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Understanding and creating a resource breakdown structure

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Updated on:
June 23, 2024
June 23, 2024
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A Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) is a critical aspect of project planning. Typically it is a hierarchy that illustrates the resources allocated to a project that aids in resource planning, allocation, and utilization. 

Key to project resource management– it groups resources based on resource type and helps project teams identify resource requirements. Importantly, developing an RBS involves workload planning and contributes significantly to the project budget. The fantastic thing about this is it sets clear expectations for project stakeholders. 

Introduction to Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)

It is evident that RBS is a vital concept in project resource management. It is commonly accepted that RBS helps in uncovering the resource requirements for each task under the Work Breakdown Structure(WBS).

Definition of Resource Breakdown Structure

The amazing thing about RBS is it is a pivotal tool in the management of project resources. What's worth highlighting is it is a hierarchical depiction of resources by category and type, facilitating effective allocation of resources and management. It is important to mention that it helps project teams in resource planning by providing a detailed view of resource requirements. It's obvious that the RBS plays a substantial role in various areas of project management

The importance of Resource Breakdown Structure in project management

It's widely acknowledged that in the management of projects, the RBS plays a critical role in the planning of resources as well as allocation. Impressively this tool aids in understanding resource requirements clearly, thus enabling more accurate project budget estimation. It’s astonishing how RBS complements the WBS! What's fantastic is RBS ensures resource utilization is at optimum. 

Bonsai's tool for creating a Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) for project management is important for the successful completion of projects. This structure is essential because it helps project managers to identify the type, quantity, and quality of resources required at every stage of the project.

Link to Resourcing

With RBS, managers can plan and allocate resources efficiently, avoiding common difficulty such as scheduling conflicts, cost overruns, and project delays. It ensures that each task has the necessary resources assigned, which is vital for maintaining a steady project flow and meeting deadlines.

In Bonsai, the RBS is integrated with other project management tools, providing a seamless experience for tracking and managing resources. It allows for a visual representation of resources against the project timeline, making it easier to adjust plans as the project progresses.

Components of a Resource Breakdown Structure

It's beyond dispute that a ‘Resource Breakdown Structure’ is essential for comprehensive project resource management. It is apparent that the RBS assists in the identification of resource requirements, further facilitating workload planning. Plus each level provides a detailed view of resources. 

Resource categories

It is vital to recognize that successful project management encompasses various aspects, the key among them being the effective management of resources. What's worth highlighting is this involves meticulous resource planning to determine resource requirements, followed by skillful resource allocation so that you can ensure optimal resource utilization. The notable thing about project stakeholders is they rely heavily on workload planning, as understanding resource type availability can greatly impact the project budget. 

Resource pools

What’s notable is resource pools are fundamental to efficient project resource management. Mostly, they refer to the collection of resources that are available for utilization across different projects and tasks. It is beyond question that resource pools are primarily used in resource allocation, wherein resources are assigned to various elements of the work breakdown structure during project planning. It is essential to understand that project teams utilize resource pools for effective workload planning that makes sure optimal resource utilization. The fantastic thing about these resource pools is they aid project stakeholders in managing the project budget by providing predictive insights on the planning of resources. 

Resource identifiers

It is apparent that resource identifiers play a crucial role in the management of project resources. What's obvious is they help in resource planning, allocation, etc. that ensure proper workload planning and management across project teams. It is relevant to mention that identifiers contribute to the outlining of resource types as well as requirements which are key in project planning and execution. Moreover these identifiers provide comprehensive information on the work breakdown structure and project budget.

Link to Client Management

By doing so, what’s amazing is project stakeholders can effectively monitor the deployment of resources throughout the project's lifespan. 

Steps to create a Resource Breakdown Structure

Remember creating a Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) begins with project planning and identifying resource requirements. One notable thing is this involves understanding the different resources needed for the project, such as:

  • Team members
  • Equipment
  • Materials

It is important to highlight that each resource type should then be listed in a hierarchical structure to visualize its relation to the overall project. Once resources are identified, the next step involves the allocation of resources. What’s notable is that this process forms part of the management of resources. Lastly, don't forget that to ensure efficient resource utilization, the RBS needs to be constantly reviewed and adjusted throughout the project execution. 

Identifying Resources

What’s remarkable is resource planning is an essential component in project management that ensures the allocation of resources aligns with the project budget and needs defined in the work breakdown structure. Surprisingly, this process helps in accurate project execution. It's an amazing thing that it requires a deep understanding of resource type and requirements.

The obvious thing about successful project resource management is it involves constant communication with project teams and stakeholders. 

The following steps are instrumental:

  • Identifying resources needed for tasks
  • Monitoring the utilization of resources

Grouping Resources

It is widely acknowledged that effective project resource management is made possible through careful resource planning and resource allocation. The interesting thing about project planning is it necessitates the identification of resource requirements to create a comprehensive WBS. It is important to emphasize that by grouping resources, managers can optimize the project budget and improve project execution. What's intriguing is this offers clear visibility of workload planning, promoting transparent communication among project stakeholders. Inarguably, understanding resource type and their availability further enhances the management of projects.

Assigning Resource identifiers

It is a well-established fact that in project planning, assigning resource identifiers is an essential aspect of resource management. The fantastic thing about this process is it takes into consideration various elements. It is apparent that this step is usually incorporated into the WBS as it provides a clear view of, “How, where and by whom resources will be used?”

What's worth highlighting is It also plays a significant role in the management of the project resources.

Benefits of using a Resource Breakdown Structure

It's widely recognized that a RBS provides considerable benefits in the planning of a project and the management of resources. By offering a hierarchical depiction of resources by category and type, RBS assists in effective resource planning and allocation. What’s amazing is it gives project teams a clearer picture of resource requirements that enhances workload planning. It's worth noting that this structure plays a crucial role in project resource management too. Clearly, it also assists in smoother project execution by keeping project stakeholders informed about resource use and availability. 

Improved resource management

It is beyond question that the management of resources is a crucial element in project planning as well as execution. What’s worth noticing is through meticulous resource planning, project teams can better manage resource requirements. This will in turn result in effective project resource management. It's common knowledge that the use of a ‘Work Breakdown Structure(WBS)’ in the management of projects improves resource management by providing a clear perspective on resource type and workload planning. Additionally it plays a significant role in communication among project stakeholders.

Enhanced communication

It’s just astounding how in the management of the project resources– effective communication plays a vital role in every aspect! What’s fascinating is that enhanced communication between both project teams and stakeholders can enable better management of resources. 

It is imperative to note that through a thorough WBS, the project manager ensures clear communication regarding resource requirements and resource type. The great thing about this is it further allows workload planning, and resource planning for the maximum utilization of the resources.

Efficient budgeting and cost control

It's indisputable that efficient budgeting and cost control are critical components of the management of projects. Certainly, they are woven into many processes, including:

  • The management of resources
  • WBS creation

It's a matter of fact that these processes help dictate and outline the resource requirements for the project. 

It goes without saying that resource allocation and resource utilization are involved with the actual distribution and use of resources that ensure the project stays within the given budget. What's interesting is resource planning supports this by scheduling and managing the project teams and stakeholders involved in the execution of the project. 

In this way, project resource management integrates project planning, the allocation of resources, etc. in order to fulfill resource requirements and control costs efficiently.

Common mistakes in creating a Resource Breakdown Structure

It's beyond dispute that common mistakes include:

  1. Ignoring the resource requirements
  2. Poorly defining the resource type
  3. Oversights in workload planning

It's an undeniable truth that determining the right resources is crucial for project execution, but it’s a sad thing that many fail to carefully define resource categorization. What’s sorrowful is this leads to ambiguity in resource allocation. It is a worrying thing that this ultimately causes gaps in the budget of the project and resource utilization. What’s worse is this can create unnecessary risk and potential project delays. It is important to mention that involving project stakeholders in the RBS planning process can help in identifying and securing necessary resources.

Overlooking Resources

It's fair to say that successful project execution relies heavily on efficient resource allocation and utilization. Sadly, overlooking resources can lead to significant implications on the project budget. It's a worrying thing that this may disrupt the entire work breakdown structure. The notable thing about project stakeholders and project teams is they should be thoroughly involved in assessing resource requirements. 

Incorrect Grouping of Resources

It's safe to say that project resource management is a crucial aspect of project planning and execution. It involves resource planning, as well as utilization, which ensures efficient use of resources. It's a well-documented fact that these resources vary by type (employees, software, equipment, etc.) and are regularly evaluated to maximize their productivity. What’s worth noticing is successful resource management also entails accurately identifying resource requirements. Particularly this helps in workload planning and maintains a balance in the project team's tasks. It is purported that maintaining the project budget and keeping project stakeholders updated are significant parts of the management of resources. What's fantastic is this ensures that the project teams deliver value and the project runs smoothly.

Failure to update the RBS

It is evident that ineffective management of projects often arises from a failure to update the RBS. It's beyond dispute that key components like resource management, and work breakdown structure heavily influence the successful execution of projects. There is no denying that failure in regular updating can lead to poor resource utilization and mismanaged resource allocation. The sorrowful thing about this is it causes major setbacks to any project. One thing is proven: An updated RBS is instrumental for maintaining a balanced project budget.

Tools for creating a Resource Breakdown Structure

It is crucial to highlight that building an efficient ‘Resource Breakdown Structure(RBS)’ is crucial for consistent project planning and the management of resources. The great thing about tools like project management software is it assists in resource planning that helps project teams refine the allocation of resources based on resource type and availability. What’s worth mentioning is that using such tools can greatly enhance the management of the project resources.


Bonsai's tool for creating a Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) is a standout feature that brings clarity and precision to project management. Bonsai's tool for creating a Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) is a standout feature that brings clarity and precision to project management.

Link to Client Management

You can create a detailed map of resources that aligns with your project's work breakdown structure (WBS). This alignment is essential for maintaining consistency in planning and execution. The tool also facilitates better communication with stakeholders by providing a clear picture of resource allocation and needs. It supports effective decision-making by offering insights into resource utilization and availability, which is important for keeping the project on track and within budget.

Microsoft Project

It's well known that Microsoft Project is a powerful tool for project management that allows efficient project planning and resource allocation to streamline the execution of the project. Fascinatingly, it supports resource management by determining resource requirements as well as enabling workload planning. 

It’s just surprising how this facilitates improved resource type selection and efficient project resource management! However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows when using MS Project. Sadly the cost associated with MS Project can be a substantial financial burden for small to medium-sized enterprises. It's a disappointing thing that while it integrates well with other Microsoft products, its compatibility with third-party applications is limited. The worst thing about this restriction is it can lead to data silos that complicate data sharing and collaboration with other tools.


It is widely recognized that ProjectLibre is a leading open-source software solution for project management. Plus, it is highly regarded for its features in resource management and workload planning. What’s amazing is that the tool offers an efficient way to create WBS, supporting project teams in their endeavors of resource planning and project execution. It will not be an understatement to say, “ProjectLibre exemplifies modern project resource management.”


It's beyond dispute that Smartsheet is a powerful tool for the management of projects that offers features that aid in the allocation of resources. 

Through its ability to report resource utilization and workload planning, the tool supports decision-making and optimizes resource type usage. Obviously it ensures regular communication with project stakeholders, facilitating transparency in resources. The worrying thing about Smartsheet is it has several disadvantages when it comes to creating a resource breakdown structure RBS. One of the primary issues is its lack of advanced project management features. It's a worrying thing that this tool's simplicity can be a double-edged sword; while it is easy to use, for some people, it lacks the depth and sophistication required for breakdown structures. What's sad is this limitation can impede the effective tracking and allocation of resources in complex projects.

Conclusion: The role of Resource Breakdown Structure in successful project management

There is no denying that the Resource Breakdown Structure plays a vital role in the successful management of projects. What's worth highlighting is project teams can expect improved workload planning, and a smoother execution of the project by incorporating a reliable resource breakdown structure. One thing is for certain: It helps in clearly defining the resource requirements based on resource type. It's indisputable that a detailed and well-executed RBS is a cornerstone for efficient project resource management in the context of the planning of the project. 

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