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Large Projects / Small Projects

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Do you manage a few large projects? Do you manage several smaller projects? What is the best approach for these 2 scenarios?


In Planning Scope, Step 3, we saw how a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is used to take a complex deliverable and decompose it into Work Packages and further into Activities for easier management. In planning Time, we saw how a Time plan begins with decomposing the WBS work packages into Activities. The Time plan is a completed Critical Path Diagram (CPM), with all Activities included.

By using the WBS and CPM tools, each work package can be managed discretely (sometimes by different managers) then coordinated and combined by (you) the Project Manager into the overall project. In effect each work package is managed like its own smaller project, with its own Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Risk, etc being planned and controlled.

So, how do we manage a large project? Like several small projects!


On the other hand, how do we manage several smaller projects at the same time? An effective approach is to consider them all as sub-projects of a large project; and this large project is your workload. Your workload becomes an overall master project which you can call "My Projects".

Your individual projects are thought of as sub-projects of your overall master project. Each of your individual projects, of course, has its own Scope, Time, Cost, etc which you plan and control. If you then roll your schedules up into a master schedule you can see everything that needs to be done, and when. This not only keeps everything organized, but you will likely find some synergies and time saving efficiencies between projects.

Likewise, when you roll all your plans for management of Resources, Quality, Communications, Risk, Stakeholders, and Procurement, into master plans you will find synergies leading to efficiencies in your work. You might even find interferences and dependencies between your projects that were not immediately obvious.

In conclusion, we see that the tools to manage large projects work equally well to manage several smaller projects at once. We can combine the plans of several smaller projects to find synergies, efficiencies, possible interferences, and dependencies.

Helpful insights on how to manage large and small projects is found when you CLICK HERE .

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