The Product Breakdown Structure (PBS)

The Product Breakdown Structure (PBS) identifies and defines all the products (deliverables) that the project has to produce. The product breakdown structure will show the scope broken down in a hierarchical manner and at its lowest level each product (deliverable) will be identified. It is an effective tool that details the physical components of a particular product or system under consideration. The structure serves to reduce a complex project, or product into manageable components. As a result, teams can obtain a clear understanding of a product, its components and what is required to provide those components.



Although the PBS is created at the primary stages of a project, it is important that it is reviewed and revised at each stage of the project. The PBS can then be adjusted accordingly. When creating a PBS use the following guidelines:

  • The top level represents the final product/project
  • Sub-deliverables contain sub components of the final product
  • Identify product components through group collaboration
  • Product descriptions can be a useful component of the PBS

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