Currently I am using MS Project to manage projects, I define all milestones and key achieves for a whole projects, but I don't have enough detailed tasks inside. I am wondering, do I need to break down every possible detailed tasks into this Gantt charts, as an example, some technical details like design how many lanes for high speed and what kind of function need to be implemented in software, or should I just keep it as it is?

Since the project team has several members and each member own different functions, It's almost impossible to get a detailed task what they have planned and done.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions.

1 Answer 1


There is no single right answer to this question - it depends entirely on the level of control that you need or want, and the level of reporting and monitoring that is required.

As a rule of thumb, go down to the level that makes you feel comfortable and that allows you to talk sensibly to each team member. This may mean that you manage different parts of your project at different levels of breakdown, depending on a number of factors. These may include:

  • The experience of the team member;
  • The size of the individual high level task;
  • Your knowledge of the task from your own experience or past history;
  • The level of trust you have in each team member and their past history of delivery;
  • The criticality of the task;
  • The number of other people or teams required to deliver the task.

There will be other factors that you will be best placed to determine.

I would advise against going to too low a level as a default - start high then break it all down to a meaningful work breakdown structure, as described above. The more detail you work with, the better your estimating needs to be and in my experience, the more "padding" people will add into their estimates!

  • Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I am just being a PjM and have so much too learn.
    – Coeus Wang
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 15:56

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