Glossary of Project Management Terms – W

Waterfall Model
A sequential development process, in which development flows steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of initiation, analysis, design, build, test and maintenance. To follow the waterfall model, you move from one phase to the next sequentially, with no overlapping or iterative steps.

What-If Analysis
The process of evaluating alternative strategies.

What-if Simulation
Changing the value of the parameters of the project network to study its behaviour under various conditions of its operation.

The total number of hours, people or effort required to complete a task.

Work Breakdown Code
A code that represents the “family tree” of an element in a work breakdown structure.

Work Breakdown Structure
Way in which a project may be divided by level into discrete groups for programming, cost planning and control purposes. Note: see also “work package”.
(The WBS is a tool for defining the hierarchical breakdown of work required to deliver the products of a project. Major categories are broken down into smaller components. These are sub-divided until the lowest required level of detail is established. The lowest units of a WBS become the activities in a project. The WBS defines the total work to be undertaken on the project and provides a structure for all project control systems.)

Work Load
Work load is the amount of work units assigned to a resource over a period of time.

Work Package
A group of related tasks that are defined at the same level within a work breakdown structure..
(In traditional cost/schedule systems, the criteria for defining work packages is as follows: 1)Each work package is clearly distinguishable from all other work packages in the programme. 2) Each work package has a scheduled start and finish date. 3) Each work package has an assigned budget that is time-phased over the duration of the work package. 4) Each work package either has a relatively short duration, or can be divided into a series of milestones whose status can be objectively measured. 5) Each work package has a schedule that is integrated with higher-level schedules.)

Work Units
Work units provide the measurement units for resources. For example, people as a resource can be measured by the number of hours they work.