A work breakdown structure (WBS) approach can be one of the most effective ways to bring accuracy, efficiency and confidence to the estimating process, especially for larger and more complex projects. B2W Estimate provides robust and flexible support for work breakdown structure estimating as well as pay item or hybrid bidding.

Robust WBS software like B2W Estimate provides a digital template for breaking down complex requirements into smaller, more manageable pieces for project estimation, planning and execution. This allows contractors to organize and develop estimates in an unlimited hierarchical form, with visibility into how costs are rolled up and the level of detail at which costing is done. Estimators can then instantly adjust costs, realign the project and share information with all stakeholders.


B2W Estimate makes it easy to leverage the accuracy and efficiency advantages of a work breakdown structure (WBS) approach when it make sense for breaking down and presenting bids for larger and more complex projects.

  • Clearly identify the requirements and deliverables of the project
  • Put structure around the scope of the project
  • Subdivide the scope into size, duration and responsibilities
  • Categorize activities into hierarchical levels
  • Provide a detailed listing of all project requirements
  • Define all resources required
  • Give a meaningful, pictorial view of the project for stakeholders.


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When using the work breakdown structure (WBS) method, an estimator starts with the overall project and uses the WBS software to break it out into divisions representing the specific scopes of work required by the project. The estimator starts with the broadest scope for the initial breakdown levels and then refines each into more specific sub-levels, sub-sub-levels, and so on. This helps to organize the estimate into something that is easy to understand and at a high level of granularity.

For example a company could create an estimate for a bridge construction project, which could be broken down into multiple divisions including “demolition”, “earthwork”, “site construction”, “concrete” and “asphalt paving”. Under a division – “concrete” for example – associated tasks such as “concrete reinforcing” and “cast-in-place concrete” could be broken out as subdivisions. These subdivisions could then be broken down further, if necessary, to arrive a terminal level where a cost can be assigned.

The work breakdown structure represents 100 % of the work needed to complete the project. Therefore the WBS software must be able to detail each division out into as many subdivisions, sub-subdivisions, and so on as needed for the scopes of work to be specific enough for meaningful estimates to be made.