Whitbread World Sailboat Race

Topics: Project management, Cost, Critical path method Pages: 8 (2706 words) Published: November 11, 2007
Project Plan for Whitbread World Sailboat Race

Project Plan for Whitbread World Sailboat Race
The Whitbread World Sailboat race will start in 45 weeks, and Bjorn Ericksen, the master helmsman, has that much time to build a new vessel and test it, to recruit the racing crew and train it. This project is to be managed with a budget of $3.2 million. Managing this project successfully first requires to analyze Ericksen's strategy, including his chief design engineer and his master helmsman's normal and crash estimates. Ericksen then needs to find a way to reduce the project duration to meet the race start date deadline. Finally, Ericksen needs to develop a plan to close the project smoothly. Developing a structured project plan, which allows for a timely project completion and a performing sailboat are the two main elements Ericksen needs to focus on. Bjorn Ericksen Project Strategy Analysis

As the project manager of the racing sailboat for his team, Ericksen operates in the leisure equipment business, which consists of the total revenues generated through the sale of bicycles and sporting equipment, computer & video gaming software, traditional toys & games, and photographic products (Global Leisure Equipment and Products, 2007). The nine-month Round the World Whitbread Sailboat Race will start in 45 weeks with the traditional parade of all entries on the Thames River in the United Kingdom, so Ericksen has no choice but to ensure the project is completed by then. Conducting an in-process project audit is therefore necessary. Project audits use performance measures and forecast data, review why the project was selected, include a reassessment of the project's role in the organization's priorities, include a check on the organizational culture to ensure it facilitates the type of project being implemented, assess if the project team is functioning well and is appropriately staffed, include a check on external factors that might change where the project is heading or its importance, and include a review of all factors relevant to the project. Project audits can be conducted before the project is complete. An in-process project audit will allow for corrective changes on the racing boat project. It concentrates on project progress and performance, and check if conditions have changed (Gray & Larson 2007, p. 462). Based on the first cost and schedule estimates submitted by Karin Knutsen, the chief design engineer, and Trygve Wallvik, the master helmsman, the project will be late. Looking at Annex 1, the normal time estimates will cause the project to be six weeks late. The last six weeks of the sea trials will in fact go over schedule, if the weather does not permit the sea trials, it could even take longer. In the first half of the table in Annex 1, the purple represents Karin's activities, and the green represents Trygve's activities (light green for the old vessel and dark green for the new vessel). The red part shows that the project will be overdue. In the second half of the table, the pink represents Karin's crashed activities. The purple ones represent the activities that cannot be crashed. The yellow parts represent Trygve's crashed activities, whereas the light green ones cannot be crashed. The crash schedule presented by Karin and Trygve allows to have a 2-week buffer period at the end of the project (highlighted in red). But a better strategy would be to assign extra time at critical moments in the project, such as the building, testing and training phases. Buffers can also be added to activities with severe risks, merge activities that are prone to delays due to one or more preceding activities being late (e.g. equipment orders before the building and training phases), non-critical activities to reduce the likelihood that they will create another critical path, activities that require scarce resources to ensure that the resources are available when needed (e.g. crew selection) (Gray & Larson, 2007, p. 224)....
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