Project Plan for Whitbread Sailboat Race

Topics: Project management, Volvo Ocean Race, Construction Pages: 6 (2092 words) Published: June 1, 2008

Project Plan for Whitbread World Sailboat Race
Joel Johnson
University of Phoenix

Project Plan for Whitbread World Sailboat Race
The Whitbread World Sailboat Race, now called the Volvo Ocean Race requires teams to work together to sail around the world taking on many known and unknown challenges. The race itself is only one part of the challenge. The ability for the race team leaders to deliver a professionally designed boat and well trained crew on time and on budget is the first project that needs successful completion. Bjorn Ericksen has been selected to manage the boat design and crew training process for the company sponsor. He has a hard deadline to deliver the crew and boat to the River Thames as well as a assigned budget to work under. In order to accomplish this task Ericksen needed to determine the feasibility of the project. This required an examination of what aspects of the project could be compressed to save time and the monetary cost of those changes. Bjorn had hired a capable set of assistants to provide original estimates and to lead a portion of the project. He must now determine the appropriate steps to take to ensure the project will be delivered on time and under budget. Bjorn Ericksen Project Strategy Analysis

“There was a feeling of apprehension and nervous exhilaration as 17 race yachts, carrying 167 crew from seven different nations, hoisted their spinnakers on the way out from Portsmouth into the English Channel on the first leg of a brand new sporting contest, the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. The race was conceived and organized by the Royal Naval Sailing Association with sponsorship from the London-based brewery company and was the first ever attempt at a global, crewed yacht race”(Volvo Ocean Race, 2008). The Volvo Ocean Race was originally known as The Whitbread Round the World Race and was conceived over a pint of beer more than 30 years ago.

The first race left England in September 1973 and it has run every four years since. The next Volvo Ocean Race will be the tenth edition of the event and for the first time will be held three years after the previous event. “Each year countries enter their sailing vessels in the nine-month Round the World Whitbread Sailboat Race. In recent years, about 14 countries entered sailboats in the race” (Gray and Larson, 2007). Technological advances have transformed how the race is governed and how teams prepare to compete. “Innovation has always been the signature of the Volvo Ocean Race and a new design of boat was introduced for the 2005-06 event. With development in mind, a forum of skippers, boat designers, sail and rig manufacturers, syndicate heads and representatives from the Volvo Ocean Race collaborated to produce a state-of-the-art 70' monohull race boat, the Volvo Open 70” (Volvo Ocean Race, 2008). Bjorn Ericksen’s experience as a master helmsman and his recent fame as the “best designer of racing sailboats in the world”(Gray and Larson, 2007), has earned him the project manager position for one of the teams in the upcoming race. His proven track record leading race teams and design teams will be put to the test in simultaneously leading both aspects for one project. Bjorn “sees two parallel paths running through the project—design and construction and crew training”(Gray and Larson, 2007). He now has the added responsibility of determining the critical path for both portions of the pre-race project. The decisions made during this planning process will create a project plan for the leaders to work from. The initial cost and time estimates for both portions of the project show that certain deliverables need to have their time to completion compressed in order to make the deadline. Careful consideration needs to be used when deciding when and where to compress the timeline and increase the budget. “Time spent up front considering alternatives and developing...
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