Manager ManagerWBS - Work Breakdown Structure

Author: Manager Manager Displayed: 18547
Created: 30/06/2016 Updated: 21/08/2020
Version: 60
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How to use WBS - Work Breakdown Structure

The video tutorial#2#3
What is WBS - Work Breakdown Structure
Who does WBS help?
How to get WBS for Easy Redmine and Redmine
Installation and update of WBS for generic Redmine
Mind maps like visualization of the projects, issues, and sub-issues
Drag & drop sorting of issues and projects
Update tasks with inline editing menu
Bulk edit of tasks
Creation of issues/tasks from the mind map
Visualize tasks using different properties
Highlight the tasks with particular attributes
How to display relations on the mind map
Transfer to PDF and print your WBS
Familiar keyboard shortcuts from other mind map tools
Modal view of tasks
Zoom-out and zoom-in
Cut, copy and paste
Step back button
Show/hide icons
Roles and permissions
Autosave in WBS
Corner situations
Server requirements
Easy compatibility plugin for Redmine

 

What is WBS - Work Breakdown Structure

WBS - Work Breakdown Structure is a fundamental project management technique of decomposition of the project into deliverable parts (easily manageable components). Work Breakdown Structure visualizes projects, issues, and sub-issues in mind map-like view - showing decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team. WBS provides the necessary framework for detailed guidance for schedule development and control. It further enables you to manage projects and issues using easy drag & drop while having the clearest possible visualization of the whole project. In WBS you can create project tasks while seeing the structure of the whole project. To use CBS - Cost Breakdown Structure, you need to have installed both WBS and Budgets plugins and have them activated on a project.

 

Who does WBS help

WBS plugin brings an essential project management technique of project decomposition. All project managers can thus manage projects in smarter and more efficient way.


WBS is intended to be used mostly by:

  • Project Managers
  • Line Managers
  • IT Managers
  • Small Business Owners
  • Project Portfolio Managers
  • HR Managers

What are the main benefits of WBS technique and project visualization:

  • effective project planning thanks to drag'n'drop features and clear visualization
  • easier project management thanks to the visual user interface
  • easier orientation thanks to the hierarchical structure of projects
  • saves your time and much more

 

How to get WBS for Easy Redmine and Redmine

Both for Easy Redmine and Redmine 3.2+, WBS is available as a separate plugin to purchase via Client zone. Redmine users can download their trial version of WBS from here.

 

Installation and update of WBS for generic Redmine

Installation of Easy WBS FREE

Do NOT install plugins as a ROOT user
Copy unziped plugin directory into REDMINE_ROOT/plugins
Run $ bundle install
Run $ rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production
Run $ rake redmine:plugins:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Upgrade from Easy WBS FREE to WBS PRO

DELETE Easy WBS Free Plugin in your plugins folder (rm -r REDMINE_ROOT/plugins/easy_wbs) and unpack new plugin there.

Afterward, run bundle install and migrations (rake redmine:plugins:migrate) in REDMINE_ROOT and restart your app server.

Installation of Easy WBS PRO

Do NOT install plugins as a ROOT user
Copy unziped plugin directory into REDMINE_ROOT/plugins
Run $ bundle install
Run $ rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production
Run $ rake redmine:plugins:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Upgrade of Easy WBS PRO

DELETE all Easy WBS PRO plugins in your plugins folder (rm -r REDMINE_ROOT/plugins/easy_wbs) and unpack new plugins there.

Afterward, run bundle install and migrations (rake redmine:plugins:migrate) in REDMINE_ROOT and restart your app server.

Requirements for successful installation

  • Redmine version: 3.2+
  • Ruby version: 2.1+ (recommended 2.3.)
  • Database type: MySQL (recommended), PostgreSQL

Follow installation procedure in #install. Verify whether the installation log doesn't contain any errors. If it does, try to solve it according to the description, or contact support@easyredmine.com with the error section of the log attached.

Installation on Bitnami

Bitnami is not tested nor guaranteed. If the installation fails, run manually:

$ bundle update
$ rake db:migrate
$ rake redmine:plugins:migrate

For proper working of WBS plugin, REST API must be enabled in More: Administration: Settings: API: Enable REST web service. The plugin uses this API to communicate with the server.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 01.jpg

System activation in Easy Redmine

To activate WBS plugin on the system basis or try it for free for 30 days, go to More > Administration > Plugins > Other > Easy WBS plugin. From here you can also deactivate the plugin if needed.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 02.jpg

WBS activation on a project

To activate WBS plugin on a project, go to particular project's Settings > Modules > tick the checkbox Easy WBS > Save. Immediately after, WBS tab will appear in project top menu.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 03.jpg

After clicking on WBS tab, you can start working with work breakdown structure.

 

Mind maps like visualization of the projects, issues, and sub-issues

Work Breakdown Structure visualizes projects, issues, and sub-issues in mind map-like view - showing decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 04.jpg

This is how it looks in basic Redmine just for comparison.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 05.jpg

 

Drag & drop sorting of issues and projects

Drag an issue/task or project with your left mouse button and drop it wherever you need for a better clarity. Moreover, by clicking on One side button on the upper right corner, the entire tree structure will move on the right side only. By clicking on it again, it will return back. Moreover, using drag'n'drop functionality you can easily move subtasks between parent tasks.

Thanks to an auto-positioning feature indicated by a black arrow when moving a task, the task neatly aligns between others in the branch so they all have the same spaces around and the mind map looks appealing and well organized.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 06.jpg

 

Update tasks with inline editing menu

Would you like to quickly update tasks without leaving your WBS working space? Have all the task options available just one click away? Then Inline Editing Menu is for you. Just right-click on any project, task or sub-task and choose to change the tracker, priority, status etc. Using inline editing you can also easily expand the task, add a child, sibling or parent and delete the task. What's more, you can select multiple tasks at once (by pressing Shift button while clicking with left mouse button) and edit them together via the inline menu.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 07.jpg

 

Bulk edit of tasks

You can edit two or more entities in bulk just by holding the SHIFT/CTRL key + pressing the left mouse button to select all the entities you need to edit. While still holding the SHIFT/CTRL key, press the right mouse button on any selected entity and make the required edit from the inline menu that has appeared. If you don't hold the key while pressing the right mouse button to make the inline menu appear, the bulk selection disappears and all edits are made just on the single entity right-clicked.

 

Creation of issues/tasks from the mind map

To create a new issue/task, click on some existing issue/task with the right mouse button and add a new child, sibling or parent.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 08.jpg

 

Visualize tasks using different properties

Would you like to open your WBS and instantly see which tasks require your attention? Or quickly know which tasks still need to be finished? That can be easily done with Easy WBS Pro coloring options according to a variety of Task properties. Visualize them according to priority, and see which tasks require your attention, or visualize them according to a user, and see who is responsible for which tasks. Choose a color by tracker, % Done, Priority, Status, Assignee or Milestone in the top left menu.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 09.jpg

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 10.jpg

Or see which tasks still need to be done for the soon approaching milestone. Easily visualize your WBS with priority, a percentage of work done, status, assignee, and milestones using simple drop-down menu.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 11.jpg

 

Highlight the tasks with particular attributes

Are you tired of seeing all the tasks of a project at once? Then you appreciate the opportunity to highlight only those you currently need to work with. In the legend on the left side, you can select the particular attributes by clicking on them with the left mouse button, thus highlighting the respective tasks on the mind map. The other tasks fade away unless you highlight them by selecting their particular attributes too. In the below example, you see only the tasks with four selected trackers are highlighted. The same feature works with any other attribute such as % Done, Priority, Status, Assignee or Milestone.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 12.jpg

 

How to display relations on the mind map

To show relations between nodes (tasks), click on the "Show relations" button among main controls. When pushed, relations are shown on the mind map as green lines between nodes.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 13.jpg

 

Transfer to PDF and print your WBS

Would you like to print out your project WBS and share it with everyone? Have a hard copy to give out at the meeting and put it on your wall? With Easy WBS Pro you can quickly export any WBS into PDF format and print it. Just click on the "Export" button in the top left menu.

On the print preview screen, there is a button called "Save to attachments". If you click it, the preview will be converted into a PDF file and saved in a specific folder depending on where you have created this preview:

  • On a project (such as project-level Gantt, WBS, Spent time...) - The PDF file is saved in the Files folder of the current project. If you want to access the file, make sure the "Files" module is enabled in the project settings (under Modules tab), otherwise, it is hidden.
  • On a task - The PDF file is saved as a task attachment.
  • Other cases - The PDF file is always saved in the Files/Documents folder of the current location. If you do not need to save the file in Easy Redmine, then you should select the download option instead of saving.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 14.jpg

 

Familiar keyboard shortcuts from other mind map tools

There is a complete list of keyboard shortcuts accessible by clicking on the Shortcuts button within the legend in the upper left corner (legend must be enabled).

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 15.jpg

 

Modal view of tasks

A modal view of tasks enables to see and/or edit all important data related to a specific task in a single-screen pop-up window, eliminating the need for opening the task in a separate tab. So, it is like a compact view of everything that can usually be found under various tabs, columns or buttons of the normal task view. Most importantly, the modal view is extremely fast and easy to use and its main purpose is saving time while doing standard task management. To open the modal view of a specific task from WBS, just click on any task in the mind map and select the pencil icon.

Easy Redmine 2019 WBS 18.jpg

Below is how the modal view looks like. As you can see, the sidebar menu contains buttons for quick navigation to required task attributes you would like to check or edit, namely details, description, comments, attachments, spent time, coworkers, tags, subtasks, parent task, and related tasks.

Easy Redmine 2019 WBS 19.jpg

Of course, the modal view is definitely not a passive view but is fully interactive so you can quickly edit any of these visible task attributes or add missing text just by clicking to the respective area on the screen.

Easy Redmine 2019 WBS 20.jpg

 

Zoom-out and zoom-in

Zoom in or zoom our your WBS using the magnifier icons in the upper left corner. The icon without symbol resets the zoom to the default level.

 

Cut, copy and paste

Cut, copy and paste are related to quick transferring of tasks on a mind map. The cut command (press the button or Ctrl + X) removes a selected task(s) including all its subtasks from its original position, while the copy command (press the button or Ctrl + C) creates a duplicate of a selected task(s) including all its subtasks; in both cases the selected task(s) is kept in a temporary place called the clipboard. The tasks(s) in the clipboard is later inserted in the position where the paste command (press the button or Ctrl + V) is issued.

 

Step back button

When you accidentally do anything wrong, simply take back the unlimited number of steps you have done just by clicking the "Undo" button among the main controls. To go one step ahead, click on "Redo" button.

 

Show/hide icons

To show and hide icons on the mind map, just click on the "Icons" icon among basic controls at the top right.

 

Roles and permissions

In More: Administration: Roles and permissions: Easy WBS you can decide which user roles have the permissions to view WBS.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 16.jpg

To allow users edit tasks shown in WBS mind map, they need to have the permission called "Edit tasks", which can be found in the Task tracking section of Roles and permissions.

Easy Redmine 2018 WBS 17.jpg

 

Autosave in WBS

The WBS autosave feature prevents accidental loss of unsaved data and is activated automatically when at least one of these 3 conditions is met:

  • A user leaves the current browser tab and then returns back.
  • Every 10 minutes after the last save.
  • A user opens the modal view of a project/task.

 

Corner situations

  • When using WBS in a project tree (showing subprojects), a user needs to be aware when moving tasks between projects - if you move a task into a project where module Task tracking is disabled, the task will not be reachable and will seemingly disappear.
  • Undo button does not work for changes made from inline editing.
  • If you want to move a task, you must not go out with a task outside the visible WBS map, otherwise, the move jumps back to its original position. If you need to attach a task to another task that is outside the visible WBS map, press CTRL key when holding the task to anchor the map to your mouse cursor and drag it over as you need.
  • Cross-project parent-child relations are not recommended to use in WBS as it may cause some unwanted changes, such as spontaneous moving a task from one project to another.
  • When moving a task with a particular tracker into another project that does not allow this tracker in the project settings, the tracker of the task will be changed automatically to the first allowed one in the list.
  • If you copy a task that contains a checklist, this checklist will not be copied in WBS. If you need to copy a task including the checklist, just do so from the task detail window, not in WBS.
  • When creating a task with a distributed tracker via WBS, it is not possible to save it. Application error: "Task could not be created: Assignee and estimated time of distributed tasks cannot be blank." If you need to create a task with a distributed tracker, just do so via "New task button", not in WBS. To find out what is a distributed tracker, check here.
  • If any spent time is logged on a task, such a task cannot be deleted from the WBS environment. Similarly, the entire task tree cannot be deleted if the parental task contains spent time but its children do not. You can only delete tasks without logged spent time in WBS. To delete tasks with logged spent time, open the task detail or use task list.
  • If a new mandatory custom field is added to the task entity, existing tasks can still be edited without the need to fill in this mandatory field (unless we have already filled this field with a value and saved it). This behavior applies to editing tasks directly or via WBS or Easy Gantt.
  • If tasks in WBS are copied, their custom field data is not copied in this case.
  • Distributed tasks cannot be created in WBS.
  • WBS will only save such changes a user made to the tasks that are permitted to edit by his user role. When the permission is missing for any task, no changes will be saved to that particular task (although "Successful updated" notice may appear on the screen). Due to the smoothness of WBS operation and speed of WBS loading, this particular case is left as is.
  • If tasks in WBS are copied, their custom field data, descriptions, and checklists (if any) are not copied in this case. If you need to copy a task including any of this data, just do so from the task detail window, not in WBS.

 

Server requirements

Only Ruby 2.1+ is supported.

 

Easy compatibility plugin for Redmine

Having compatibility issues of our native Redmine plugins with your Redmine environment? We have prepared a plugin that fixes known issues that may occur when installing our Redmine Gantt, WBS and Resource Management plugins along with some 3rd party Redmine plugins, namely redmine_contacts (tested version 4.2.3) and redmine_zenedit (tested version 1.0.2). Feel free to download the plugin from GitHub and install it as a normal Redmine plugin (unzip into the "plugins" folder and restart server).

CBS - Cost Breakdown Structure, Easy Gantt PRO, Resource Management
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