Whitbread World Sailboat Race

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University of Phoenix
Terry Norris
January 20, 2008

Project Plan for Whitbread World Sailboat Race
This paper analyzes the Whitbread World Sailboat Race case scenario presented in chapter 9 in the Gray and Larson text, Project Management: the Managerial Process. The Whitbread World Sailboat Race is a nine month round the world race. Bjorn Ericksen has been chosen by his country to head up the project of getting a boat and a team ready for the race. The objectives of the project are to design, build and test a new vessel and select and train a crew capable of winning the race. The objectives must be completed within 45 weeks, the start of the race, and with a planned budget of $3.2 million.

Initial projections show that the current schedule will take 50 weeks to finish with a final budget estimate of $3.152 million. Although the project estimate comes in under budget, the time frame for completion extends beyond the acceptable 45 weeks. Therefore, the following sections will take a closer look at the project’s conditions by developing a project priority matrix, project network, and a Gantt chart to help Bjorn Ericksen and his team to reduce the project duration. Managing this project successfully first requires analyzing 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. Reducing the timeline without budget is a difficult matter as usually decreasing the timeline costs money. Finally, Ericksen needs to develop a plan to close the project smoothly.

Through various analyses, this paper will create a plan to reduce project duration and create a project closure approach for Bjorn Ericksen’s team in the Whitebread World Sailboat race case study. This paper will also show how time requirements can be lowered without affecting costs, list the action item deliverables, identify the due dates for each deliverable and identify who is responsible for each deliverable. In addition, assess potential shortfalls, risk factors and consequences for the plan. In conclusion, this paper will explain how projects are audited and closed and how the audit can help future projects with lessons learned. To begin, we will discuss the strategy for this project. Bjorn Ericksen Project Strategy Analysis

Bjorn Ericksen has been chosen as the project manager for his country to get a new sailboat ready for the Whitbread World Sail Boat race. This race is a nine month race around the world. In the last few years, about 14 countries have entered sailboats in the race. Ericksen is tasked with designing and outfitting his country’s entry into the Whitbread World Sailboat Race. Bjorn Ericksen was chosen as the project manager because of his past experience as a master helmsman and because of his recent fame as the “best designer of racing sailboats in the world” (Gray & Larson, 2005).

Bjorn has designated Karin Knutsen to be his chief design engineer and Trygve Wallvik as his master helmsman. The two will also be acting team leaders responsible for getting their sailing vessel ready for the traditional parade of entries on the Thames River in the United Kingdom, which signals the beginning of the race. Karin and Trygve both have a thorough handle on the sequence of events, and costs required to design, construct and test the vessel, as well as selecting, hiring and training the crew. Their project plan includes developing both normal and crash costs and durations, a project priority matrix to facilitate the decision making process, and a project network that will show the critical path among the many activities. The team leaders’ projections show that the cost of starting the race under normal circumstances would be $3,152,000; however, normal conditions also dictate that the project will require 50 weeks to finish. As with any solid plan, the team leaders have also...
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