Project Management Report
due in two weeks

We are interested in the thoughts of people regarding issues of entertainment and recreation in Clarksville.  More specifically, our interest is in how far (radius) we can draw people and what venues would attract people.

One possible way to explore this issue is to conduct focus group interviews with people who are in our initial target.  There is a practical limit as to how far (radius) we can go to interview people, but within some distance, we can at least interview people regarding the kinds of events that they might like to attend.

In proposing an initial exploratory focus group study, let's assume initial fees of $400 per day for IDI/focus group facility rental (a room on our campus to include the cost of a security person) and $15 per qualified respondent for recruiting fees.  We could perhaps offer services involving a Ph.D. professor at billable rates of $500 per day or $100 per hour, trained student interns at billable rates of $20 to $30 per hour, and general university staff support at billable rates of $25 per hour.  Note that even when providing not-for-profit, grant-subsidized services through the university, we would still want to build in a twenty percent margin to cover unexpected events and overhead to ensure that a project does not go below break-even.

If a client was willing to pay a reasonable fee for the conduct of a focus group study, what would we promise with regard to deliverables, what would be the timeline that we would provide, and what would be a reasonable fee for our services?  Below is a proposal that could be sent to a client. 

  1. Complete the parts entitled "Costs and Deliverables" and "Project Timeline."  Submit your formal copy of the entire letter which includes your addition of these two sections.  An example of a proposal is here.

  2. Attach a copy of a Gantt table and Gantt chart that would be used internally to guide these activities and ensure that the project stays on time and on budget. 

  3. Attach a copy of your budget worksheet that would be used internally to estimate the billables in your proposal.  In working out the budget, we need to receive $100 per hour whenever a Ph.D. professor meets with a client or conducts research.  For work that is conducted behind closed doors by you as a student intern, we need to receive an hourly rate that equals your raw score on Quiz 1.  (E.g, if you earned 27 questions correct out of 30 on Quiz 1, then bill at a rate of $27 to cover our costs of employing you inclusive of wages [half of this fee], benefits, taxes, tuition reimbursements, and such.)  An honorarium of $25 would probably provide enough incentive to attract participants.  On your internal budget worksheet, be sure that you CLEARLY indicate your assumptions regarding what work would be conducted by a Ph.D. professor and what work would be conducted by a student intern.

Although you are only submitting two sections of the proposal, note that your proposed timeline and budget is for the entire project from start to finish.  Note that this is an individual assignment.



Dear Mr. Sville,

As a followup to our telephone conversation, here is a proposal to help find answers to the kinds of questions that you had.  Our understanding is that your interest is with regard to what venues held in Clarksville would attract people and how far (radius) we can draw.

Objectives

The proposed study would be an initial exploration into peoples' entertainment interests, how far they would be willing to travel for entertainment, and how much they would be wiling to spend.

Methodology

Our proposal is to randomly call people who live in the geographic region of Clarksville and surrounding areas.  We would like a sample of at least 48 Clarksville-area residents and 30 from surrounding areas such as Bagwell, Detroit, Avery, etc.  This would require six focus group sessions of eight people.  To help ensure this number of shows for each session, we would over-recruit for nine participants; our total number of participants could therefore be as high as 54. 

Focus Group Topic Areas

Recommended discussion flow is as follows:

  1. Question regarding participants' background.  Probes regarding where grew up, education level, economic status, employment status. 

  2. Questions regarding social status and social activity.  Probes regarding number of friends, kinds of friends.  Probes regarding social networking through formal gatherings such as church, school, clubs, etc.  Probes regarding social networking through informal gatherings (bars, etc.) Probes regarding online social networking. 

  3. Questions regarding current entertainment and recreational activities.  Probes regarding what, when, where, how often.  Probes regarding with whom.  Probes regarding how much spent.  Probes regarding why people enjoy these activities. 

  4. Questions regarding entertainment and recreational activities desired but not readily available.  Probes regarding what, how often.  Probes regarding how much willing to spend.  Probes regarding willingness to travel, how far. 

Costs and Deliverables

We will provide you with a topline report summarizing the results of and conclusions from these sessions.  We will also provide you with a presentation of results and conclusions on our campus during our last class meeting.

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Project Timeline

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Mr. Sville, please let me know if you need any additional information.  If you believe that anything in our proposal should be changed, let me know as soon as possible.  Thanks for this opportunity to work with you.

Sincerely,

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