The Visio WBS Modeler (WBS Modeler in the following) is intended to improve the project planning process by giving the opportunity to generate Project Plans from a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) using a graphical representation of elements.
A WBS structure is a hierarchical representation of the elements and sub-elements in a project.
The WBS Modeler can either be used to visualize and edit an existing project plan or to create a new project plan in Microsoft Office Visio 2010 Professional and then export it to Microsoft Office Project (2003+) to carry out the next planning steps.
The Application enables effective integration of Visio with Microsoft Office Project. It provides an approach to visually and graphically create, edit and modify project plans using Visio.
The WBS Modeler offers the ability to manage project elements in a graphical view, as well as offering functionality to layout a WBS in Visio. The WBS can be exported back to Microsoft Office Project into a new project plan. It is also possible to update an existing plan.
To organize the structure within a WBS Modeler the outline code from Microsoft Office Project is utilised.
· Microsoft Office Visio 2010 Professional or Premium
· Microsoft Office Project 2003 SP1 or later
· .NET Framework 4.0
Please ensure that Microsoft Office Visio is not running. To start the installation process, double-click the file WBSModelerSetup.msi and click Next in the following screen.
Figure 1: Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) example
Select Installation Folder Screen with the Setup Installation Path and Disk Space Information Appears.
Figure 2: Set Up Installation Path and Disk Space Information
Click Next to Install in the defaul folder path or click Browse to select the destination folder path.
To Check the Disk Space Required, click Dist Cost.
Figure 3: Disk Space details for WBS Modeler Add-in
Click Next to continue. The Confirm Installation screen appears. Click Next to begin installation or Cancel to exit the Setup wizard.
Note: If you want to make any changes to the installation settings or go back to the previous screen, click Back.
Figure 4: Confirm Installation
The following window displays progress information of the setup process.
Figure 5: Progress window
The following window will provide progress information of the setup process.
Note: Please wait while the setup wizard installs the WBS Modeler Add-in. This may take a few minutes.
To cancel the installation click Cancel.
Once the installation is successful the Installation Complete screenappears.
Figure 6: Installation Complete
3 Getting Started
1. This section describes the basic flow of the reference implementation.
2. The Microsoft Office Visio 2010 Add-in for WBS Modeler is a Visio Add-In that starts up automatically with Visio.
3.1 Selecting/Opening the WBS Modeler Template
The Add-In when installed adds a new template WBS Modeler under WBS Templates Category.
1. Open Visio.
2. Select Add-ins from the Template Categories list.
3. Select WBS Modeler from the Choose a Templates list.
4. Click on the Create button or double click on WBS Modeler from Choose a Templates list.
Figure 7: Seleting the template
5. A new ribbon WBS Modeler is added as the template opens a new document.
Figure 8: WBS Modeler Ribbon
4 Import from Microsoft Office Project
4.1 The Import Process
The import process is designed to extract data from a plan in Microsoft Office Project to be used in WBS Modeler.
Open Microsoft Visio and open WBS Modeler drawing type template as described above. Select the ribbon button Import from the WBS Modeler ribbonin in Visio as shawn above.
This will open a new screen allowing you to both browse and open existing Microsoft Porject file or select already opened Microsoft Project file, as shown below.
Figure 10: Selecting Project
If you click Ok, then it will start importing the data from Microsoft Project File.
The import process might take some time depending on system performance. A window will indicate the progress.
Figure 11: Import progress window
After the process has finished the Project Element Selector window will automatically be displayed (see Figure 14).
Figure 12: WBS Modeler Ribbon
In this window you can see the starte and teh end level tasks that are ready to be drawn in Visio.
The same applies if you choose to import the project summary element; the resulting WBS will in most cases be considerably bigger and due to limitations in the layout process not aligned as in the previous example. However, the layout can easily be improved using the functionality provided by WBS Modeler as described in the Modelingsection later in this document.
5 Modeling Process
The Modeling process in WBS Modeler offers a wide variety of options to manipulate the WBS data and layout.
In the following section the basic elements of the WBS Modeler are presented and explained. Based on this introduction, the process to create and modify a WBS from scratch is explained.
The modification of an imported WBS will not be explained separately as it is basically the same as creating and modifying a newly created WBS. The only difference is that the import process has to be completed beforehand.
The WBS Modeler Shape repository contains one shape to represent elements and sub-elements.
To add a shape to the plan you can simply drag and drop the shape to the drawing pane.
If you drag and drop an element to the drawing pane you will see a yellow element symbol as shown on the left side.
The two boxes in each corner are called Smart Tags and are visible if you select an element. These are explained in more detail in following section.
At the inner side of each of the four corner of an element shape there are some icons visible if certain conditions apply.
- A diamond shape will be displayed in the right top corner if the element is a milestone.
- The triangle shape will be shown in the right bottom corner if the element is associated to an off-page reference.
- The circle shape in the left top corner will be shown if the element has been linked to an element in a project plan from Microsoft Office Project.
- A square shape will appear in the left bottom corner when an element has child elements.
5.2 Functions / Ribbon
The following chapter provides a brief description of the ribbon items and functions of the WBS Modeler.
The WBS Modeler ribbon contains five ribbon items:
- Import is used to import a project plan, i.e. the WBS structure of a project plan from Microsoft Office Project.
- Export offers the ability to export a WBS structure to Microsoft Project. This process is described in section 5 of this document.
- The View Element Explorer selector can be used to show or hide the WBS Element Explorer window. The default setting is to show the window.
- Help for WBS Modeler opens the help document of the WBS Modeler.
- About WBS Modeler is intended to provide information about the authors and the version of WBS Modeler.
The option Add child elements provides the function to add sub-elements to the currently selected element.
Add sibling elements option is designed to create a new sibling element. The newly created element will automatically be connected to the common parent element.
Using the selected element as the starting point several selections can be made.
The option Hide Children can be used to hide children of the currently selected element. This option might be useful to enhance readability.
This provides facility to select parent element, sibling elements or the sub-elements for the currently selected element.
If you right-click on an element a menu will be shown that aggregates most of the above mentioned options and menu items.
Cut, Copy, Paste, View, Format and Shape are default items of Microsoft Visio. These are all explained in detail in the Visio help.
On the Shape Data page you can view and edit the properties for each element.
If you choose Data – Shape Data by right clicking an element, the following properties can be viewed and modified.
The setting Prompt for Input is set to TRUE the user will be prompted to enter the element name and the element name and the outline number when adding a new element.
If Hide extra Project properties is set to FALSE (default value) the following additional fields will be displayed in the Shape Data window:
If Hide Element layout properties is set to FALSE (default setting) the following additional information will be displayed in the Shape Data window for elements:
Vertical Sub Element
If Hide read only properties is set to FALSE (default is TRUE) the following additional properties will be displayed in the Shape Data window for elements:
The Keep focus on parent is set to TRUE by default. If this option is set to FALSE the selection will be moved to the child elements instead of the parent element when connecting elements.
5.3 Custom Properties
Name of the element
Position of the element in the WBS/Outline;
The Outline Number represents the level of the element within the work breakdown structure of the plan. If only a part of the whole plan is imported from Microsoft Office Project this will refer to the original structure of the plan.
This information will be used to update the relevant parts of the project plan when the plan is exported back to Microsoft Office Project.
The WBS Code is used to store information about the original WBS value of a plan as imported from Microsoft Office Project.
This field is designed to store information about the project an element belongs to.
If set to TRUE all children of the currently selected element will be hidden. If set to FALSE hidden elements will be visible again.
Read-Only field for the name of the page the element is currently being displayed in.
Read-Only field for the number of the page the element is currently being displayed in.
Read-only field to display the Visio file name.
Read-only field for the element name as the display area length is limited to 24 characters.
Read-only field to display the element label for the WBS Code.
This chapter covers the functionality of the WBS Modeler and how the functions and ribbon items briefly described in the previous two sections can be used.
5.4.1 Creating elements
188.8.131.52 Drag and drop
To create a new element simply drag and drop an element shape from the Shapes container to the drawing area.
Figure 13: Create new element
The prompt for the Element Name and Outline Number will open automatically after the element has been dropped to drawing area. The shapes should be connected by connectors. The Outline Number will be recalculated while exporting the diagram depending on the connections made.
184.108.40.206 Add child element / add sibling element
Right click the element to which you want to add child/sibling element/s. Choose the option, Add child elements or Add sibling elements from the context menu as shown below.
Figure 14: Creating new sibling/child element(s) #1
If you choose Add child elements or Add sibling elements you will be prompted for the element names to be added. Each line in this window resembles one element to be added.
Figure 15: Creating new sibling/child element(s) #2 – add child element(s)
If two child elements have been created will look like shown below.
Figure 16: Creating new child element(s)
If two sibling elements have been added, the result will be shown as below.
Figure 17: Creating new sibling element(s)
5.4.2 Hiding elements
To hide a set of elements select Hide Children option from Smart tag from right bottom.
Figure 18: Hide Children
If child elements are hidden, then that is visualized with a shadow line as shown in the following example.
Figure 19: Visualization of an element containing hidden sub-elements
5.4.3 Renaming elements
Renaming elements in WBS Modeler is straightforward. Double-click an element to open the Shape Data dialogue.
Figure 20: Shape Data
On this dialogue box you can view and modify the element information. This information may change depending on the selections made for the page properties.
5.4.4 Moving elements
You can directly move element, the connectors will move as per the shapes.
5.4.5 Deleting elements
Select the element that you want to delete and press the Delete button on your keyboard. It will delete all the shape with all of its child shapes.
The WBS Modeler also contains some templates to generate Reports for a WBS structure. To trigger a report in Visio choose Shape Reports from Review ribbon tab.
Figure 21: Reporting #1
On the following dialogue, one of the default templates delivered with WBS Modeler can be selected or a new one can be created. The process of creating a new template is not specific to WBS Modeler and is thus not covered in this document.
Figure 22: Choose Report
Select the report and press Run to generate the report.
Figure 23: Run Report window
Select the format for the report and click OK.
Figure 24: Sample Flowchart Report
7 Export to Microsoft Office Project
1. To export a plan to Microsoft Project selects the Export option from the WBS Modeler ribbon.
Figure 25: Export
2. User is prompted for file and location of the new project file that will be created. The default location is My Documents and the default file name is the same name as the Visio drawing file name but with the Project file type.
Figure 26: Export to Project
3. User chooses a location and file name and clicks the Save button.
4. The new project file is generated based on the shapes in the Visio WBS dioagram.
Figure 27: Result of the export process
8 Removal of WBS Modeler
Please ensure that Microsoft Office Visio is not running. To start the uninstall process click Uninstall a program in the Control Panel.
Figure 28: Add/Remove Program
In the Current installed programs screen select the entry WBS Modeler and click on Uninstall.
Figure 29: Remove WBS Modeler