WBS Checklist

Work Breakdown Structures are the first step in project planning. They are the foundation of project success because realistic project plans rely on a high quality WBS. stakeholdermap.com
Learn how to create a WBS.

What does a good WBS look like?

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How can I tell if my WBS is high quality?

Use this checklist to review your Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)! This checklist can be used for any project regardless of industry. It focusses on the key elements that must be in place for a WBS to define the work.


This is a checklist to use when reviewing the quality of a Work Breakdown Structure.

  • Does it define 100% of the work that will be produced by the project?
  • Does each element represent a deliverable?
  • Does it use a coding structure so that each element has a unique ID that shows its place in the hierarchy e.g. 1.1, 1.2, 1.1.1, 1.1.2?
  • Will project stakeholders be able to understand the project scope from the WBS?
  • Does it capture all external and internal deliverables including project management deliverables?
  • Does each level represent 100% of the work required to deliver the parent level?
  • Is the decomposition sufficient that the tasks required to deliver each work package can easily be identified?
  • Is it in the format that gives a clear graphical, textual or tabular breakdown of the project scope?
  • Is a hierarchical structure used?
  • Does it have a least two levels with at least one level of decomposition?
  • Was it created by those who will be performing the work?
  • Is it being regularly updated as project changes are approved?
  • Can you identify one person who is accountable for each work package?
  • Can you clearly define the acceptance criteria for each work package?
  • Does it allow you to estimate costs accurately?
  • Does the WBS have logical summary elements that can be used in tracking progress and performance?
  • Does the WBS provide sufficient detail to create an Organizational Breakdown Structure and Responsibility Assignment Matrix or RACI?
  • Is there an alignment between the WBS and project accounting structures?
  • Is the WBS sufficient to support reporting at a team, project, program and portfolio level?
  • Does the WBS align with the size and complexity of the project? Is it sufficiently detailed to support planning and control, but not so detailed as to become cumbersome?

Mind map of the checklist

Download the WBS Checklist

WBS Checklist FREE download PDF

More Work Breakdown Structure resources and templates

How to create a Work Breakdown Structure

Download a WBS Dictionary template in Excel

Work breakdown Structure Template – Online

Work Breakdown Structure Template – Excel