It relates the elements of work to be accomplished to each other and to the end product. In other words the WBS is an organized method to breakdown a product into subproducts at lower levels of detail. The WBS is a means of organizing system development activities based on system and product decompositions. It is a product-oriented family tree composed of hardware, software, services, data, and facilities, which result from systems engineering efforts during the development and production of the system and its components, and which completely defines the program. The WBS is prepared from both the physical and system architectures, and identifies all necessary products and services needed for the system. This top-down structure provides a continuity of flow down for all tasks.

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This assists with good communication between the two parties throughout the lifecycle of the program. At the same time, they provide both unambiguous guidelines and flexibility for program managers below the forth level, so there are no restrictions when working to match the government reporting requirements with a realistic schedule that can be executed by the contractor. Each WBS is designated specifically for a particular type of defense system and is listed in the following section.

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WBS Guidelines for Government Acquisition Programs (MIL-STD 881D)

It is for direction and should be included as a contract requirement. This Standard addresses mandatory procedures for all programs subject to DoD Instruction This military standard is applicable to all defense materiel items or major modifications a established as an integral program element of the Future Years Defense Program FYDP , or b otherwise designated by the DoD Component or the Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition. A Work Breakdown Structure WBS provides a consistent and visible framework for defense materiel items and contracts within a program. This Standard offers uniformity in definition and consistency of approach for developing all levels of the WBS. Generating and applying uniform work breakdown structures improves communication in the acquisition process.


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New MIL-STD-881D Work Breakdown Structures for Defense Materiel Items




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