How to Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Primavera

The table below shows the activity data for the construction of the Haitang Corporate Park. The table below is divided into several Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which are highlighted in bold.


The WBS ID is in the first column. The second column contains the activity ID and the name of the work breakdown structure (WBS), which is the project’s work category. The third column contains the activity’s name.

The fourth column is the type of activity you need to choose in Primavera. The fifth column is the duration of each activity in days.

The first step that needs to be done before adding activities is to create a WBS first.

Also, read about what is Work Breakdown Structure in project management?

Steps to Create WBS

To create a WBS, do the following:

  • Open Project that will be made by WBS.
How to create WBS
  • Once Project is open, access the menu Project -> WBS.
How to create WBS
  • On the WBS page, add a WBS by clicking the Add button. The WBS Code column is left because it has been filled automatically. In the WBS Name column, name it Design and Engineering.
How to create WBS
  • Assign OBS Construction Manager in the Responsible Manager column. As in the example below.
How to create WBS
  • Continue to create WBS according to the activity table data above. You can shift the WBS according to the WBS hierarchy lower or higher. Use the arrow to the right to make the WBS hierarchy lower. Use the left arrow to make the WBS hierarchy higher.
How to create WBS
  • The final WBS results are as follows:
How to create WBS

How to Create More Informative WBS Code

You can let the WBS Code be generated automatically as above. However, if you have the time, you can create a more informative WBS Code.

You can create a WBS Code by abbreviating the WBS Name to make it more informative when displayed in the activity table column.

The image below shows a comparison of WBS Codes that display the abbreviation of the WBS name and those that do not:

WBS Code with abbreviations:

WBS Code with auto-number:

How to create WBS

From the comparison above, it can be seen that the WBS Code with abbreviations is more informative.

The activity hierarchy can be seen in the WBS code, for example, activities using the WBS Code EC005011.Mechanicals.HVAC (EC005011 is a project code). It can be concluded that these activities are in the WBS hierarchy: Mechanical -> HVAC.

In comparison, the WBS Code for the auto-numbered WBS is EC005011.4.1. The activity hierarchy cannot be determined by examining the auto-generated WBS Code.

To create an abbreviated WBS Code, you can change the previously generated WBS Code to be as below:

How to create WBS

Now change your WBS Code, which is still in numeric form, with the WBS Code abbreviation as shown above. To do this, go back to the WBS page, then change the WBS Code:

How to create WBS

Edit all WBS codes into abbreviations according to the example. Sort the filling starting from the highest WBS hierarchy to the lowest (Parent->child). Just write the last part of the WBS Code, Primavera will automatically write according to the WBS structure, for example:

EC005011.Mechanicals: type Mechanicals.

EC005011.Mechanicals.Lifts: type Lifts.

To create a structured WBS display on the activities table, you need to create a WBS grouping on the activities page via the Group and Sort… menu; the method is as follows:

Right-click on the activity table header, click the Group and Sort… menu.

How to create WBS

In the Group By column, select WBS.

How to create WBS

The results are as follows:

How to create WBS

Display in the activities table:

How to create WBS

You can click Hide if empty if you want to hide WBS that has no activity.

How to create WBS

Also, read step by step tutorial Primavera.


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