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#Business Analysts: How did architects construct Empire State Building?

Some of you might have taken a look at the building. It’s a really gigantic building with a tall structure. But how did they achieve such marvelous work? What is the technique that they used? Is there something that will allow us to get massive work completed in a systematic manner?

Indeed, there is one. In this blog, we will learn about a technique called functional decomposition.

Functional decomposition techniques break down any large aspect (functional areas, processes, deliverables, problems or scope )into smaller aspects, as independent as possible, to assign work to different groups. This reduces the complexity of analysis and makes it easier to estimate and plan the work items.  check out the cbap training article.

One should define what to decompose, how to decompose, and how deeply to decompose. Functional decomposition can be applied to diverse subjects like:

The level of functional decomposition defines where, why, and when to stop decomposing. Decomposition can be represented by a combination of plain texts, hierarchical diagrams, programming languages (CRUD – Create, Retrieve, Update, and Delete operations), visual diagrams, etc. Work breakdown structure (WBS) decomposes project scope into phases, work packages, and deliverables.


  • Helps to manage complex problems by breaking them into parts.
  • Provides a shared understanding of complex matters.
  • Helps in estimation.


  • No way to be certain that all components have been captured.
  • Missing or incorrect elements can lead to re-work.
  • Not understanding relationships between pieces creates inappropriate structure.
  • Need deep subject knowledge and extensive collaboration with stakeholders.

Worked out Example:

The governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) management system is developed for the IT and ITES domain. The primary objective of the GRC management system is to help companies implement Governance, Quality, and Information Security Management Systems in an integrated manner. It has various features, one of which is to plan and track projects and programs using standards such as CMMI, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, etc.

Through the example below, let us try to understand how the functional decomposition of the Project Management module of the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) management system is done.

The Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) management PM module has multiple sub-modules like Project Overview, Schedule, Defects, Risks, Issues, etc. The activity under each sub-module is broken down further into tasks.

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#Business Analysts: How did architects construct Empire State Building?


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