Thinking out LOUD! - Not a WBS!

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Article Index
Thinking out LOUD!
Primary Intent
Long History
'Element' Misunderstood
Use in Heavy and Civil?
Not a WBS!
Think Modular Use
Usage of the term 'level'
Omit Reference ID's
Think 'Planning'
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UNIFORMAT II is Not a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)!

Now that I have your attention it becomes a incumbent upon me to support that potentially provocative statement. Many explain the the UII hierarchy in terms of it being a WBS. However, if UNIFORMAT II is a WBS then it is one that is very carefully nuanced towards cost management during the design stages of any constructed entity.

It is much better to say that UNIFORMAT II is not a full WBS. Certainly not, as presently defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI), where they more accurately (using their terms) refer to cost breakdown structures (CBS) that form part part of a full WBS. More specifically UNIFORMAT II is an elemental cost breakdown structure (ECBS) that can be included within a WBS as needed by any specific project.

A full WBS includes not only the construction work but also the work of managing and supervising the design and construction, as well as other important and important approvals and regulatory needs, all of which will represent the many and various activities involved in the work of a true project manager. UNIFORMAT II is specifically set to the construction aspect alone. This should not be surprising as the basic, fundamental, and and primary intent of UNIFORMAT II is to provide the means for robust management of construction cost built, or designed, into the construction work. That’s not say that UNIFORMAT II can only be used solely for that purpose, as experience has shown that, once set, the elemental hierarchy that UNIFORMAT II has established works well for other quantitative procedures, and several text-rich report procedures as well.