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At the Hard Rock Cafe, like many organizations, project management is a key planning tool. With Hard Rock’s constant growth in hotels and cafes, remodeling of existing cafes, scheduling for Hard Rock Live concert and event venues, and planning the annual Rockfest, managers rely on project management techniques and software to maintain schedule and budget performance.
“Without Microsoft Project,” says Hard Rock Vice-President Chris Tomasso, “there is no way to keep so many people on the same page.” Tomasso is in charge of the Rockfest event, which is attended by well over 100,000 enthusiastic fans. The challenge is pulling it off within a tight 9-month planning horizon. As the event approaches, Tomasso devotes greater energy to its activities. For the first 3 months, Tomasso updates his MS Project charts monthly. Then at the 6-month mark, he updates his progress weekly. At the 9- month mark, he checks and corrects his schedule twice a week.
Early in the project management process, Tomasso identifies 10 major tasks (called level 2 activities in a work breakdown structure, or WBS):talent booking, ticketing, marketing/PR, online promotion, television, show production, travel, sponsorships, operations, and merchandising. Using a WBS, each of these is further divided into a series of subtasks. The following table identifies 26 of the major activities and subactivities, their immediate predecessors, and time estimates. Tomasso enters all of these into the MS Project software. Tomasso alters the MS Project document and the time line as the project progresses. “It’s okay to change it as long as you keep on track,” he states.
Activity Description Predecessor Normal Time (weeks) Normal Cost Crash Time (weeks) Crash Cost
A Finalize site and building contracts — 7 $7,500 4 $11,500
B Select local printer A 3 $500 2 $800
C Hire production manager A 3 $1,200 2 $1,700
D Design promotional Web site B 5 $6,000 3 $9,000
E Set TV deal D 6 $4,000 4 $6,500
F Hire director E 4 $1,200 3 $1,700
G Plan for TV camera placement F 2 $500 2 $500
H Target headline entertainers B 4 $2,000 3 $3,500
I Target support entertainers H 4 $2,000 3 $3,500
J Travel accommodations for talent I 10 $9,000 7 $16,000
K Set venue capacity C 2 $300 1 $400
L Ticketmaster contract D 3 $1,400 2 $1,900
M On-site ticketing L 8 $7,000 6 $11,000
N Sound and staging C 6 $9,000 5 $12,000
O Passes and stage credentials G 7 $4,000 5 $5,800
P Travel accommodations for staff B 20 $15,000 15 $23,000
Q Hire sponsor coordinator B 4 $600 3 $800
R Finalize sponsors Q 4 $1,000 3 $1,400
S Define/place signage for sponsors R 3 $3,000 2 $4,200
T Hire operations manager A 4 $1,200 2 $1,800
U Develop site plan T 6 $6,000 5 $8,500
V Hire security director T 7 $1,500 5 $3,000
W Set police/fire security plan V 4 $1,000 3 $1,600
X Power, plumbing, AC, toilet services U 8 $4,000 6 $7,000
Y Secure merchandise deals B 6 $6,000 3 $7,500
Z Online merchandise sales Y 6 $5,000 4 $7,500
The day of the rock concert itself is not the end of the project planning. “It’s nothing but surprises. A band not being able to get to the venue because of traffic jams is a surprise, but an ‘anticipated’ surprise. We had a helicopter on stand-by ready to fly the band in,” says Tomasso.
On completion of Rockfest in July, Tomasso and his team have a 3-month reprieve before starting the project planning process again.
Source: Professor Barry Render, Jay Heizer and Beverly Amer.
Please turn in a paper of one to two pages (page counting does not include cover and reference list) discussing the following questions:
1. Identify the critical path and its activities for Rockfest. How long does the project take (what is the duration time)?
2. which activities have a slack time of 8 weeks or more ?
3. Identify some major challenges a project manager faces in events such as this one.
4. why is a work breakdown structure useful in a project such as this ? take the 26 activities and break them into what you think should be level-2, level-3 and level-4 tasks.
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