Original Post Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In my blog last week on Work Breakdown Structures, we reviewed the subtleties of using the [object] tag to your advantage in creating different sorts and roll up subtotals. As a followup, I’d like to drill down a bit on the initial step of using the “copy grid” exports. Each row number is unique, thus creating an identifying key for the vlookup function in Excel. Since all object X activity instances are allocated 100% to one of the three phases (with very rare exception), these row keys allow you to sort and re-group outputs while maintaining lookup visibility to corresponding grids. In the case of that rare exception, percentage spreads easily solve for allocation of that shared activity cost. 

The real trick to transpose into a WBS "Activity then Object" listing is to use the [object] tags as group delimiters. As long as you keep the row-key associated with the cost outputs, your options are not limited to just one activity list order. You could map to 881A format or to your accounting system. You could map your PBS transposition to 1921 or 1921-1 orders. In the end, cost will still match TruePlanning's output. Grouping by phase or by system won't change the bottom line.

One note: If you need activity subtotals immediately, True Planning’s Activity by Cost Object output works just fine. It’s a grid that is available for export to Excel, Word or XML. My process above solves for the often-demanded request of listing (and numbering, indenting, subtotaling) linearly. In the near future, look for PRICE Systems to utilize the COM layer feature of TP 2010 SR1 to give you yet another option in mapping PBS to WBS format.