Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) exist in many different forms with different task lists and deliverables even when the overall project is the same. Because of these same but different projects, project managers almost always create task lists that support different strategies and approaches. It is not uncommon therefore to have deliverables with different names, contents, quality controls for both creation and execution.
Adding to all that complexity and uncertainty are variable work environments and the different proficiency levels and skills of those assigned to work on the projects.
In addition to all these difficult to control variables, there is the serial or parallel nature of tasks. Because of all of this, the list of problems exhibited by traditional project management approaches:
- Every WBS is somewhat different that in turn make comparisons difficult to almost impossible.
- Hard to compare assigned persons with varying skills and proficiencies.
- Hard to compare deliverables stylized to fit all the variable work breakdown structure task lists.
- Difficult to identify, quantify, and assess the effects of variable work environments.
- Difficult to assess the relative performance of one project with another as the majority of comparable items are not able to be interrelated.
- Virtually impossible to prototype and then compare various project plans.
- Difficult to produce really verifiable earned value reports.