Product Breakdown Structure

Under the PRINCE2 methodology, a Product Breadown Structure (PBS) is a tool used for:

  • Documenting the outcomes of a project
  • Analysing the outcomes of a project
  • Communicating the outcomes of a project

The PBS is an essential aspect of the product based planning technique for which PRINCE2 is famous.


Product Breakdown StructureThe PBS is crated in the form of an exhausting, hierarchical tree structure of deliverables.

It is important to remember that deliverables can be physical, functional or conceptual.

The PBS is important for visualising the whole-part relationship between the various deliverables of the project.

For aynone involved in the project, at any level or stage, the PBS provides a clear statement of the required products.

Whats the difference between PBS and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?

They PBS and the WBS used the same format, but are separate entities and are utilized in different steps of the process.

The PBS tells you where to go, and the WBS tells you how to get there.”

The PBS is always created before the WBS, and is focused on defining all the required products (outputs) that must be delivered for the project to reach its goal.

When the PBS is finnishes, it is possible to move on to creating a WBS. The WBS identifies the tasks the must be carried out for the products to be delivered. This decreases the risk of problems caused by incorrect assumptions about what to do and how to do it.