Project Management Hwk 1
PROJECT MANAGEMENT – ASSIGNMENT 1
TEXT BOOK: Project Management Achieving Competitive Advantage (4th Edition)
Essay Responses: All questions need to be answered in essay format (must be typed, doubled spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, with 1″ margins, and all sources must be sited). Mathematical Responses: Students must show all the formulas and all procedures. Answers only will not be accepted, make sure to show all your work. Answers must be typed, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, with 1″ margins).
Chapter 1: Questions 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, and Case Study 1.3 (pages 29-32) (below questions.
1. 1.1 What are some of the principal reasons why project management has become such a popular business tool in recent years?
2. 1.3 What are the advantages and disadvantages of using project management?
3. 1.5 Describe the basic elements of a project life cycle. Why is an understanding of the life cycle relevant for our understanding of projects?
4. 1.7. Consider the Expedition Everest case at the end of the chapter: What elements in Disney’s approach to developing its theme rides do you find particularly impressive? How can a firm like Disney balance the need for efficiency and smooth development of projects with the desire to be innovative and creative? Based on this case, what principles appear to guide its development process?
Case Study 1.3 Disney’s Expedition Everest
One of the newest thrill rides to open in the Walt Disney World Resort may just be the most impressive. As Disney approached its 50th anniversary, the company wanted to celebrate in a truly special way. What was its idea? Create a park attraction that would, in many ways, serve as the link between Disney’s amazing past and its promising future. Disney showed that it was ready to pull out all stops in order to get everything just right.
In 2006, The Walt Disney Company introduced Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Expedition Everest is more than just a roller coaster. It is the embodiment of the Disney spirit: a ride that combines Disney’s trademark thrills, unexpected twists and turns, incredible attention to detail, and impressive project management skills.
First, let’s consider some of the technical details of Expedition Everest:
· With a peak of just under 200 feet, the ride is contained within the tallest of 18 mountains created by Disney’s Imagineers at Disney parks worldwide.
· The ride contains nearly a mile of track, with twists, tight turns, and sudden drops.
· The Disney team created a Yeti: an enormous, fur-covered, Audio-Animatronics monster powered by a set of hydraulic cylinders whose combined thrust equals that of a Boeing 747 airliner. Through a series of sketches, computer-animated drawings, sculptures, and tests that took more than two years to perfect, Disney created and programmed its Abominable Snowman to stand over 10 feet tall and serve as the focal point of the ride.
· More than 900 bamboo plants, 10 species of trees, and 110 species of shrubs were planted to re-create the feeling of the Himalayan lowlands surrounding Mount Everest.
· More than 1,800 tons of steel were used to construct the mountain. The covering of the framework was done using more than 3,000 prefabricated “chips” created from 25,000 individual computer-molded pieces of steel.
· To create the proper color schemes, 2,000 gallons of stain and paint were used on rockwork and throughout the village Disney designed to serve as a backdrop for the ride.
· More than 2,000 handcrafted items from Asia are used as props, cabinetry, and architectural ornamentation.
Building an attraction does not come easily or quickly for Disney’s Imagineers. Expedition Everest was several years in development as Disney sent teams, including Walt Disney Imagineering’s Creative Executive Joe Rohde, on repeated trips to the Himalayas in Nepal to study the lands, architecture, colors, ecology, and culture in order to create the most authentic setting for the new attraction. Disney’s efforts reflect a desire to do much more than provide a world-class ride experience; they demonstrate the Imagineers’ eagerness to tell a story—a story that combines the mythology of the Yeti figure with the unique history of the Nepalese living in the shadow of the world’s tallest mountain. Ultimately, the attraction, with all its background and thematic elements, took nearly five years to complete.
Riders on Expedition Everest gain a real feel for the atmosphere that Disney has worked so hard to create. The guests’ adventure starts by entering the building of the “Himalayan Escape” tour company, complete with Norbu and Bob’s booking office to obtain permits for their trip. Overhead flutter authentic prayer flags from monasteries in Nepal. Next, guests pass through Tashi’s General Store and Bar to stock up on supplies for their journey to the peak of the mountain. Finally, guests pass through an old tea warehouse that contains a remarkable museum of artifacts reflecting Nepal’s culture, a history of the Himalayas, and tales of the Yeti, which is said to inhabit the slopes of Mount Everest. It is only now that guests are permitted to board the Anandapur Rail Service for their trip to the peak. Each train is modeled after an aging, steam-engine train, seating 34 guests per train.
Over the next several minutes, guests are transported up the roller coaster track, through a series of winding turns, until their encounter with the Yeti. At this point another unique feature of the attraction emerges: The train begins rushing backward down the track, as though it were out of control. Through the balance of the ride, guests experience a landscape of sights and sounds culminating in a 50 mph final dash down the mountain and back to the safety of the Nepalese village.
Disney’s approach to the management of projects such as Expedition Everest is to combine careful planning, including schedule and budget preparation, with the imagination and vision for which the company is so well known. Creativity is a critical element in the development of new projects at Disney. The company’s Imagineers include some of the most skilled artists and computer-animation experts in the world. Although it is easy to be impressed by the technical knowledge of Disney’s personnel, it is important to remember that each new project is approached with an understanding of the company’s underlying business and attention to market projections, cost control, and careful project management discipline. New attraction proposals are carefully screened and researched. The result is the creation of some of the most innovative and enjoyable rides in the world. Disney does not add new attractions to its theme parks frequently, but when it does so, it does so with style!
1. Suppose you were a project manager for Disney. Based on the information in this case, what critical success metrics do you think the company uses when designing a new ride; that is, how would you prioritize the needs for addressing project cost, schedule, quality, and client acceptance? What evidence supports your answer?
2. Why is Disney’s attention to detail in its rides unique? How does the company use the “atmosphere” discussed in the case to maximize the experience while minimizing complaints about length of wait for the ride?
Chapter 2: Questions 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, and 2.5 (page 67)
1. 2.1 The chapter suggests that a definition of strategic management includes four components:
a. Developing a strategic vision and sense of mission
b. Formulating, implementing, and evaluating
c. Making cross-functional decisions
d. Achieving objectives
Discuss how each of these four elements is important in understanding the challenge of strategic project management. How do projects serve to allow an organization to realize each of these four components of strategic management?
2. 2.2 Discuss the difference between organizational objectives and strategies.
3. 2.4 Consider a medium-sized company that has decided to begin using project management in a wide variety of its operations. As part of its operational shift, it is going to adopt a project management office somewhere within the organization. Make an argument for the type of PMO it should adopt (weather station, control tower, or resource pool). What are some key decision criteria that will help it determine which model makes the most sense?
4. 2.5 What are some of the key organizational elements that can affect the development and maintenance of a supportive organizational culture? As a consultant, what advice would you give to a functional organization that was seeking to move from an old, adversarial culture, where the various departments actively resisted helping one another, to one that encourages “project thinking” and cross-functional cooperation?