Work breakdown structure rethought: advantages of object-oriented project management with COMAN

24. August 2020 | Reading Time 7 min

The work breakdown structure has a direct impact on the management of a project. There are various options for structuring and building up the planning, each of which is based on different priorities. In addition to object-oriented project management, there are function- and time-oriented work breakdown structures that accompany and define project management.

The work breakdown structure: short portraits of the structuring options

A function-oriented work breakdown structure divides the project for its structure into the functional areas of the company executing the project. Here, the focus of planning is accordingly on the "what", for example the type of activities to be performed.

Time-oriented project management first considers the time schedule of a project. Accordingly, the tasks are planned and controlled in line with to their chronological sequence. Thus, the question of "when" is decisive here.

For the object-oriented project management the product itself is finally the center of attention. The planning is based on this – larger clusters or assemblies can ideally be distributed in detail into smaller tasks, so that zooming in or out is possible at any time. So the "where" is particularly important in this case.

Object-oriented project management: the advantages

For our project management software, we at COMAN have opted for an object-oriented approach. Many different factors played a role – including the following five advantages. Everything you read about here is already possible in our software.

Precise management of projects

An object-oriented work breakdown structure is always based on the product under construction. Object-oriented project management allows the people involved to closely follow and manage progress on the project at any point. The clarity of the data is very important here – with the orientation on the object, each data record has one or more fixed reference points. This grants very quick "deep dives" into the respective project.

Project management is individually adaptable

Individualisation is a trump card – this also applies to object-oriented project management. Work steps can be precisely adapted to the requirements of the individual object. Sequences can thus be specially planned, executed and tracked – resulting in a better interlocking of work on components and thus faster and more effective execution.

Better visualisation

The COMAN Manager depicts various areas or individual components in detail based on the uploaded construction plans. The objects can be divided up using CAD layouts (floor or plant plans). This superordinate representation on the basis of Smart Objects permits the precise division of objects and the associated tasks into smaller sub-items. This special way of visualisation also brings us back to the first and greatest advantage – the more precise management of projects.

Easier assignment of data and components

The precise planning and visualisation of tasks and objects generates a large amount of data – completely independent of the chosen approach to project management. With the focus on the object in its individual parts and their representation in COMAN, it is possible to assign this data much better and thus contextualise it. Data is no longer picked out of endlessly long tables, parts lists or schedules, but is simply retrieved by clicking on the appropriate component. In practical application, this results in significant savings in time and resources, since large amounts of data are much easier to control.

Tracking of cascading effects

Projects for plant construction are usually highly complex. A small delay at one end can therefore affect very different further planning steps. Thanks to numerous internal links, object-oriented project management allows employees to identify these downstream activities and to recognise possible delays – as well as their severity – immediately. Priorities are set faster and reaction times are significantly reduced.


The greatest advantage of object-oriented project management, as COMAN lives and experiences it, lies in the additional possibilities it offers the employees involved in the project. On all levels the acting employees receive a larger control over the project planning and execution with a smaller resource expenditure. All aspects of the project are bundled in this solution and reflected as effectively as possible.