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WBS Function

  1. #1
    Forum Expert dflak's Avatar
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    WBS Function

    This function produces a Work Breakdown Schedule (WBS)-like numbering system such as:

    1
    1.1
    1.2
    1.2.1
    2
    2.1
    2.1.1

    The function can start in any cell, and the first occurrence of the function is automatically assigned the value "1." Subsequent occurrences of the function in the same column will increment the counter or level depending on the indent level of the cell immediately to the right. No indent is N, indent 1 is N.N, Indent 2 is N.N.N, etc. You can have as many indents as needed. Just copy the formula down for as many tasks as you have and indent the tasks accordingly.

    I could probably do a bit more cleanup of the code, but I'm lazy.

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  2. #2
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    Re: WBS Function

    I really appreciate this, but wow... I think that I have to get a lot more into Excel itself before any of this makes sense. There really is so much to know and it's so complex. I've used it off and on for years and barely BARELY scratched the surface.

  3. #3
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    Re: WBS Function

    Interesting,

    How do you envisage it being used?
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  4. #4
    Forum Expert dflak's Avatar
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    Re: WBS Function

    Many people wish to use Excel like MS-Project. MS-Project allows you to set up tasks and sub-tasks and you can tell it what the dependencies are such as you can't start task 1.2 until task 1.1 is complete or tasks 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 should start at the same time. MS-Project also has features where you tell it how long the task will take (in work-hours) and how many people you have to work on it and it will calculate the duration (it uses the 9 women working on a pregnancy will get the job done in one month logic).

    If you don't need this level of sophistication and are willing to compute your own start and end times, Excel can be pressed into use to produce a GANTT chart (or waterfall chart as it is sometimes called). In the early stages of project planning, the major steps are "roughed out" and then these are later broken down into sub tasks and sub-sub tasks. These tasks and subordinate tasks use a numbering scheme as shown in the OP. For example, Tasks 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 are subtasks of 1.2, which in turn, is a subtask of Task 1.

    So the WBS numbering function would typically be used in Column A. Column B would be the task or subtask name (suitably indented), Column C is the start date, Column D is the end date. One could use Column C and Column D to compute the duration or Column C and the duration to compute the end date. From there, the program would vary. Some people are content to fill in boxes under dates to simulate a GANNT chart, others want a bar-chart.

    WBS just provides the numbering for this, Tasks can be cut and pasted into new rows or inserted or deleted or promoted or demoted and WBS will fill in with the appropriate number. One caveat is that WBS assumes all tasks are on contiguous rows.

  5. #5
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    Re: WBS Function

    thanks dflak,
    great explanation.

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