As part of the project management planning process it is important to create a work breakdown structure (WBS). This structure groups and organizes deliverable project elements so that the work can be more easily managed. WBS relates to scope definition in that it helps characterize the total scope of the project leading to a successful end product. The WBS also helps to verify a common team understanding during project management.
The WBS can be presented in the form of a chart but should not merely be a loose-fitting list of work activities for the project. Because projects can be similar in their development, it might be helpful to create a template to use as a point of initiation but keep in mind that the WBS is not a one size fits all document and that each project should be organized based on its own unique requirements for success.
During all phases of project management the WBS should be adhered to and team members should recognize that any work that is not specified in the WBS is not within the scope of the project.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.