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Work Breakdown Structure for Excel, Google Sheets

Divide your projects into stages and activities with the help of this free WBS template.

Download Free Template

Available for Excel & Google Sheets

Template Highlights

  • Improve oversight of different project stages by drilling down to each activity.
  • Access this template using Google Sheets or Excel.
  • Divide tasks into specific activities so you can prioritize work and easily delegate it to your collaborators.
  • Assign activities to collaborators based on their experience and specialty.
  • Understand who to follow up with at each stage of the project.
  • Improve cost estimation and delivery time.
  • Print the Work Breakdown Structure or share it with your collaborators via email.
  • Edit the template to fit your company's brand image.


What is a work breakdown structure?

A work breakdown structure, or WBS, is a project management tool that deconstructs a complex project into smaller, manageable tasks for easier planning, assignment, and collaboration. 

For instance, a typical WBS breaks down a project into:

  • Project deliverables: The top level of the WBS, which outlines the project's end goals
  • Project phases: The major components of the project your team needs to complete to deliver the project.
  • Work packages: The smallest, tangible tasks or activities that can be assigned, scheduled, and tracked to complete different project phases. 

Importance of work breakdown structures

Work breakdown structures turn complex projects into manageable workflows by letting team members tackle one task at a time to contribute to a project’s completion. 

Plus, a WBS benefits your organization by also enabling:

  • Transparent communication: In a survey of 1,000 U.S. corporate workers by eLearning Industry, 40% of respondents complained about a lack of transparency and communication from upper management. A WBS resolves such communication issues by giving employees visibility into project workflows. 
  • Organization-wide clarity: A WBS ensures that all the team members and stakeholders involved in the project are on the same page, avoiding mix-ups or conflicts — which can be handy for 47% of HR leaders prioritizing employee experience, according to Gartner.  
  • Easier collaboration: With well-defined tasks and responsibilities, a WBS makes it easier for team members to collaborate. 

How to create a work breakdown structure

While a work breakdown structure simplifies a project, you must approach it methodically to ensure its success. Follow these steps:

  • Define the project’s scope: Communicate the major project deliverables you need to achieve.
  • Involve key stakeholders: Getting buy-in from the stakeholders is essential. After all, a WBS relies on successful collaboration across different teams.
  • Break down deliverables into phases and smaller tasks: Simplify the end goals into smaller, assignable tasks by discussing them with team leaders.
  • Use a work breakdown structure template: Populate a WBS template — like the one above — with your project details to visualize the project’s workflow.
  • Review and adjust the WBS: Share the WBS with stakeholders to get their feedback and adjust it as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our work breakdown structure template is completely editable with Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. You can make it your own by adding your product details, editing the number of phases, and fleshing out tasks. 

Yes, our work breakdown structure template is completely free.

Our custom free work breakdown structure template is optimized for Microsoft Excel. 

Microsoft Excel, by default, doesn’t have a WBS template.