Copyright to Pat Weaver © 2014
Published here January 2015.

Editor's Note | A Brief Synopsis of the Building 
The Great Exhibition | Governing and Controlling the Construction
Risk, Quality and Cost Control | Conclusion | Case Study Assignment

Case Study Assignment

While the foregoing description of the building of the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851 provides key dates and costs, there is scant project management detail available otherwise. Nevertheless, your challenge is to stretch your imagination, given what you have learned about project management generally, and through visualizing what the project manager of the day actually faced. From this perspective, develop and present the following key charts or tables:

  1. A work breakdown structure (WBS) for the major components of the building, e.g. site preparation; foundations; structural elements; cladding and roofing; electrical and mechanical work; paving and planting; and any other major element you may think of.
  2. Assign costs to the WBS elements you have identified to establish a budget breakdown or cost plan, again given the information in the Crystal Palace description. Show the results distinguishing between labor, materials and overhead.
  3. For the work identified, prepare a schedule that conforms to the dates in the Crystal Palace description.
  4. For each of these three documents, write a short description of how and why you arrived at the contents of your presentations.
  5. Suggest about half a dozen of the most serious risks that the project's project manager most likely faced in those days, and from the Crystal Palace description, explain how they were mitigated.


To do this assignment well, it will be necessary to spend some time searching the Internet and any other sources available for information on this and other similar projects. For purposes of competitive evaluation and discussion, the challenge is to present the most credible set of planning documents.

Conclusion  Conclusion

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