At the Hard rock Café, like many organisations, project management is a key planning tool. With Hard Rock’s constant growth in hotels and cafes, remodelling of existing cafes, scheduling for Hard Rock Live concert and event venues, and planning the annual Rockfest, managers reply 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 the Microsoft project charts monthly. Then at the 6month 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, 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 table below identifies 26 of the major activities and sub-activities, their immediate predecessors, and time estimates. Tomasso enters all these into the Microsoft Project software. Tomasso alters the Microsoft 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.

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 jam is a surprise, but an ‘anticipated’ surprise. We had a helicopter on stand-by ready to fly to 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.

Some of the Major Activities and Sub-activities in the Rockfest plan


A Finalise      sit       and

building contracts

B Select local promoter A 3
C Hire           production


A 3
D Design    promotional

Web site

B 5
E Set TV deal D 6
F Hire director E 4
G Plan for TV camera


F 2
H Target           headline


B 4
I Target            support


H 4
J Travel accommodations  for


I 10
K Set venue capacity C 2
L Ticketmaster contract D, K 3
M On-site ticketing L 8
N Sound and staging C 6
O Passes    and     stage


G. R 7
P Travel accommodations  for


B 20
Q Hire                sponsor


B 4
R Finalise sponsors Q 4
S Define/place  signage

for sponsors

R, X 3
T Hire           operations


A 4
U Develop site plan T 6
V Hire security director T 7
W Set police/fire security


V 4
X Power, plumbing, AC,

toilet services

U 8
Y Secure   merchandise


B 6
Z Online    merchandise


Y 6

Question 1

(a) Develop a network diagram for the project. What is the critical path and how long is the project expected to take? (6 marks)

(b) Which activities have a slack time of 8 weeks or more? (2 marks)

(c) Discuss five challenges a project manager faces in events such as this one. (12 marks)

(d) 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. (5 marks)

Question 2

  1. The table below shows a set of job for a car engine overhauling workshop. Currently, five engines with varying problems are awaiting service. The best estimates for the labour times involved and the promise dates are shown in the following
Engine Processing Time

Including Setup (Days)

Due Date (Days From


A 5 8
B 4 15
C 10 12
D 1 20
E 3 10
  1. Develop two separate schedules by using the SPT and EDD (6 marks)
  2. Compare the two schedules on the basis of average flow time, and average job (4 marks)
  3. Discuss the ways in which JIT approach to inventory is different from the traditional approach to inventory management. Do you believe that JIT simply passes the burden of holding stock on to the supplier? (15 marks)

Question 3

  1. The following data shows sales forecast of Axis Dealer for
Month Demand
1 650
2 700
3 810
4 800
5 900
6 700
  1. What are the 3-months moving average forecasts for months 4, 5, 6 & 7? (2 marks)
  2. What are the 3-month Wt. Moving Average (weights: 0.2, 0.3, 0.5) for months 4, 5, 6 & 7? (2 marks)
  3. Calculate an exponential smoothing forecast for the given data with an alpha of 0.1 for months 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7. Assume a forecast of 650 for month (6 marks)
  4. What is Six Sigma? Describe the literal implications of six sigma quality. How does it relate to process capability. (15 marks)

Question 4

(a) Discuss the ways in which JIT approach to inventory is different from the traditional approach to inventory management. Do you believe that JIT simply passes the burden of holding stock on to the supplier?
(15 marks)

(b) ABC Company Limited is a popular manufacturer of different kinds of lifting tools. These lifting tools are made of polypropylene fibre. The company installed a plant for backward integration of its raw material polypropylene fibre at the rate of 5,000 metres per hour. The usage rate of these fibre for the production of lifting tool is 20,000 metres per day considering 8 hours working per day. The cost of fibre is £5 per metre. The inventory carrying cost is 25% and the set up cos t are £4,050 per set up. (Hint: Use 365 days as number of days for a year).

(i) Compute optimal number of cycle required in a year for manufacture of this special fibre. (4 marks)

(ii) What factors might cause a company to order an amount larger or smaller than Economic Order Quantity? (6 marks)

Answers to Above questions on Operations Management

Answer 1

network diagram


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