Ask Mr. Agile®: What is an Agile Work Breakdown Structure?


The Question:

What is an agile work breakdown structure?

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Mr. Agile®’s Answer:

A work breakdown structure (WBS) itself is a deliverables-oriented view of a hundred percent of the scope of the project. If it’s not in the work breakdown structure, it’s not included in the scope of the project.

Under an agile approach, we’ll often use a product roadmap to get that holistic broad-based view. Keep in mind, the product roadmap is really just an initial cut of the product backlog. So, if we talk about what would be an equivalent under an agile approach of a work breakdown structure, the answer is going to be the product backlog. If it’s not included in the product backlog, it’s not included in the scope of the project itself. So these would be very equivalent type of concepts.

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