Best Tested and Proven Practices for Hospital Construction


Standardized Multidimensional WBS/CBS Coding Structures



By Danilo Arba

Milan, Italy
Lima, Peru


From small organisations to large, health projects are growing rapidly with the current situation related to the Covid-19 Pandemic[1].

Efficient project management is increasingly more important to reach the objective while not wasting cost and time. An essential control element, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), has proven to be a tool to monitor and plan for projects. The WBS decomposes the project to manageable components. This helps the project team to execute the project in a more efficient way, properly estimate the schedule and cost, efficiently allocate and assign resources, and track the project progress and performance. This will lead to the success of the managed projects.

Through this case study, we will see the different models of WBS will be explored, including a multidimensional breakdown structure. The technical paper will also propose, based on comparison and evidence, the multidimensional breakdown structure for hospital projects to adopt to achieve project success.

Key Words:     WBS, CBS, Multidimensional WBS, Hospitals, Coding Structures, Integrated Systems, Project Management Classification[2]


” Clearly, organisations globally continue to find it difficult to deliver projects that meet all objectives around the iron triangle of time, cost and scope, along with achieving stakeholder satisfaction”[3]. The work breakdown structure (WBS)[4], in programme and project management terms is a deliverable-oriented decomposition of a programme or project into its smaller components. The WBS is the key deliverable that organises everything into manageable tasks and is perhaps the most important mechanism to understanding how on a programme of the scale and complexity of the reconstruction and construction detailed in the State-to-State contracts between France and Peru[5].

To correctly deliver such complicated projects in a fast-track environment, the WBS must be integrated with an array of hierarchical breakdown structures that the PMO can adopt to organise and present the activities.

  • CBS (Cost Breakdown Structure)[6]
  • RBS (Responsibility Breakdown Structure)
  • CBS (Contract Breakdown Structure)[7]
  • RBS (Risk Breakdown Structure)[8]

A great issue for the construction industry has been the integration of cost and schedule control systems, both for researchers and practitioners. In any case, the real-world implementation of this promising concept has not been popular enough to maximise the gains that this combination offers. The overhead effort is probably the main barrier to collect and maintain detailed data.

Fig.01: 8 questions to be answered if asked by our stakeholders[9]

This paper aims to propose a multidimensional breakdown structure integrated with our other breakdown structures that optimises the overhead effort while still allowing us to control schedule, cost and validate our estimate that needs to be done prior to the tender issue, with a Turnkey[10] based on the FIDIC Silver Book[11].


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this paper: Arba, D. (2021). Best Tested and Proven Practices for Hospital Construction: Standardized Multidimensional WBS/CBS Coding Structures; PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/pmwj102-Feb2021-Arba-standardized-multidimensional-wbs-cbs-for-hospital-construction.pdf

About the Author

Danilo Arba

Milan, Italy
Lima, Peru

Danilo Arba is a project controls & management enthusiast, with 20 years of experience. Certified Cost Engineer and Executive MBA from Politecnico di Milano. Thorough understanding of EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) industry, with verifiable track record of planning multimillion/billion-dollar worldwide construction projects. He lived & worked all his life around the world from South America, Africa, South East Asia to Europe. Adept at building and leading cross-functional teams from project conception to completion, optimising performance, contractual, and financial deliverables. Currently furthering his education by way of a distance learning mentoring course, under the tutorage of Dr Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS, GPM-m Senior Technical Advisor, PT Mitrata Citragraha, to attain Guild of Project Controls certification.

Danilo lives in Milan, Italy and Lima, Peru and can be contacted at danilo.arba@mip.polimi.it

[1] (2020, August 29). WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard. https://covid19.who.int/
[2] W22_Creating a standard multidimensional WBS/CBS coding structures for hospital construction. (2020, October 18). Danilo Arba Blog. https://www.daniloarba.com/post/w22_creating-a-standard-multidimensional-wbs-cbs-coding-structures-for-hospital-construction
[3] The Future of Project Management: Global Outlook 2019. (, 2019). KPMG.com.au AIPM.com.au IPMA.worls.
[4] WBS structure. (n.d.). Planning Planet | dedicated to Project Controls. Https://www.planningplanet.com/wiki/422403/wbs-structure
[5] Mace celebrates pan American success in Lima and secures new role in Peru. (n.d.). Mace. https://www.macegroup.com/media-centre/190730-mace-celebrates-pan-american-success-in-lima-and-secures-new-role-in-peru
[6] COST breakdown | meaning in the Cambridge English dictionary. (n.d.). Cambridge Dictionary | English Dictionary, Translations & Thesaurus. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/cost-breakdown
[7] Contract work breakdown structure. (2008, January 15). Project Management Knowledge – Simply explained by a PMI-certified Project Manager. https://project-management-knowledge.com/definitions/c/contract-work-breakdown-structure/
[8] Risk breakdown structure. (2008, September 12). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_breakdown_structure
[9] Additional Schedule Coding Structures. Guild of project controls compendium and reference (Car). (n.d.). Planning Planet | dedicated to Project Controls. https://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/define-estimates-purpose-and-scope-of-work
[10]key contract | definizione, significato – Che Cosa E turnkey contract nel dizionario Inglese – Cambridge dictionary. (n.d.). Cambridge Dictionary | English Dictionary, Translations & Thesaurus. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/it/dizionario/inglese/turnkey-contract
[11] FIDIC silver book | FIDIC 2017. (n.d.). Welcome to ICE Virtual Library. https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/book/10.1680/fsb.64362