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WBS Dictionary RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I was wondering if a WBS Dictionary can be generated from MS Project 2010, not server?

    I know the software does a WBS numbering and there is a component to visually do a WBS structure but I'm interested in the creation of the dictionary.  Is there a way to get the items in the project into a Word document?  If I can add the necessary information into the Notes portion of each task and export to my word document, it would work or is that something that I would have to create manually?  Thanks in advance.


    • Edited by jp-pm Monday, August 27, 2012 8:36 PM clarification
    Monday, August 27, 2012 8:26 PM

All replies

  • jp-pm,

    It might be easier to export the WBS and Notes field to Excel instead of using Word. That can be done with a simple export map for those two fields. However, if the Notes are longer than 256 characters or have line feeds in the text string than the export will be truncated. However, I have a solution for that (see below).

    On the other hand, if you want to set up a dictionary in some other application, why put the descriptive data into the Notes field in Project at all. Simply export the WBS field from Project, (you can even do a simple copy and paste for that), and then enter the descriptive data directly into Excel, or Word if you prefer.

    Now about the long notes issue. I have a macro that will export Notes field text in whole. I've had many requests for it over the years (3 this past week). If you are interested, contact me at the address below. I will ask some questions.

    John

    jensenljatatfastmaildotdotfm

    (remove obvious redundancies and the 7th character is an alpha)

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 2:53 AM
  • I think it would be beneficial for the new version of Project to have the capability of having/generating a WBS Dictionary.  That's one of the critical points as a Project Manager!  Anyway, those are my 2 cents....  
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 1:53 PM
  • jp-pm,

    I believe the new version of Project (Project 13) is already out in beta form. However the real question is, how much peripheral functionality should Project itself have? There are many documents, including a WBS dictionary, that are part of an overall project definition structure. A planning and scheduling "document" is one, a WBS dictionary is another, the SOW is yet another, etc. Project was designed as a planning and scheduling application. Loading it down with these other facets of an overall project would, in my view, compromise Project's main function. Project Server on the other hand was developed to encompass more of an enterprise approach and I believe, although I don't do Server, it has better facilities for pulling together all elements of a given project.

    My 2 cents.

    Bottom line though, did we answer your original question?

    John

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 3:14 PM
  • John - Project

    You're absolutely right, there are many documents that accompany a project.  One of them is the schedule (project plan, and many others things within it).  My thinking is that the schedule (project plan) should have the necessary components (tasks, task name, notes, etc) which are already captured in MS Project.  Part of those items (Notes) can be used as a WBS dictionay and no extra "peripheral" work is needed to provide a WBS Dictionary.  What I'm looking for is the ability for the software to simply capture that  and be able to export it to a format (like ms. word) that can be distributed to stakeholders and team members.  Part of the goal for a WBS Dictionary is to clarify the work and scope of the task so that there is no confusion as to the expectations and usage of a task (deliverable).  My thinking is a suggestion that can potentially pay off for the product.  :-)

     


    • Edited by jp-pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012 4:04 PM clarification
    Tuesday, August 28, 2012 3:40 PM
  • jp-pm,

    I still believe expanding Project's functionality as you describe is going beyond the scope of the application's intended use and quite frankly I don't see the "payoff".

    John

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:19 AM
  • Hi jp-pm,

    Having gone through this thread, I would say you are thinking from a Project Management perspective and making a 'considerable' suggestion; but as John said that it may not be possible to integrate with the tool as it is a purely scheduling algorithms that could be used only for managing timelines, resource, cost, budget, progress and other such related variables which could be measured and reported.

    Documentation comes more under bucket of Project Management processes, which can be added as a feature to the tool future. But as of now it is evolving more on its algorithmic and other calculating and flexibility features.


    Sapna Shukla

    Friday, August 31, 2012 11:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Sapna,

    Thank you very much for your observation.  You and I have the same thoughts.  I could copy and paste WBS's and Task Names into a word document or such.  I would then create my own copy of the WBS Dictionary but I was trying to suggest that to the MS Project team.  To have it built in, since it is both a Project Management Process that is part of the schedule, deliverables, tasks,etc.

    I really appreciate your understanding on this Sapna.  Thank you.

    :-) 

    Friday, August 31, 2012 4:50 PM
  • You are always most Welcome my friend :)

    Sapna Shukla

    Monday, September 3, 2012 7:22 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Sapna,

    Thank you very much for your observation.  You and I have the same thoughts.  I could copy and paste WBS's and Task Names into a word document or such.  I would then create my own copy of the WBS Dictionary but I was trying to suggest that to the MS Project team.  To have it built in, since it is both a Project Management Process that is part of the schedule, deliverables, tasks,etc.

    I really appreciate your understanding on this Sapna.  Thank you.

    :-) 

    I completely agree with you.  The WBS and the WBS dictionary need to be in sync.  Copying and pasting or exporting leads to an out of date dictionary.  A simple WBS Dictionary Report would be an obvious improvement to MS Project.  Either I don't know how to use them, or the reporting options are extremely limited in the product.  I can customize a task report to give me a WBS dictionary, but it's not the prettiest thing in the world. 
    Friday, June 13, 2014 8:52 PM