GEOG 871
Geospatial Technology Project Management

Assignment #4 - WBS and Gantt Chart


Assignment #4 - WBS and Gantt Chart

Assignment #4 Overview

It is now time to prepare a work breakdown structure (WBS)—creating a task hierarchy describing all work necessary for carrying out and completing project work.

Submittal: See Canvas Calendar for Submittal Date
Total Points: 70 points - see rubric for specific details

For Assignment #4, you are the project manager with the contracted company selected by the City of Metropolis to work with the City’s project team to carry out the work on the Geodatabase Design and Development Project. Your company responded to the City's RFP and was selected to perform the work. The contracted work for which you are responsible is summarized in section 1.2 of the RFP with more detailed explanation in subsequent RFP sections. This purpose of this Assignment is to:

  • lay out the tasks and subtasks and their timing (the Work Breakdown Structure or “WBS”), and
  • present the results in the form of a Gantt Chart.

The work breakdown structure (WBS) you create should include a hierarchical organization of tasks (top-level tasks and subtasks), with planned start and end dates, that take into account estimated durations of time to complete the work with whatever timing constraints may influence the starting and completion of tasks. Please note that the RFP describes the overall scope and deliverables but does not provide a specific set of tasks or approach to accomplish the work. That is your job as the contracted project manager—to prepare a plan that, based on your experience in similar projects, will provide an organized and efficient way to get the work done and which includes necessary project monitoring, status reporting, communications, quality control, and other necessary project activities. Before jumping into this assignment, take another look at the Metropolis RFP—particularly Table 2 summarizing the Main and Supporting deliverables.  Then review again the "Work Breakdown Structure" page of this Lesson to make sure you understand the concept behind the WBS—with the Summary Tasks establishing organized "headings" for the work and the "Work Tasks" (the lowest level in the task hierarchy) defining how the works gets done.

Your Submittal for Assignment #4

Create a  work plan (a WBS) task hierarchy and timing (start and end dates for each task) for the City of Metropolis project. You are contracted project manager tasked by the City to prepare this work plan—that includes tasks for all project work carried out by your contracted team AND support work done by the City's project team members (e.g., formal deliverable quality review and comment).

In this assignment, use the concepts of task relationships with lags and leads to control task timing. In general, your WBS should be broken down into 3-levels (main summary task, subtask, sub-subtask) although for some main summary tasks, 2 or 4 subtask levels may be appropriate. Your WBS should include tasks necessary to complete all main deliverables (MD) and supporting deliverables (SD) summarized in Table 2 of the RFP. As identified in the RFP (see SD1), the City is requiring you to design and carry out a pilot project to test, confirm, and refine the database development work. For the field data collection and quality control work for this type of project, it is typical for contractors to organize work into specific geographic zones or sectors that correspond to data deliverables (MD2) that are submitted to the City. This work plan should cover all work carried out by the contractor AND the City's project team. For example, in addition to covering contractor field data collection and quality control, it should show the quality assurance review work that the City team performs after deliverable submittal by the contractor (with formal acceptance or possible rejection of that deliverable). The WBS should also include tasks for project management and control (monitoring and reporting on status, project communications, formal project closure, etc.).

In addition to the WBS task hierarchy, create a Gantt Chart showing bars for task timing. The Gantt Chart should show important information about the tasks (task number, task name, start and finish dates) along with Gantt bars graphically showing the timing of each task and the interconnectedness of tasks based on dependencies. We strongly recommend that you use project management software (e.g., Microsoft Project) to do this assignment since Gantt chart generation is automatic (although you can apply various controls for its format).

The City would like the project completed within about 10 months from project initiation. Again, while not mandatory, it is strongly suggested that you use a project management software package like Microsoft Project. Project management software automates many manual steps in project planning, Gantt chart generation, etc. If you don't have previous experience with project management software, this is an opportunity to get some experience and begin to acquire a skill that will be useful in your future project planning and management work.  If you use Microsoft Project, your submittal for the project may be the software's file format (.mpp) only . Be sure to set the proper level for the WBS task hierarchy and make appropriate links (Predecessors) among tasks. Pricing options are available from Microsoft's website. There are also quite a few third-party software vendors that offer MS Project licenses at discounted costs (particularly for older versions of the software). MS Project version 2021 is the most current software but past versions (v2013, v2016, or 2019) will also work for this course. Useful resources include:

If you do not use MS Project software, you should provide a file (in the software's native file type) as well as a document showing tasks, task numbers and names, start and end dates for tasks, and the Gantt Chart.

In summary, Assignment #4 consists of:

  • WBS showing task hierarchy (task number and name) and start and end dates for the City of Metropolis Geodatabase Development Project encompassing ALL project deliverable and project management activities carried out by the contractor and the City
  • Gantt chart presentation of the WBS

**KEY POINTS: Be sure to name tasks well. Use verbs or "verb-derived nouns" (like, "implementation", "submittal"). Remember the information in this Lesson about WBS task structure. Summary Tasks (any task that have subtasks below them) are just headings to organize areas of work. The bottom level tasks ("work tasks" or "work packages") describe the work activities. Subtasks under a Summary Task must cover all work activities encompassed in that Summary Task.  Also, there should NEVER be only one subtask under a Summary Task. The nature of a Summary Task implies that there are multiple activities (subtasks) under it. Task names should be concisely worded  but long enough for a reader to quickly grasp the nature of the task.  In some cases, it will be useful to include then Deliverable ID# (from the RFP) in the task name.


There are multiple ways to organize the work into a WBS hierarchy of main tasks (“summary tasks”) and subtasks so there is not one “right response” to this assignment. It is your job to organize the task hierarchy and establish timing in a manner that efficiently accomplishes the necessary work. Think of the WBS hierarchy like a written report that has main sections and subsections. Start first with the top-level tasks and then add the detail of subtasks down to the recommended three levels. Start with a review of the RFP (particularly Sections 5 and 6). Make sure your work plan includes tasks necessary to produce all main and support deliverables as well as tasks for ongoing project management, monitoring, plan adjustment, and reporting of the work. It is also recommended to include a set of "start up" tasks that can include this work plan deliverable (SD1) and review by the City, a kick-off meeting, and perhaps other early activities to prepare for detailed project work. To help you out with structuring your WBS work plan, here is a possible high-level organization of tasks for this project that cover all project work and project management activities. You may use this as a basis, modify as necessary, and fill in detail with subtasks to cover specific areas of work:


  • 1. Initial Project Organization, Planning, and Preparation (includes kickoff meeting, review of City data sources, work plan finalization (SD1), setting up communication procedures and PM with City)
  • 2. Ongoing Project Monitoring and Administration (monitoring of project during its execution, meetings with team and City, status reports (SD2), adjustments to work plan, etc.
  • 3. Geodatabase Design (MD4) (setting up the structure for later population of data and metadata. Includes draft design, review by City, and finalization). Best to make reference to setting up features classes and ArcGIS rules and geographic reference parameters. Happens as early as possible in the plan. No data is populated here—it is just setting up the design for later population of fields data and metadata.
  • 4. Pilot Project Design and Execution (SD3) (plan, design and conduct pilot project, review results, make adjustments to design and field data collection and QC procedures for contractor field data collection). Needs to be completed before field data collection can occur.
  • 5. Design and Develop Data QA and Tracking Tools and Procedures for City (design, prototyping, review with City, final development, deploy for City use and train City team on how they work). This is SD4
  • 6. Field Data Collection and QC (MD2) (all tasks to organize and plan contractor field collection work and do QC on results and package multiple deiverables for release to City for their QA review of the data).  Starts with some prep and organization of the work. Best to organize into multiple geographic zones each of which is a subtask and corresponds to a data deliverable to the City—in each of these subtasks for Zone,  is the collection of data in the field, QC, and release of deliverable (corresponding to zones) to the City QA process using the SD4 tools. Since the City may reject data for a particulalr Zone, it is a god idea to add a subtask under each Zone  to "Rework and Release Rejected Data".  NOTE: Assume that all data remains on the contractor's server for the City data QA. The SD4 QA checking tools allow the City to access and conduct QA checking via the Web.
  • 7. City QA of Contractor Data Deliverables (City uses tools from Task 5 (SD4) to review data deliverables from the contractor field data collection and QC.  As noted above, the contractor releases data after its QC of data for a specific Zone (data remains on contractor server where City uses the SD4 tools over the Web. So there is a direct connection between this task and the field data collection/QC task and accept or reject the data deliverable for a specific Zone.  Should have subtasks for each Zone-based data deliverable submitted by contractor from Task 6. The City first logs the deliverable into the tracking system and then performs QA checks. The, the City may accept or reject the deliverable.  If rejected, the contractor must do some re-work and re-release data for that Zone.
  • 8. Loading of Data and Metadata in City Geodatabase (after final Deliverables and QA/acceptance by City). Includes populating all metadata, loading final data on City system, and then some final checks to ensure data is properly loaded and accessible.
  • 9. Design, Development, and Deployment of Custom Applications (MD4) (design and development of custom applications for the City for them to use after the project is over (MD4). Should have subtask breakdown for each of two applications (field-based and office-based).  After requirements evaluation and design, it is a good idea to develop prototypes and review this with the City (the application prototypes can be thought of as partially functional applications to demo to the City to make sure the design is correct).  After this, the iterative detailed development and review by the City should be reflected in subtasks.  After final development, the should be a fomal User Acceptance Testing (UAT) task in which the City does a final check and formally accepts the application. Then, deploy applications on the City system.  Can include a subtask for documentation and training or can include this in Task 9.
  • 10. Application Documentation and Training (MD5): if not included in Task 9, need to include subtasks for technical and user documentation and training for City users.
  • 11. Project Closure: Includes subtasks for Final Report (MD6) with draft, review by City, final report. Also includes subtasks for other activities—maybe a final project meeting, contract closure.

Assignment Submittal and Grading

See the Canvas Calendar for assignment submital date

This assignment is worth 70 points. The grading approach is explained in the rubric table below.

The instructor may deduct points if the Assignment is turned in late, unless a late submittal has been approved by the Instructor prior to the Assignment submittal date.

Assignment #4 Grading Rubric
Grading Category Basis for Scoring Total Possible Points

Point Award Explanation

A. Completeness and Organization of WBS Tasks
  • Task hierarchy includes tasks that cover all elements of work necessary to complete project work.
  • Tasks include important project management activities (e.g., monitoring, status reporting, communications, closure, etc.).
  • WBS hierarchy (arrangement of tasks, subtasks) shows complete and organized approach to the project work.
  • WBS task hierarchy detail is appropriate and builds upon more general summary tasks identified in previous documents such as the RFP.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 23 to 24 points for an extremely well-organized and comprehensive WBS hierarchy covering all project work and PM activities presented at an appropriate level of detail.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 3 points if there are major deficiencies—significant parts of project work or PM activities are NOT included and/or there are significant problems with task sequence or organization.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 4 to 22 points if there are deficiencies that fall between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories above.
B. Clarity in Task Naming
  • Task/subtask names are explanatory and concisely worded.
  • Task/subtask names are “verb-oriented” (use of verb or verb-derived noun) to convey the action occurring in the task.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 11 to 12 if all task names are clear and verb-oriented.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points if there are major and frequent problems in task naming.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 10 points if there are deficiencies that fall between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories above.
C. Task Types Relationships and Timing
  • Proper use of task types (Summary Tasks, Work Tasks, Recurring Tasks).
  • Effective use of task relationships (“predecessors” in MS Project software) to establish relative timing among tasks.
  • Effective use of lags and leads in task timing.
  • Durations of tasks and overall timing for project is realistic and efficient.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 23 to 24 points if all task types are appropriate; effective task relationships with lags/leads occurs throughout WBS; and task/project timing is appropriate.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 3 points with significant, frequent problems in introduction, word choice, sentence construction, grammar, and length.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 4 to 22 points for deficiencies in assignment of task types, relationships and timing that fall between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
D. Gantt Chart Formatting
  • Appropriate use of columns for task information and column width and height.
  • Choice of fonts for tasks that effectively conveys task hierarchy (different font style or size for different task/subtask levels).
  • Effective use of column headings for task information and time scale labeling for Gantt bars.
  • Effective formatting of Gantt bars that differentiates task types and is visually attractive.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 9 to 10 points for an extremely well-formatted Gantt Chart applying effective choice of columns, text fonts and headings, and visually appealing Gantt bar formatting.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points for major problems in column, font, or Gantt bar formatting that result in major difficulty in gleaning content and meaning.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 8 points for deficiencies in selection of format rules and their consistent application between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.