August 10, 2020

What Is a Requirements Breakdown Structure?

In this article, you will learn about the requirements breakdown structure that is a part of the requirements management process. It helps to focus on the workflow, provide an understanding of what needs doing, and how to achieve this.

Requirements management is all about gathering, working through, and communicating the requirements of a project with the stakeholders. This is a process that continues throughout the lifespan of a project. Requirements management is key for a successful outcome of the project.

Requirements Breakdown Structure

Once a project’s requirements have been established, a breakdown structure is created. This is a kind of graph, often following the form of a tree, that creates a kind of hierarchical structure of the requirements. This breakdown is a roadmap of what the project needs for the release of a successful end product.

Project managers and teams can use the breakdown structure to establish which tasks need immediate focus. This structure helps to create an efficient workflow throughout the project. The main goal of a requirements breakdown structure is establishing what needs to be done. This part of the process does not focus on the ‘how’.

Requirements Breakdown Structure

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The work breakdown structure (WBS) is another very similar process. This is not concerned with the ‘what’, but more on how to execute the different tasks. Just like the requirement breakdown structure, the work breakdown is a tree-like graph following a hierarchical order. Here, the different requirements are translated into work tasks.

The work breakdown structure comes from the requirement breakdown. A WBS is a crucial element for the planning and successful execution of a project. It helps the team and project manager to know exactly how the project will run.

How to Create A Requirements Breakdown Structure?

When putting together a requirements breakdown structure (RBS), always start by placing the project’s main goal or vision at the top. This is where all sub-requirements will branch off from. Major requirements can branch away from the project goal, creating columns of requirements underneath them.

The RBS ends up being a list of everything needed to reach the end goal. It covers each portion of the – allowing you to figure out exactly what tasks are needed to follow through with the project.

Importance Of The Requirements Breakdown Structure

A requirement breakdown structure is a major step for the successful flow of any project. This is what allows you to manage the different requirements, and to understand the direction the project will take. RBS adds value to your work, it allows the team to work more effectively, and to achieve deadlines with greater ease. RBS is necessary for understanding exactly what needs to be done and emphasizing the most important tasks.


Projects and developments can have many moving parts. So, creating a watertight requirements management plan is essential for a smooth operation. The requirement breakdown structure is one of the earliest steps in the process. It helps to define the steps and direction the project will take. This is essential for meeting the stakeholder’s interests at the end.

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