the project cube” published in mars 2012.  He used to write some articles which are published in the project management workbooks of the AFNOR and in the AFITEP (French project management association) magazine.

Because he practiced in a lot of grand companies, he also has a good knowledge of project management tools like PRIMEVERA P6, MS PROJECT or TILOS.  A Specialist in project management (especially time, costs and risks), he likes to transmit his knowledge, to train and to manage these elements.  The more the project is huge and complex, the more he can add value.

Jean-Yves Moine can be contacted at [email protected]