For very large projects, you may be tempted to modify the top-down approach. While we prefer to avoid modification, difficulty in scheduling people for the planning meeting may necessitate some modification. We offer here not another approach but rather a modification to the top-down approach.
As project size increases, it becomes unwieldy to build the entire WBS with the entire planning team assembled. When the size of the project forces you into this situation, begin by decomposing the WBS down to Level 3. At that point, develop intermediate estimates of time, resources, and dependencies for all Level 3 activities. The planning session is adjourned, and the Level 3 activity managers are charged with completing the WBS for their part of the project. They will convene a JPP session to complete that work. The JPP facilitator may choose to consolidate these Level 3 WBSs into the WBS for the entire project. The full JPP team can be reassembled and the planning process continues from that point.
In many large projects, the project manager may manage only down to the Level 3 activities and leave it to the Level 3 activity managers to manage their part of the project according to the schedule developed at Level 3.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.