Can the use of a multi-dimensional WBS

help salvage your IT project?



By Gabin Vallet

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France




This paper aims at finding a way to increase the success rate of IT projects in companies. Indeed, the failure rate of such projects remains rather high and can have disastrous consequences in terms of cost and time lost.

To solve this issue, we will consider the different alternatives possible, alongside with the best attributes to evaluate the value of these alternatives. The next step will be to use Multi-Attribute Decision Making (MADM) methods, so that we can find the fittest solution to the problem at hand. At the end of the study, we will prove that the best solution is the extensive use of multi-dimensional Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), thanks to a Pareto analysis.

Keywords:       Work Breakdown Structure, Software, Failure, Information Technology, Standardization, Globalization, Communication, Technical jobs


The Information Technology, or IT, industry, despite being a rather new industry, has quickly become one of the strongest, since the beginning of the 21st century, spending over 4.5 trillion dollars in 2017. According to expectations and scientific researches, it was expected to “eclipse the $4.8 trillion mark” in 2018[1]. It is acknowledged as one of the fields which contributes the most to the GDP of developed countries. Not only has it become an incredibly resilient industry in a few years, but it also enables all the other industries to be way more efficient than they used to be, with the implementation of brand new software and the spreading of revolutionary ways of communicating. Thus, it can be described as a “key driver of global economic growth”[2]. As far as the workforce involved in the industry is concerned, it has become one of the industries with the highest number of employees, employing about 6.1 million workers in the US in 2017, according to estimates, representing an increase from almost 1.5 million in comparison with the previous year, which makes it “the largest and fastest growing category of tech jobs”[3].

Another strength of the IT industry is that it requires people with various skills, be it soft or hard skills. Thus, the tech industry does not only require technical positions, with great software development skills, but it also includes salesmen, HR and even marketing[4]. Even the technical field is rather broad, with numerous jobs such as systems architecture, database development, maintenance and security services.

But although everything seems bright at first sight, the situation is in fact way more complicated than it primarily seems. Indeed, having access to state-of-the-art technology is no longer an advantage over the competition, but a requirement to remain competitive in an ever more globalized world, where distance and dematerialization have become the trend. The Blue Fox Group Blog mentions “7 Reasons Why Every Company Needs IT Support”[5]. These reasons are economic, managerial ones, as well as putting a strong emphasis on the time gained thanks to the use of such technologies.

But before going further, I should highlight the fact that IT projects share the same kind of complexity than other kinds of IT projects and are consistent with the Guild’s definitions:


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: This paper was prepared for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director paul.gardiner@skema.edu.

How to cite this paper: Vallet, G. (2019). Can the use of a multi-dimensional WBS help salvage your IT project? PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VII, August.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/pmwj84-Aug2019-Vallet-can-multi-dimensional-wbs-help-salvage-your-IT-project.pdf



About the Author

Gabin Vallet

Lille, France



Gabin Vallet is an IT student, born in 1996 in Paris, France. After two years of Prepa CPGE (Classe Préparatoire aux Grandes Ecoles) in Mathematics and Physics, he integrated the Ecole Centrale de Lille, in September 2016. After 2 years of general engineering studies, he started specializing in IT, most precisely in Web Development, in Centrale Lille. He recently started a double degree at Skema Business School, called MSc PPMBD (Project and Programme Management & Business Development), being tutored by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS, GPM-m Senior Technical Advisor, PT Mitrata Citragaha, to attain Guild of Project Controls certification. His recent professional experience includes an internship at BNP Paribas in Paris, and more recently as a computer engineer at SKF Marine GMBH, in Hamburg, Germany. His travels throughout the world have brought him to numerous countries, including Thailand, the USA and Argentina.

Gabin lives in Lille, France and can be contacted at gabin.vallet@skema.edu .


[1] Comptia (website – January 2018) – IT Industry Outlook 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.comptia.org/resources/it-industry-trends-analysis

[2] Economywatch (June 2010) – IT Industry, Information Technology Industry. Retrieved from: http://www.economywatch.com/business-and-economy/information-technology-industry.html

[3] Cyberstates (a product by Comptia) – Importance of the tech industry on US soil, and its current trend. Retrieved from: https://www.cyberstates.org/pdf/CompTIA_Cyberstates_2018.pdf

[4] Comptia (website – January 2018) – IT Industry Outlook 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.comptia.org/resources/it-industry-trends-analysis

[5] The Blue Fox Blog (September 2017) – 7 Reasons Why Every Company Needs IT Support. Retrieved from: https://www.bluefoxgroup.com/blog/7-reasons-every-company-needs-support