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The Work Breakdown Structure as an Organizing Tool: The Case of a Charity Event (Case Study Sample)


Brandon has been chosen to chair the 5K charity run for his fraternity, and you are presented with the details of this project. In a 3-page report, you should address the following:
How would developing a WBS help to alleviate Brandon’s problems during the initial meeting? How can the WBS be used to organize and plan the project?
Describe the process for creating the WBS.
Create a list of the major deliverables for this project, and use them to develop a draft WBS with at least 3 levels of detail.
Are there any interdependencies that need to be considered and, if so, which ones?
Assign cost and activity durations to the work packages (these may be made up).
Use either a top-down or a bottom-up approach to determine the overall cost of the project and discuss the approach used.


The Work Breakdown Structure as an Organizing Tool: The Case of a Charity Event
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The Work Breakdown Structure as an Organizing Tool: The Case of a Charity Event
Alleviating obstacles
The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) can serve several roles when applied in a case like organizing a 5K charity event. First, the WBS qualifies as an efficient thought-process tool—the WBS is a thought process in itself and, as such, it is a suitable tool for design and planning (Wysocki, 2011). As a thought-process tool, it will help Brandon and his planning team to accurately visualize how to effectively manage and define the project work. The WBS offers different ways of decomposing the work into suitable alternatives that produce the highest utility. Secondly, the WBS provides a detailed representation of project work as an assortment of activities requiring fulfilment before the project can be complete (Wysocki, 2011). At the lowest activity level of a WBS, the project manager can estimate the level of effort needed, the amount of time that elapses, and other resource requirements. As a planning tool, the WBS allows the project manager to build a schedule for work completion and make estimations of milestone delivery dates and the project completion deadline.
Creating the WBS
Creating a WBS follows five steps. First, project statement definition allows the project team to have a sense of the broadness and handling requirements for the project. Second, highlighting the various project phases offers a purview of how finely the project tasks can be fragmented and which stages in the project lifecycle demand the most resources and attention. Third, collecting requirements helps the project manager single out the most important project characteristics—in the case of the charity event, requirements such as advertising the race, sponsorship, obtaining race permits, setting the race time, and sourcing supplies such as aid stations, race shirts, beverages, and awards. The fourth step, therefore, involves creating a list of deliverables which allow the project manager to measure success. Finally, defining the project scope will help the project manager stay on track with deadliest and to avoid common issues such as changing requirements and swiveling project progress.
List of deliverables
The deliverables that Brandon should consider for the 5K charity event include event planning, identifying a venue, sourcing guests and sponsors, soliciting volunteers, formal compliance and licensing, materials sourcing, and event advertising as illustrated in figure 1.
Figure 1. A WBS and associated Gantt chart for the 5K charity event.
In the proposed WBS, some of the apparent interdependencies include the fact that achieving the fundraising goal will be dependent upon the number of guests and sponsors obtained for the event and how lucrative the fundraising activities will be. Further, the project budget will also be highly dependent on guest turn-up while the number of guests that arrive for the fundraiser will be dependent on the outreach of event advertising both online and around campus.
Cost assignment
center486918000The final cost assignment for a project is reported to the project sponsor, with the manager including forecasts which show the project times and the likely cost effects, including potential financial escalators such as inflation, associated project risks, and unexpected costs associated with scope creep or underestimation. In general, any project can follow either the bottom-up or top-down approach for cost estimation. For the 5K event in question, and considering Brandon’s inexperience with project planning, the best approach will be the bottom-up technique. The bottom-up approach refers to the estimation of project cost by breaking down the project into its smaller elements. These individual project work packages also pave way for the assessment of end-item components to help with cost estimation (Nicholas & Steyn, 2008). The project team will estimate the cost of each work package and will then aggregate these individual costs to come up with a grand total for the project (see figure 2). The bottom-up approach offers the advantage of being a more accurate estimation of project cost; however, it demands that the project team thoroughly defines the value and cost of each work package down to the penny.
Figure 2. A WBS and associated Gantt chart for the 5K charity event with costs included
For the case project, the bottom-up approach assigns costs to the various project activities as follows. Budget creation will involve the concerted effort of the project manager, the event organizer, and the personnel in charge of m

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