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Manchester United Soccer Club

Nicolette Larson was loading the dishwasher with her husband, Kevin, and telling him about the first meeting of the Manchester United Tournament Organizing Committee.

Nicolette, a self-confessed “soccer mom,” had been elected tournament director and

was responsible for organizing the club’s first summer tournament.

Manchester United Soccer Club (MUSC), located in Manchester, New Hampshire,

was formed in 1992 as a way of bringing recreational players to a higher level of competition

and preparing them for the State Olympic Development Program and/or high

school teams. The club currently has 24 boys and girls (ranging in age from under 9 to

16) on teams affiliated with the New Hampshire Soccer Association and the Granite

State Girls Soccer League. The club’s board of directors decided in the fall to sponsor

a summer invitational soccer tournament to generate revenue. Given the boom in youth

soccer, hosting summer tournaments has become a popular method for raising funds.

MUSC teams regularly compete in three to four tournaments each summer at different

locales in New England. These tournaments have been reported to generate between

$50,000 and $70,000 for the host club.

MUSC needs additional revenue to refurbish and expand the number of soccer

fields at the Rock Rimmon soccer complex. Funds would also be used to augment the

club’s scholarship program, which provides financial aid to players who cannot afford

the $450 annual club dues.

Nicolette gave her husband a blow-by-blow account of what transpired during the first

tournament committee meeting that night. She started the meeting by having everyone

introduce themselves and by proclaiming how excited she was that the club was going to

sponsor its own tournament. She then suggested that the committee brainstorm what

needed to be done to pull off the event; she would record their ideas on a flipchart.

What emerged was a free-for-all of ideas and suggestions. One member immediately

stressed the importance of having qualified referees and spent several minutes

describing in detail how his son’s team was robbed in a poorly officiated championship

game. This was followed by other stories of injustice on the soccer field. Another

member suggested that they needed to quickly contact the local colleges to see if they

could use their fields. The committee spent more than 30 minutes talking about how

they should screen teams and how much they should charge as an entry fee. An argument

broke out over whether they should reward the winning teams in each age bracket

with medals or trophies. Many members felt that medals were too cheap, while others

thought the trophies would be too expensive. Someone suggested that they seek local

Chapter 4 Defining the Project 125

126 Chapter 4 Defining the Project

corporate sponsors to help fund the tournament. The proposed sale of tournament

T-shirts and sweatshirts was followed by a general critique of the different shirts parents

had acquired at different tournaments. One member advocated that they recruit an

artist he knew to develop a unique silk-screen design for the tournament. The meeting

adjourned 30 minutes late with only half of the members remaining until the end.

Nicolette drove home with seven sheets of ideas and a headache.

As Kevin poured a glass of water for the two aspirin Nicolette was about to take, he

tried to comfort her by saying that organizing this tournament would be a big project

not unlike the projects he worked on at his engineering and design firm. He offered to

sit down with her the next night and help her plan the project. He suggested that the

first thing they needed to do was to develop a WBS for the project.

1. Make a list of the major deliverables for the project and use them to develop a draft

of the work breakdown structure for the tournament that contains at least three levels

of detail. What are the major deliverables associated with hosting an event such

as a soccer tournament?

2. How would developing a WBS alleviate some of the problems that occurred during

the first meeting and help Nicolette organize and plan the project?

3. Where can Nicolette find additional information to help her develop a WBS for the


4. How could Nicolette and her task force use the WBS to generate cost estimates for

the tournament? Why would this be useful information?

Instructions and Some Useful Information for Case Study Analysis

Read the Case Study associated with the specific unit carefully, then proceed as follows:

  1. Prepare a response that is 750 words (+/- 75 words, excluding title page and reference page), double-spaced and follows APA format and referencing style.
  2. While there is no “formula” for analyzing case studies, the following guidelines are recommended:
    1. Define the goals and objectives for your analysis. What questions are you trying to answer and what issues are you trying to resolve?
    1. Rapidly skim through the case study and get a sense for how the case study has been structured
    1. Read through the case study with paper and pencil and make notes as you go along
  3. Structure the information in the case study: this is the key step.
    1. Whilst addressing the case questions, think of the information given in the case study as “raw data” that you have gathered to help you answer the questions and resolve the issues in Step 2a above.
    1. You need to structure this information to resolve the issues. Here are some useful dimensions along which you can structure the given information chronologically:
      1. evolution of the industry in which the enterprise operates (e.g., changes in technology, customer needs, competitive landscape)
      1. evolution of strategy – business, technology, and market – of the enterprise
      1. evolution of technology (including manufacturing), product platforms, and product lines of the enterprise
      1. the technology, product, and process development process within the enterprise
      1. growth (or decline) of the enterprise with respect to of market share, revenues, costs, profits, etc.
      1. organizational structure of the enterprise
      1. key decisions made at different stages in the life of enterprise, and the drivers for these decisions
      1. the interconnections and relationships between all the above factors
    1. Make extensive use of figures, tables, trees, etc. to shape your thinking during the structuring process.
    1. Perform any necessary analysis, for example, revenues or costs associated with different design options
  4. Draw conclusions, answer questions, resolve issues, and make recommendations using the structured information in Step 3.

Cases Used

All cases are from:

Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2017). Project management: The managerial process (7th ed.). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Case Study 3: Manchester United Soccer Club (page 125).

Analyze and answer the four questions at the end of the study question.


Each Case Study will be marked in its entirety out of 100. The following rubric indicates the criteria students are to adhere to, and their relative weights to the assignment overall.

  Activity/Competencies Demonstrated % of Final Grade
1. Critical Analysis and Research (70%)  
  a. Depth of background summary /30
  b. Appropriateness of research /20
  c. Connection made with project management component /20
2. Communication (20%)  
  a.  Uses language clearly and effectively /10
  b.  Information organized intelligently and holistically
 3. Attention to Detail (10%) /10
a. APA Referencing and formatting (title, headings & references) /5
b. Spelling and grammar /5
Total /100
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