How to Break Down a Large Project or Assignment and Ensure that all Goes According to Plan

It’s easy to get that “snowed-under” feeling when working on a large assignment, thinking you’ll never be able to complete it.  But don’t panic – just divide the work into smaller sections that you can work on one by one.  The secret is knowing how!

Firstly you need to work out exactly what needs to done and by when.  This is easy if your client has definite ideas and has given you a deadline, but it can take longer if you’ve been give more flexible guidelines.

After deciding on your final target and deadline get started on breaking the job down, working out exactly what has to be done.  Draw up a list of all tasks, making a note alongside each one of manpower required to do the job and any necessary tools or equipment.

Once you’ve drawn up this list you can start putting your work plan in order based on certain criteria, such as:-

** Client requirements.  Your client must always come first, so any requirement by a specified date should be the first priority of your work plan.  You can complete further details from that starting point.

** Job sequence.  Sometimes a task will have various sub-sections that need to be completed before the particular task can be finalised – or started.  Once you’ve set all your deadlines they can be organised in chronological order.

** Manpower & equipment.  Each section of a project will probably require manpower and equipment.  These requirements will likely differ from task to task, so organise your timetable accordingly – obviously if one contractor or employee is needed for several different steps they should do them one after the other.  It goes without saying that nobody can work on 2 or more projects at once.

Now that you’ve set the order of work you will need to specify completion dates for each part of the overall project.  This can prove complicated as you need to take into consideration the dates when required manpower and equipment are actually available.

Now you have your plan drawn up you are ready to start.  However, you must continually re-assess as things rarely go according to plan.  Keep checking to ensure that everything is still in line with you client’s expectations and avoid any nasty surprises at a later date!

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