Hey, Margaret Meloni here. Let's spend some time talking about the work breakdown structure. WBS stands for work breakdown wtructure, but you know what? It can also stand for we build strength. And I know that you know that from a project management perspective, the correct phrase behind the acronym is work breakdown structure. But since you are going to follow best practices, and you're gonna create a WBS anyway for your project, why not consider using it as a team building exercise? And right now in our time together, we're focusing on the work breakdown structure. But I would ask you to consider looking at many of the project management deliverables we use and think about how you can use them as team building activities. Team building exercises can be really exotic. You can learn how to go western dancing. Okay, that might not be exotic. To build your synergy, and you can expand your comfort zone by going skydiving or learning to race cars. That's more exotic, right? But not every team has the time or money for adventure. And sometimes, maybe we should just can and should use regular project activities as team building events. Consider the creation of your work breakdown structure. You know that you're not gonna sit in your office and construct it all by yourself. You know you're gonna let the people who are actually doing the work define the work. You're gonna let them see their deliverables begin to translate into activities, and of course, you see how this is an excellent opportunity for building trust and relationships through teamwork. So with those thoughts in mind, let's look at six steps that you can take to engage your team in the creation of the WBS. Step one, invite the appropriate parties. This means that somebody from each group participating in the project should be there. And so hint, this is not a bad idea for you to include your key sponsor to come and observe parts of this activity so that they, too, can gain an understanding on how the work gets defined. Now, your sessions could be very long. It could be a very long session. It could be a series of work sessions. So make sure that you schedule these sessions with an awareness of your team members' availabilities and their other work commitment. Step two, review the scope. The work breakdown structure is the decomposition of the work on the project. That means it comes from the scope. So this means that you start with your scope and your scope document or scope statement, whichever you have created, or both. So if this is the first time that the team is hearing the formal scope, you're probably gonna have some lively discussion, and you wanna encourage this discussion, and encourage what if scenarios. If you discourage the team from openly discussing the scope, then you're shutting down communications. And you don't want to do that because this time together is a wonderful opportunity to really think about the nature of what you're creating. Three, ask individuals to work together to identify the key deliverables. Use the sticky note or tear sheet approach. This means that the team uses post-it notes or similar pieces of paper or something comparable that can be written and moved around. Because this gives us flexibility as we're thinking and as we're planning. This allows the team to write deliverables and activities on paper and then position them on the various locations of the proposed WBS or work breakdown structure. Okay, number four, once the deliverables seem to be firm, have the team work on the lower levels. Okay, so have the group or groups that own each deliverable or a portion of that deliverable, again, sticky note or index cards or tiny pieces of paper, whatever works best for you, again, use that approach to break the deliverables down. Encourage detail. You want the result to be a signable and measurable work. So really ask the team to go as low as possible, detailed as possible. Step five, make sure that good notes are taken during the session. When we work together and we construct a work breakdown structure, what we're doing at that time makes perfect sense to us altogether in that room at that moment. Let's say we do it on a Friday afternoon. We come back Monday. Maybe it doesn't make sense, and details may be forgotten. And so this also makes a case for something that's called a WBS dictionary, or work breakdown structure dictionary, which is a companion to your work breakdown structure. But make sure that you take good notes so that we understand what we meant as we worked together to create this item. Number six, now walk away. Seriously, take some time away from the WBS, and then revisit it. Walk through it, and make sure it still makes sense. Have members present their sections to the rest of the team for review and discussion. Allow people to ask questions. What about this? Where's that? Where's the part where you're testing? Where's the part where somebody signs off? Where's the part where somebody reviews? Where's the part where you tell us that your piece of the work is completed? This is gonna help build an understanding of the entire project. And something else that is helpful is if you invite someone into the review who didn't create the work breakdown structure. And so if you have somebody who understands the nature of what you're doing but didn't help you create the WBS, have them look at it. And if most of it makes sense to them, you're probably in really good shape. And that's what we're looking for. So now, you've built a traditional work breakdown structure that the team understands, and through your time together creating this, you have built a stronger team. In fact, I was able to use a work breakdown structure once to help break the ice with a team. And it was my first getting to know them session because the project had already started. I was the replacement for I don't know, I was the fourth or fifth project manager, so they were pretty jaded. And my hook, if you will, was I walked into the group meeting, and I asked them to help me draw a picture of the project. And although at first I think they thought I probably sounded kind of juvenile. When I explained what I meant by a picture of the project, they really got on board, and they worked with me to create this work breakdown structure. And we built an understanding. They learned that I did care about them helping to find the nature of the work, that I wasn't just going to come in and tell them you'll do this by Friday. And so it was a very good team building experience, and that's why I'd like you to consider the work breakdown structure. To me, not just work breakdown structure but also we build strength because it can. Thanks, and bye for now.