As stated earlier Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is one of most significant tools in Project Management. Understanding project at detailed level is key to creating roadmap to success. Keep in mind that, by definition, projects in general are unique, complex, multi dimensional undertakings that need variety of resources and different set of management tools to monitor and control. Hence understanding of "one time event" is equal to being able to see into future. Most large projects are generally entering uncharted territory that is why they carry so much risk. To mitigate this risk tools like WBS were created to break project down into smaller, more familiar or standard tasks that collectively add up to new complex "project". Once WBS has been broken down into smaller pieces of work it is then essential to manage each of these smaller pieces the same way you would manage project as complete. In effect each work task is "mini" project. Obviously it is easier to manage small task which is only a few weeks in duration but when there are fifty or hundred of these small tasks going on simultaneously is where project management system should be ready. Organization structure and delegation of responsibility is key to being caable to monitor and control large undertakings. Granting of authority and demanding accountability is balance which many organizations struggle with. It is difficult formula for success which is variable from project to project and organization to organization. Culture, politics, economy, environment, and technology are major variables which are frequently working against us. Project management tools have evolved over years to mitigate these forces and provides us at least fighting chance for success.
With regard to planning for contingencies. Would you plan at top level of WBS or the lower levels of WBS? Why or Why not?
What would be difference? Would you create contingency plans at work package level?