Reposting: Strategy Breakdown Structure

This is a repost of an old post from the original Projectified site. Hoping it can bring about some new discussion

Strategy Breakdown Structure?

I was reading Demian's blog over on the ITToolbox family of blogs and he was talking about what he called WBS 2.0 and it's interplay with project portfolio management. It got me thinking last night about how strategy is (should be) connected to a new, broader idea of Work Breakdown Structure. Since the top level of a work breakdown structure (within it's currently held definition) is the project I was thinking about how the broader definition would necessarily change the W in WBS to something else. SBS came to mine initially for Strategy Breakdown Structure. If we start with organizational strategy as the driving force behind the management and alignment of the portfolio of projects then it makes sense that to get a decomposition of all the work that feeds up to those strategic goals that we would start with the strategy and work down.

So we start with the Strategy as "Level 0" in the SBS. What is the next level? Do we jump right to individual projects? Is there one or two intermediate levels between the strategy and the project level? What would those look like? What would we call them?

The more I think about this the more I like it as a way to help organizations do a better job of aligning projects to specific strategic initiatives particularly if there is one or two intermediate levels between the strategy itself and the project. I have found in many cases that the very broad nature of the strategy level being the buckets into which projects are placed that it is overly easy to put a project into a bucket without much analysis of why that project belongs in that bucket. It seems as if the strategy was broken down into smaller parts it would require some more thought about which one of the sub areas of that strategy the project supports.

So help me out with your thoughts on this. Email me at with your ideas on this subject. I will compile them and share the findings here.