What is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)? It is a process by which a project is planned by breaking it into easily definable and understandable goals, milestones and tasks. Listing the major components first is the first step in developing a WBS. This can be done by in a word processor, spreadsheet, or using a Gantt chart program.
A key element in the WBS is to plan for intended outcomes, rather than planning actions. That is, understand what the goals of the project are, define key milestones, and then start the process of breaking those pieces down into tasks. If there are fixed dates that need to be met, make sure those are shown in the Gantt chart. This way, as the topics are broken into tasks, it will become clear upfront whether more resources will need to be added to meet these deadlines.
After the major topics are determined, the process of breaking these into tasks is next. Depending on the complexity of each task, the project planner may find it necessary to continue breaking these items into sub-tasks until they are very specific.