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Project Breakdown Structure Example: Large Office Building Construction Project Made Significantly Easier

Running a big, complex construction project can sometimes take years and involve thousands of tasks. It’s also common to have many managers and controllers working on the same project.

How do you manage and execute such a large project? What system do you have in place to keep track of everything and keep everyone on task?

Without an efficient way to manage the operations and financials of your large projects, there’s no way to maximize performance.

As part of Adeaca’s Project Business Automation platform, the Project Breakdown Structure (PBS) allows you to take a big construction project and break it down into more manageable components that automatically roll up into the Parent Project.

This structured hierarchy of projects allows for the separate but connected management of the finances and operations of a big construction project.

Download the Project Breakdown Structure feature brief to learn more and discover what it can do for your company.

project breakdown structure

How the Project Breakdown Structure Works to Simplify a Large Office Building Construction Project

Let’s take a look at an example of how the PBS makes managing a big construction project significantly easier. This scenario uses three project managers.

In a typical approach to managing a big project, all managers are working on the same project plan. A massive work breakdown structure (WBS) is constructed to manage the project. This means budgets and scheduling of all phases are mixed and managed in one project plan. With this set up, concurrent changes and updates constantly disrupt all planners.

If you take a look above, Jake and Daryll have access to parts of the project they’re not responsible for nor should see. Working in one massive WBS means they can easily change or delete tasks by accident that are not in their domain.

Conducting month-end close outs and calculating accurate EAC and EVA prove difficult and are usually delayed or missed. Jake, Daryll and their teams should be measured independently based on their costs and margin analysis for their areas of the project. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to figure out in this current set up.

Now let’s take a look at the PBS structure. With the PBS, a big construction project can be broken up into any number of embedded projects. Each embedded project, including all operational and financial aspects, can be managed by individual project teams. This means each embedded project can have its own WBS and cost breakdown structure (CBS), but still automatically integrate into the larger project super-structure to ensure higher-level visibility and controls.

Using the same example above, you can see in the illustration below how the PBS assigns clear areas of responsibility for each project manager.

In the PBS set up, concurrent changes occur fluidly without any disruption. The foundations and site grading project components can easily be separated and evaluated for performance based on any number of business metrics.

Download the AEC Project Business Automation Blueprint to learn how PBA creates a streamlined, comprehensive system for AEC companies.

Big Construction Projects Made Easier to Manage

The PBS transforms the way you manage big construction projects, giving you much greater visibility and control. With the current set up construction companies use manage their big projects, it’s no surprise that executives are often left in the dark about the status of their projects and potential issues are gone unnoticed and become major problems down the road. Using PBS, different divisions and departments can manage their costs and operations of the project separately, while still have everything roll up into the one overall project. This means more projects delivered on time and on budget.

About the author

Matt Mong

Matt is a Vice President for Adeaca and is on a mission to create the Project Business Automation category in the market. He is leads Adeaca's thought leadership in project business. He has significant experience in high-growth ventures, helping companies gain awareness and position themselves as leaders in their industry.