Sub-projects are smaller projects subordinated to and aligned with broader projects that belong to the same hierarchy. Using smaller projects in managing larger projects or programs is a great way to reach simplicity and effectiveness in project management. By creating sub-projects it is possible to define and assess an amount of work effort required to complete root projects.
The best way to define and manage sub-projects is through using task decomposition that shows a certain workflow of small tasks and sub-tasks to be performed in order for related sub-projects to be completed. Task decomposition is a hierarchical work breakdown structure that includes tasks as basic elements and describes certain levels or steps necessary for accomplishing related work.
Here is a quick guide to creating and managing sub-projects through task decomposition:
- Identify a board project that will be divided into smaller projects
- Define goals for this project
- Determine key activities or steps that characterize the life-cycle of the broad project
- Assign one or more sub-projects to each of the life-cycle steps
- Define goals for sub-projects
- Break down every sub-project into tasks (smaller measurable and observable activities)
- Define goals for tasks in every sub-project
- Figure out if there is a need to divide tasks into sub-tasks
- Identify controls for managing sub-projects and their tasks ad sub-tasks
- Estimate resources required for sub-projects
- Allocate labor to sub-projects and their content
- Use milestones to track and monitor status and performance of sub-projects and related activities.