Birthday Party Project Management

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Final Project: Surprise Birthday Dinner Event
Roy K. M. Mamuad
AD642: Project Management
Professor Roger D. H. Warburton, Ph D.
Boston University
23 Feb 2010

Abstract
Doing something special for the one you love is something that has been done throughout the ages. Studies have shown not only does an act of kindness strengthen personal relationships in marriage, but it also has positive health benefits resulting from social family gatherings and traditions. The proposed project presents a scenario of exploiting such a positive bonding. It shows the results of what can be accomplished by a bringing together an annual special occasion and creatively fusing it with family interaction. My wife has her 31st birthday coming up in 6 months and both of us have not seen family in years. The best opportunity to celebrate her birthday with family and do it in a special way for her, would be during a surprise dinner event held in her hometown. Project selection is appropriately aligned with strengthening marital as well as family ties. The paper explores potential dinner venues of commercial, catering, and home using a multi-weighted scale matrix. It lays out a project scope, vision, and goal. A detailed Work Breakdown Structure provides the basis for the top-down/bottom-up cost estimation, scheduling activities, and resources allocation analysis. A project network path is presented to identify the critical path in the project. Recommendations are offered to avoid potential risk factors and contingency scenarios. Ultimately the project hopes to achieve a surprised spouse on her birthday with friends and family, on time and within budget.

Reason for Project
I’ve always loved my wife from the time we became best friends in college and she has continued to prove her love to me with every passing day we are married. My career in the military has taken her away from family and friends that she often doesn’t get to visit with. Our daily schedules are so busy at times it amazes me how she can continue to be the backbone in our family as we work together to raise our wonderful son. She deserves everything I could possibly give her and the commitment she shows our family everyday warrants just that. This project isn’t just an event based on an occasion, but also a way to exploit the positive influence it will have on promoting a healthy relationship and lifestyle. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (World Health Organization, 2001). This definition set the stage for the correlation between social support/interpersonal relationships and overall health and wellness. Interestingly enough an unhappy marriage can increase the likelihood that you become ill by 35% and shorten your life an average of four years (Gottman & Silver, 1999). Project criteria for selection were primarily based on intangible aspects rather than a financial return which defined its strategic importance (Gray & Larson, 2007). The project-screening matrix allowed family stakeholders to see which bid had a better return on value. This weighted score model evaluated three project proposals: 1. Holding the event at a local restaurant, 2. Having the event catered professionally, or 3. Having family members host the event at their home. With a strong weighted score of 111, the clear choice was the third proposal. Scope

Objective: Hold a surprise birthday dinner event for my wife’s 31st birthday in her hometown, on 16 July 2010 and within $100 of the targeted $1,000 budget. Deliverables:
* Name of Local Liaison
* Budget Plan
* Guest List
* Location of Dinner Venue
* Airline Tickets
* Vehicle Rental Contract
* Modified recipes
* Finalized Menu
* Grocery List
* Required Cooking/Prep Equipment
* Video/Still Camera
* Name of Camera Operator
* Names of Setup
* Happily...
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