Dont Over Do the Breakdown
Note, however, that a project should not be broken down to such
an extent, or contain work packages so small, that unnecessary administrative
effort is incurred in maintaining the information flow. On projects
up to, say, $25 million in the construction phase, a minimum work
package value of, say, 0.1% is a good rule of thumb. Above $25 million,
minimum values should be deliberately set which are compatible with
the effort and time available for data collection in the context
of overall project objectives.
Since all contract work is also eventually planned and controlled
through work packages, it is necessary to identify different types
of work packages and their characteristics. All work packages can
be categorized into one of three different types:
- Discrete tasks which have a specific end result or objective.
These normally comprise 60 - 75% of the project work
- Level-of-effort tasks which do not have specific end results.
These are comprised mainly of the overhead accounts, such as management,
administration, liaison and co-ordination. These are characterized
by relatively level, time-phased budgets and are not time-limited
as in the case of discrete tasks
- Apportioned-effort tasks, which can be directly related and
apportioned to discrete tasks, such as quality control or inspection.
These tasks are in support of the discrete tasks and thus their
schedule and budget can be related to the discrete tasks.
During feasibility, work packages may also be categorized by the
degree of maturity of work definition:
- Conceptual work packages are based upon preliminary sketches
and thus the estimatesof time and cost are based on historical
data, experience and judgment rather than detailed "take off"
estimates. The scope of these work packages may be large, and
the duration relatively long
- When the Project Brief is presented to the owner for final approval
to begin working drawings and construction, the work packages
are based upon the final scope of work. The estimate and schedule
will be correspondingly firmer, and consequent control will be
- Firm work packages meet the requirements of being based upon
firm design, firm budgets, and a firm schedule. These work packages
should be identified 2 to 6 months prior to performing the work,
and can only be revised with the approval of the Project Manager
and normally as a consequence of a change order