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
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 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 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 works 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
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
4. How could Nicolette and her task force use the WBS to generate cost estimates
for the tournament? Why would this be useful information?