Requirements are collected from the customer, stakeholders, and Sponsor which are the expectations of the product needed to be fulfilled. Project requirement is kind of a document that tells management, what has to be produced and the exact date of completion. On the other hand, the work breakdown structure is something that is put together which defines the scope something that the project team can understand.

Requirement breakdown structure example

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Requirements Breakdown Structure (RBS) vs Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

A Requirements Breakdown Structure (RBS) is a hierarchical, usually tree-shaped tasks or activities of all project requirements which must be conducted or delivered in the end product to achieve the expected business goals.

Whereas a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) focuses the “how” of a project, an RBS focuses on the “what” of a project.

A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. A WBS is the cornerstone of effective project planning, execution, controlling, monitoring, and reporting. All the work contained within the WBS is to be identified, estimated, scheduled, and budgeted.

The figure below shows an example of a Work Breakdown Structure.

Work breakdown structure example

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Use WBS together with RBS in Project Management

It is best to consider the Requirements Breakdown Structure (RBS) at a different level of granularities. At the highest level is “WHAT” must be in an acceptable solution for a particular problem or product underdeveloped. It will be broken down into a hierarchical tree structure of requirements (system functionalities, user features, use cases). We can consider prioritizing these requirements into an implementation plan, then the RBS transitions into a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) – the “How” process.

Requirement Breakdown Structure Templates

General Requirements Breakdown Structure Template

General requirements breakdown structure template

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Agile Requirements Breakdown Structure Template

Agile requirements breakdown structure template

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