Project Decomposition is an itemized breakdown of project work into smaller pieces or elements on the basis of the function and role each of the elements performs or is used for within the project. It aims to classify the project by work items and develop a big picture view of the project management process.
Project decomposition is one of the major steps in the planning process. Decomposing a project means planning the key elements of project work by creating an activity-based hierarchy. Such a hierarchy includes multiple levels that define major activities related to a certain project goal and objective.
One of the most popular methods of decomposing projects is through creating a work breakdown structure or WBS. The method of WBS is widely used in most kinds of project, especially in construction and engineering projects which have an activity-based hierarchy of work.
Traditionally projects are decomposed into the following hierarchical levels:
- Phases and Stages
- Activities and Procedures
- Tasks and Deliverables
These four levels can be regarded as the major elements of the project management process. They are the things the process needs to manage throughout a project.