Volunteer/Awareness Fair (Team Star)

Project Description

Team Star organized a Volunteer Fair for the employees of MB Financial. The event was held on July 11, 2017. It offered attendees information on different non-profit organizations and possible volunteer opportunities with participating organizations. In addition, it opened the possibility of increased awareness and involvement in the non-profit’s cause.

Charity Description – based on information from organization websites

    • American Red Cross: Red Cross volunteers provide disaster relief and emergency response services.
    • Northern Illinois Food Bank: NIFB wants to solve hunger in 13 counties in Northern Illinois by providing nutritious food and innovative feeding programs.
    • Special Leisure Services Foundation (SLSF), in tandem with Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA): Creating and providing greater options that enrich the life experiences for children and adults living with disabilities through recreation activities.
    • PAWS Chicago: PAWS is committed to building no kill shelter communities, reducing the overpopulation of homeless pets, and setting higher standards for animal treatment.
    • Tutoring Chicago: Tutoring Chicago provides free one-to-one tutoring and mentoring to economically disadvantaged children.
    • United Services Organization (USO): [Cancelled involvement 7/4/2017] Helping Military Service Members and their families keep connected throughout their military service.

Success Measures

As the goal of the event was to gain more awareness for multiple organizations, we found the best way to measure the success of the event would be to track how many organizations would participate, the number of attendees and the amount of people that signed up with each organization to volunteer. In addition, to understand whether the organizations and attendees felt that their involvement was useful, we used surveys to track how well the event was received.

Based on the short time frame and to give MB Employees a semblance of choice in organizations we limited our goal to 2 organizations. After contacting 8 organizations, we gained the interest of 6. Initially, we received confirmation from five organizations but one dropped out a week before the event. However, one of the organizations that was originally non-responsive agreed to do the event at short notice.

The main HQ of MB has a total of 1,045 employees stationed in the building. We used an estimate of approximately 10% (100 people; consideration given to absences and off-site business activities) attendance as our goal and base for other measures. At the end of the event we received 156 visitors.

Not knowing how to estimate a successful percentage of volunteer signups, we calculated this at 20% of the targeted attendees (i.e. 20 attendees). The total amount of sign ups was 60 (approx. 38.5% of attendees).

After receiving the feedback forms from the organizations, we hoped to find that the majority had found the event helped increase awareness and that they would attend a future volunteer event at MB. It was a unanimous success. The five participants stated that they believed the event increased awareness and they would all participate again. Some constructive feedback was to give more lead time and to increase promotion.

Feedback from attendees was received via an electronic survey sent via email to all of the attendees who entered the raffle, 128 individuals. Ongoing results are listed below (29 responses as of July 16, 2017):

We asked what interested the attendees about the event. The top three responses were:

  • Getting information regarding volunteer opportunities
  • Gaining information from multiple organizations
  • Learning about a specific charity that was participating

Attendees were further asked about whether they found a charity/organization that they wanted to learn more about. Of 29 individuals, 82.76% responded Yes.

In order to help learn and build from the experience, we wanted to give an open forum for input into how to better the experience and what attendees were looking for. The following information was found:

When asked what other type of charities/organizations/causes would you like to be included in future events? Some of the responses were as follows: women shelters/domestic violence services, cancer organizations, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and military and “support troops” organizations

In addition the following feedback was received:

  • Multiple responses about how nice the event was (e.g., lots of learning, well-organized, interesting organizations)
  • A few responses regarding disappointment around USO not being in attendance
  • Having MB volunteers with the organization leads host tables together

Overall, the responses were immensely positive and the feedback received was very constructive.

Lessons Learned

  1. Developing the WBS was essential to the process.
  2. Matching team members’ functions with skill sets helped bring about the success of the event.
  3. Regular meetings and touch points kept the team on track and the event moving.
  4. Creating contingencies to mitigate any potential risk saved problems from happening.
  5. Finding a means of communicating deliverables to the whole team in real time without the confusion of everyone using a separate method was very helpful. We utilized a Sharepoint site.

Advice to other teams

  1. Planning is critical, consider risks and develop contingencies.
  2. Be flexible and willing to adapt.
  3. Trust Your Teammate. They may surprise you.
  4. Take care of your Stakeholders.




Team 1 – Spend or Save?

Team 1 developed and launched a new financial literacy game for elementary age children primarily aged 6 to 9.  MB Financial Bank is often asked for volunteers to provide introductory financial literacy training; therefore, we decided to focus our efforts in this space. We scanned the bank’s current training materials and decided the perfect supplement would be a board game and curriculum for young children.  Our curriculum and game sought to help children decipher between needs and wants as well as maintain the very basics of personal finance (sources of money and the importance of saving money).

Our hope was to not only have a direct impact on kids, through playing the game and teaching them ourselves, but to also leave a legacy behind for continuous impact.  To do this, we left our board game and curriculum with teachers.  We thought that a board game would be the perfect way to not only engage children and accomplish our first goal, but also an easy way to document teachings for future use and accomplish our second goal.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”               – Maimonides

By the end of the course, we were able to meet or exceed all of our project goals.

  1. We played the game and taught 24 kids, above our goal of getting the game in front of 20 kids.
  2. We held at least two events for kids from different groups, meeting our goal.
    • Event 1 – Music House (local nonprofit organization): Our team was able to teach to Music House’s summer camp students at the Humboldt Park location.  The camp students were between the ages of 6 to 12.
    • Event 2 – At our second event, our team was able to teach kids from the Yorkfield Presbyterian Church in Elmhurst. The members were between the ages of 5 to 12.
  3. We provided the game and curriculum to two teachers, in line with our original goal.
  4. We provided the game and curriculum to MB Financial for further development.

Above all else, we learned that the planning portion in project management is very important.  Our team was so worried about the short timeframe we had to complete the project that we started purchasing materials for the game right away.  We could have benefited from doing some basic project planning before starting by at least setting a budget and estimating what we might need first.  As a result, we ended up with a lot of unused materials in the trash – though not the worst mistake, given that it only cost us $30!  Additionally, we learned that worrying about scope creep too much can actually have an adverse impact than what it is infamous for.  For the board game, we limited ourselves a bit too much in setting our scope too tight.  We tried to define the target market for the board game too definitively and ended with a larger age range/target market based on the versatility of the game.  Though we are happy with the number of children we were able to get our game in front of, limiting ourselves to a tight age group likely forced us to miss out on getting this game in front of even more!

Advice for future teams doing similar projects would be to set a detailed schedule with deliverables from the start!  Having a plan makes everything run smoother and helps meet deadlines.  It also eliminates any confusion.  A more specific piece of advice if you have a final product you are leaving behind, make sure you have the chance to get it in front of as many people as possible.  Professor Cook was nice enough to let us use 15 minutes of the class to test out the game on our classmates and receive feedback.  Without this feedback we would have missed out on some critical changes to the game (i.e. setting the tiebreaker….  how did we not think of that!).  Also, use Trello!  It is an awesome workflow management app where you can assign tasks to team members and make due dates. With an intricate project like a board game, it would have been next to impossible to coordinate/keep track of everything and make sure things were done leading up one of the eight dry-run games we held before our two events.

Last but not least, make it fun. We had a blast!

Chicago’s Common Pantry Food+ Drive [Team: $]

Project Description:

Our team hosted a food and personal care item drive from 6/28/17 – 7/7/2017 at selected MB Financial Bank branches to support Chicago’s Common Pantry.  Based on a list provided by Common Pantry, the food drive focused on collecting non-perishable food items such as canned foods, easy prep meals, and condiments along with personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant.

Once the food drive concluded, Common Pantry will use the contributions to serve individuals and families from the community they serve in need of food and personal care items.

Common Pantry

Common Pantry, was founded in 1967 to combat hunger and food insecurity in specific northern neighborhoods of Chicago. Common Pantry is dedicated to eliminating hunger and food insecurity in our community by providing access to food and by addressing the root causes of poverty. We rely entirely on the generosity of private donors.  Click on the title of this section for more info on Common Pantry.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Our main objective was to collect as much food and personal items from the “needs list” of our charity, Chicago’s Common Pantry.
  • We had to determine the logistics and scope of our project to be completed in a feasible time frame given that we had a little less than 5 weeks to complete it from conception to the end.
  • Bring awareness to a great not-for-profit organization that helps the community in which it resides in, the north side of Chicago.


We had 14 points of collection and had a solid turnout at most of those locations resulting in the accumulation of 8 full-sized (large) boxes with an estimated value of $250.00 per box totaling around $2,000.00 in goods for Common Pantry to distribute to families in need.  A rough estimate of almost 1,000 items ranging from toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, to pasta, peanut butter, and lots more food and personal care items were collected in the week and a half drive.

Lessons Learned & Advice for Future Teams Doing Similar Projects:

  • Don’t underestimate small potential problems that could affect the outcome of the project. i.e.: In our case, 14 huge boxes are hard to distribute from a small vehicle (even when the boxes are not yet fully assembled!)
  • Large collection boxes get real heavy, real fast!  They also need to travel to their final destination once they are filled-up.
  • Try and arrange a pick-up ahead of time from the charity that you are working with.
  • Always remember that this is all for a great cause!
  • COMMUNICATION IS KEY!!!  Not only between your teammates, but also your stakeholders and extended help.
  • Thank everyone that helped out, whenever possible. 

Event Flyer & Pictures:








Team 6 – PAWS Chicago

Project Description:

Our group chose to raise money and hold a fundraising event for PAWS Chicago, which is a no-kill animal shelter in Chicago, Illinois.  To begin our project, the team developed a comprehensive implementation plan.  The two main activities at the onset of the project were to (1) contact PAWS Chicago to get approval on the event and any support materials, and (2) identify and select a location to host the event.  Our initial inquiries to PAWS Chicago received limited response and it took over a week to complete the necessary application and approval process.  The selected event location was DIAG Bar and Grill, which is pet friendly bar that offered unlimited beer, wine, and appetizers for $40 over three hours.  We scheduled our event for Saturday, May 20th and began to prepare by getting flyers and a donation box from PAWS, setting up an online donation portal, designing an event flyer, sending out invites, and securing raffle prizes.  On the day of the event, the team showed up about an hour early to setup.  DIAG Bar and Grill had reserved about a quarter of the bar for us and we were able to position a donation table at the front of our section.  As guests arrived, we would talk to them about PAWS, sell raffle tickets, and help them secure a wristband from the bar.  The event went smoothly with $330 raised and about 30 attendees.  Additionally, online donations brought in $1,440, netting a total of $1,770 in donations for PAWS.

Charity Description:

PAWS Chicago is a national model in animal sheltering, committed to bringing an end to the killing of homeless cats and dogs.

  • Mission:
    • To build No Kill communities – starting with a No Kill Chicago – that respect and value the life of every cat and dog.
    • To end the overpopulation of homeless animals through solutions, practices and education.
    • To transform animal welfare by setting higher standards in the way animals are treated and developing a sustainable, solutions-based model.
  • Highly rated on Charity Navigator:
    • 3% of expenses spent on the program
    • 100/100 Financial and Accountability/Transparency score.

Success Measures:

  • Objective: Raise at least $500 for PAWS Chicago
    • Exceeded:  We raised $1,770 for PAWS Chicago, outperforming our target by $1,270 (+254%)
  • Host at least 40 attendees at the fundraising event
    • Did Not Meet:  We had 30 attendees due to a late cancellation, missing our target by 10 (-25%)
  • Have an Awareness table at the event with signage and pass out at least 25 flyers
    • Exceeded:  We setup an awareness table with a donation box and passed out well over 50 flyers throughout the fundraiser attendees and bar patrons


Lessons Learned:

  • We should have started earlier:
    • We changed the charity to support (originally GFDC) because another team had selected them, which delayed our project start about a week.
    • Diag Bar and Grill did not get back to us right away with dates for the event, which limited the potential weekends to host the fundraiser.
    • Scheduling conflicts within the team also reduced the possible days for the event.
    • Other groups also held their event on May 20th, but due to the limitations listed above, this was the best date for our event.
  • Do not rely on weather:
    • Diag Bar and Grill had a nice outdoor patio, but it went unused most of the night because it was cloudy and rainy.
    • The poor weather conditions also could have resulted in invitees not attending when they would have otherwise.
  • Plan for attendee cancellations:
    • A birthday party of 12 people had committed to attending, however, a friend’s flight was delayed into the start time of our event, so the party decided to make dinner reservations instead.

Advice for Future Teams:

  • Communication is crucial:
    • Rapid responses between members is critical.
    • Do not take to long to respond to each other – it’s easy to just look at a message and say “I’ll respond later.”
  • Utilize technology:
    • Slack app (highly recommended for group based work) worked well for group communication.
    • Google Drive worked well for sharing documents and collaborating.
    • The PAWS Chicago donation link really helped drive online donations.
  • Brainstorm and form a Work Breakdown Structure:
    • Having a checklist ensures activities get done on time and in an orderly manner.
  • Start early:
    • Diag Bar and Grill and PAWS were not quick to reply to our inquiries.
    • Calling instead of emailing helped to decrease lead times.

Event Photos:

Event Flyer and Invite:

Online Donations:

Trivia Night for Association House of Chicago


The charity selected for our team project was the Association House of Chicago, a nonprofit organization serving the communities of Chicago since 1899. Their services include:

  • Employment training and placement
  • Foster care support
  • Mental health programs
  • High School guidance services

The event we chose was to host was a Trivia Night with the following components that we focused on: Venue, Accommodations, and Entertainment

  • Venue: The venue selected will be the Revolution Brewery. This location is a popular location for with a great atmosphere and popular among residents of the city of Chicago. An added bonus is that the venue already has a standing relationship with our selected charity, which aided in planning and execution of this project.
  • Accommodations: Our event offered all you can eat and drink for a standard ticket price. This helped loosen up the atmosphere and ensured a good time!
  • Entertainment: Alongside a great atmosphere and drinks, this we offered attendees multiple avenues for entertainment aimed at aiding in raising funds. Those avenues included a Trivia Game with prizes for winners, Silent Auction, and a 50/50 Raffle

Primary purpose of the event was to raise awareness and funds for the charity.


Our project raised a lot of awareness for the charity. We had the charity’s staff at the even mingling with attendees and sharing some of their work for the residents of Chicago. We also played a brief video highlighting the charity’s work.

We also raised a substantial amount of funds, approximately $4,500; only $100 shy of the goal we set out for. We also had close to 50 people attending the event, making it a great success.


Some of the lessons we learned in the project are the following:

  • Plan for contingencies and focus on teamwork: Things happen, emergencies professional and personal. It’s important for the team to have sense of camaraderie. This helps in ensuring that things don’t fall through the cracks and that we are all vested in each other’s success!
  • Be nimble in your plans: We planned for around 75 people to attend, however we only sold 50 tickets. It was important for us to remain nimble in our plans, had we stuck to our original work plan, we would have fell much more short of our goals for funds to be raised. But by remaining flexible and being able to adjust project plans, we were able to still hit our targets with a smaller than expected turnout.


Vincentian Hunger Fighters – Team 8


Project description

Our team chose The Greater Chicago Food Depository as the organization for the project. Our objectives consisted of spreading awareness and raising funds for this organization. Our team members also had personal interests in this assignment. The desired outcome was to gain project management experience along with enjoying the time working on the project.

The reason why we chose the GCFD was based on our personal values and available resources. We wanted to collaborate with a local organization that has a proven evidence of spreading positive impact on the community. An organization that is known for their act of kindness rather than just another big brand name.  The GCFD was a perfect fit to this description.

We worked on the assumption that the first and the best step to help the organization is to find their needs. Then we matched those needs with our available resources and identified the following events as the most suitable in contributing towards our goals:

• Volunteering at the GCFD facility
• Running a traditional food drive
• Running a virtual food drive.

These events became the core elements of our project.


Brief description of the charity

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank. Their mission is to feed the poor and to end hunger in the community.

The GCFD partners with 700 agencies and programs including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and responses for children, older adults and veterans to collectively achieve their goal. Since 1979, the Food Depository has made a daily impact on hunger across Cook County. Last year, the organization distributed 70 million pounds of food, 35% of which was fresh produce. Every day GCFD distributes the equivalent of 160,000 meals. The GCFD has been recognized as one of the leading charities in Chicago.


Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives


  • Goal of 130 likes on our Facebook Page
  • Goal of 40 donors contributing on our Virtual Food Drive
  • Goal of completing 30 Hours of volunteer work at the GCFD facility (equals 10 volunteers)
  • Goal of collecting 150 lbs. of Food


  • 85 likes on our Facebook Page, 661 people reached
  • 4 donors donated $130 via Virtual Food Drive
  • 24,75 hours of volunteer work (equals 9 volunteers)
  • 181 lbs. of Food obtained via actual food drives


Lessons learned

  • We have learnt that identifying risk possibilities and managing risks are two different things.
    Identifying risk is the first and the basic step in risk analysis.
    On the other hand, managing risk is a much more difficult and complex act. Having backup plans is a key element in any project.
  • We have learnt that maintaining a healthy balance between planning and execution is very important.


Advice for future teams doing similar projects

  • Do not go easy on the marketing part. Focus more on advertising and promoting your events. It is easy to set up marketing campaigns, but difficult to attract and motivate people to participate.
    So be strong in marketing and promoting your event.
  • Communication is the key. Have a regular face to face group meetings to communicate all aspects of project.
  • Have contingency plans for your events. This includes back-up plans for places as well. Do not rely on just one event. We had a good experience with dividing our project into the variety of events.
  • Don’t forget to have fun whether it’s just a group meeting or the actual event.


Snaps from the events


























SKY HIGH NIGHT for Bridge Communities

The purpose of our project is to plan, host, and execute an event to support Bridge Communities Inc. to assist with propelling their cause. Our group had set up a trampoline night at SKY HIGH SPORTS in naperville to raise awareness for the Bridge Communities. This event would attract trampoline enthusiasts and also family and friends in residing in DuPage County for fun trampoline night. SKY HIGH has a program “bouncing for Bucks”, which donates half of the ticket prices to non profit organization of our choice.  So we held a successful trampoline night for family and friends on may

30th 5-9pm at naperville location of SKY HIGH SPORTS to raise awareness and donations for the organization.

The charity that our group has chosen for our project is a local charity that assists DuPage County, Illinois residents with giving them free temporary housing to 131 DuPage County families each year. The name of this charity is Community Bridges Inc.

The critical services Bridge Communities provides to the homeless are housing, mentoring,unemployment and other supportive assistance. This includes giving the homeless a place to stay, learn to save and budget financials, obtain employment, and guide them to live self-sufficiently in the future. The first two years that each family spends in this program, they learn to save money, learn budgeting skills, and more.

The area which they target is DuPage county which is west of Chicago. Because of this, we wanted to host an event within the area in order to reach the community which is directly affected by Bridge Communities.

The reason we chose this charity was,

  • Chicago magazine ranked Bridge among the 20 Best Charities in Chicago in 2015, for connecting more than 130 families to homes and hope each year
  • Bridge partners with dozens of local churches, community groups, and businesses to provide a comprehensive program for homeless families in DuPage County. These partnership result in awareness, donations and volunteering for the events at Bridge communities.

We started the project with the intention of creating a dodgeball tournament to drive ticket sales and fundraise for Bridge Communities. This included providing Bridge Communities a proposal which states what our event is, what are the tasks involved, who is completing the tasks, and when we are expecting these tasks to be completed.

During this process, we also had to consider where our event would take place, when the event occurs, how much time the dodgeball tournament will last, the budget of our group, the materials and equipment needed for the event, how to track team registration and revenue, and finally how to attract people to this event.

We decided to host the dodgeball tournament on May 27th, 1:00PM – 5:00PM but now we needed a location. After conducting cold calls to numerous school’s and recreational centers within the DuPage area, we had to look elsewhere because the prices and availability of the facilities were unsuitable for our capabilities. This made it easier for us because the Ray Meyer Fitness Facility in Chicago was able to accommodate our requests. In addition, the Ray Meyer Fitness Facility could provide us with dodgeball equipment such as the dodgeballs, whistles, ect.

Once we acquired the facility, we had to start marketing the event with 3 weeks left. We made a Eventbrite page so teams are able to pre-register and we could forecast whether to shorten or extend the time of the event. Because the Ray Meyer Fitness Facility was a DePaul building, it accommodates DePaul students for a rental discount. We focused our marketing efforts to attract DePaul students which included posting 52 flyers in the student dorms and pushing 78 emails to undergraduate and graduate student organizations. In addition, we posted on DePaul related groups on Facebook to drive awareness.

Unfortunately, a few days before the event, only a couple teams pre-registered. We decided to cancel the event and proceed with our contingency plan which was to partner with an indoor trampoline park called Sky High Sports.

We contacted the Regional Manager of Sky High Sports about 3-4 weeks before our planned event date of May 30th. Usually, their organization only accepted events if requests are made prior to a month before, but because we communicated our strategy to attract customers, he allowed us to host the event. Our marketing strategy was:

  • Post in high, traffic groups in Facebook which are approximately close to the Naperville area
  • Leverage Bridge Communities’ capabilities to email blast and post on their social media channels
  • Engage and persuade our peers to come to the event and bring friends and family

When we were posting on Facebook, I came across a group called “Naperville Moms Network Business, Events, & Happenings!”. It was a closed group for Napervile moms but we made contact with the administrator of the group. She was not only the admin of the group but also the leader of a community group called Naperville Moms Network. She allowed us to post in the Facebook group and she spread our event on her website and community group.

On the day of the event, we set up a table which included a banner, flyers, and a free raffle. Everyone received a free raffle ticket but if they liked and shared Bridge Communities’ group page, they would receive an additional 2 raffles to win a Patrick Kane and Addison Russell jersey as well as other coupons and gift cards from local stores.


  • Awareness
    • Increase Facebook Likes by 100 on Bridge Communities’ official Facebook page
    • Pass out 50 Bridge Communities’ informational flyers at the event
  • Fundraising
    • Raise $750 which is equivalent to 150 attendees


  • Awareness
    • Increased Facebook Likes by 186 (raised from 2054 likes to 2240 likes)
      • 53 Facebook Shares of Bridge Community which reached 34,149 friends
    • Passed out 82 Bridge Communities’ informational flyers at the event
  • Fundraising
    • Raised $596
      • 123 attendees – $492
      • Donations – $104

Although 123 attendees sounds like a lot, it was a family event. For perspective, if you brought 50 people and they all have 1 child, there are essentially 100 attendees. In our event, there were people who brought 1 or 2 children as well as both parents attending.

We are very proud of the successes we’ve made despite being unable to meet our fundraising goals because of the difference we’ve made in both the homeless community and those who helped us achieve our goals.

Of the lessons learned from the project the two the immediately stand out are:

  • Establishing a risk management plan
  • Stay on schedule and establish dates for when contingency plans kick in and staying in constant communication with one another.

If it wasn’t for our risk management plan we may not have been able to pull off an event. The main take away from our risk management plan was the chances of our event having to be canceled due to venues complications or lack of turnout which in the end made us start preparing our secondary event at Skyhigh which would allow us to pivot from the Dodgeball event because the chances of having to cancel where high enough for us to have to start preparing for what would eventually be the inevitable.

This lead into our second major take away, which is establishing deliverable dates and contingency plans. Because of the risk management plan we were able to set up key dates for when deliverables had to be completed. This allowed us to coordinate appropriately as a group. We met up as a group once a week on Saturdays and had follow up calls on Tuesday evenings to make sure everyone was on task and on track to meet the due dates. Eventually we started having evening calls daily during the last week leading up to the event so we knew what the game plan was, who was arriving when, and how we would follow up with our report and presentation that was due the very same week of the event. Because of that we were never caught off guard and had an unforeseen event occur during our time together as a group.

Advice for future teams doing similar projects  Peter  from final paper & slides

It is always important for teams to always be able to come up with an alternative project in case one does not always work. It is always important to maintain group communication between the charity that the group, the customer, and the charity that we are working with. The Project Matrix is the last major requirement that will be needed in terms of responsibilities and to communicate who does what in the group. The Project Matrix success plan is explained in terms of awareness, participants, and revenue.  Controlling scope creep is important in which the project’s parameters are restrained and the project scope is classified. The goal is to produce the wanted product on time and in the budget. Some colleagues in project management from the Project Management Institute state that there are six primary reasons for project scope creep. The first one is less articulateness and greatness of knowledge about the initial specification document, permitting straightforward contact between client and team participant members, customers attempting to get more work that is cheaper for them, starting design and advancement before a comprehensive requirements analysis and cost-benefit analysis has been completed. The fifth one is in which the belief is “to do it yourself” because of less anticipation and devising. The last sixth one are badly explained initial requirements. The main reasons for using scope creep is because of a dishonest customer with a “value for free” policy, improved communication between parties, improper antecedent about what is needed to bring about the project’s goals, bad change control, an active and energetic project manager or executive sponsor, quick and durable software development primarily relying on subjective amounts. Some important challenges to be aware of finding a proper venue, finding the correct price ranges, trying to determine which events to cancel based on event awareness, and maintaining communications with charities. There are seven important lessons to maintaining scope creep:

1. It is imperative that the project perception and point of view.

2. Know the order of activities that comes first activities that are permitted by project controllers.

3. Describe the project end results and goals and make sure these are authorized by the project drivers.

4. Make the sure approved project deliverables are placed into real work requirements.

5. Describe areas of the project that are major and minor goal indicators and make a great project schedule to be finished by the project drivers.

6. Appoint resources and figure out the critical path using a project evaluation and review method chart or a work breakdown structure.

7. It is important to know that scope creep will occur. Scope creep happens when there is a bad requirements analysis, not getting users engaged early soon enough, and not knowing and being cognizant of the largeness of the project. There at times is a lack of understanding the change and control enough and gold-plating in which the practice of exceeding the scope of the project in the belief that value is being added.




Salsa Night for Portage Park Helping Hands

1) Brief description of the project


Our team set out to raise awareness and to raise money for Portage Park Helping Hands.   We saw the opportunity presented in class as a way to help a charity in our local community.  Gathering our DePaul network, local community as well as the school community we were able to make a difference in the lives of this charity.


2) Brief description of the charity


Portage Park Helping Hands (PPHH) is a nonprofit organization that is created to raise funds in order to promote and encourage academic excellence through a developed, integrated curriculum as well as extracurricular activities for the children of the Portage Park community. Promoting diverse programs to all students provides greater opportunity for children to develop skills in different areas and increase their capacity for knowledge and success academically.


3) Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives


Our group managed to raise funds of $1250 and increase awareness of PPHH by holding two fun-filled events. The first event was held at Kiddie Kingdom, a kiddie arcade with food and drinks for both parents and children to enjoy. Kiddie Kingdom donated 15% of the proceeds that day directly to PPHH. Our second event was held at a Mexican restaurant, El Nuevo Taco Loco, which offered a salsa lesson, food, and drinks for all who participated. We learned plenty from our first event to allow for greater success in our second. The obstacles and challenges faced in both events have definitely better prepared us for marketing, managing, and assigning roles to keep our projects in tact enough to meet or exceed our goals.

To prepare for these events, our project manager, Alicia, found our strengths and assigned us roles that complied with those strengths to allow for a smooth transition into our roles in this project. We each had roles such as creating the flyer, uploading to social media, creating a budget, communicating with any vendors, etc. The role assignments and deadlines for each task enabled us to be well organized prior to our events and during the events as well. We found that assigning tasks and deadlines put us in a much better place in regards to timing and better prepared us for our second event over our first. That explanation you will see shortly.

For both of our events, we created flyers to be distributed physically and electronically via social media. The social media outlets utilized were Facebook, SimplyCircle,  CrowdRise, and EventBrite. Further, our group wanted to arrange a convenient time for people to join and want to enjoy our event. We also needed a convenient location in the city of Chicago for people to attend and enjoy this event. Coming up with an attractive price and finding our target audience were some of the additional details we had to pan out. Further, we had to contact a restaurant owner, salsa instructor, and a DJ to agree to host the event at an affordable price.


4) Two or three lessons learned about managing projects


Our first event was unsuccessful for several reasons. For one, we did not market the first event well enough to create awareness both about the event and for those to attend. We limited our marketing crowd to the Portage Park Elementary school media which included: Facebook and SimplyCircle. Further, the physical flyers we printed out were sent home to all students, in hopes that all teachers sent them home in time, and in hopes that the students provided the flyers to their parents. Because of the lack of control we had over the viewership of our marketing, and the finite targeted crowd we chose, we did not have as large of a crowd as we had anticipated. Further, each member of our team carries a different personal and work schedule, which made it difficult for some of us to communicate effectively and/or complete our own assigned tasks. Because of this, some members had to carry an extra workload to compensate for the members who were difficult to communicate with and/or could not meet some of the deadlines.


5) Advice for future teams doing similar projects


The advice that our team would like to extend is to start early.  We started almost the first week of the project and still had concerns that there was not enough time.  Working with the charities like Portage Park Helping hands requires a lot of approvals from the school board as well as the charity board of directors.

Scope creep is something that is also dangerous for projects.  At times we had many ideas that we would have liked to pursue, but we needed to stay with the original plan. The weeks during the quarter seem to go quickly and scope creep can be detrimental to your team’s success.


6) Photos related to the project. Examples could be event photos, website, team members, etc.


Awareness Brochure – Near West Side CDC

Project Description

Our project was to create an awareness brochure that would describe our organization’s programs and services. The idea followed from our consulting project with the goal formalizing our organization’s external messaging.

Organization Description

Near West Side CDC provides services to low and moderate-income residents in the West Haven community. These services include job preparation, life skills training, financial literacy, social services, youth programs, and housing to residents who would otherwise be homeless. Near West works with residents to create strategies for supporting the neighborhood’s social infrastructure, improving the aesthetic identity, improving access to education, and attracting more jobs to the area.


Our original idea (and project proposal) was to hold a carnival event on our organization’s premises. As we reflected on the work breakdown, we quickly realized there were many risks associated with the project that were out of our control and difficult to mitigate. Instead we chose to create awareness flyers which the organization could distribute and cover our costs through a bake sale. We are happy to report that we successfully created our awareness materials and covered all costs associated with making them.

Lessons Learned

The main lesson learned through this project was to understand scope of what you are undertaking and realize you have the power to adjust if the situation requires. Our original carnival idea had many risks: weather, attendance, location, materials, and organizational cooperation. Our team at first felt overwhelmed by the deliverables but was able to pivot, and made the decision as a group to scrap the original idea and to start a new project entirely. Our revised project was much more realistic and had three main paths in the project network: bake sale, flyer design, and content creation. Much more of this project was under our control and could be worked on in parallel to meet our class time frame.

Another lesson was to not underestimate the importance of the risk management plan. Even though we significantly reduced project risk after our revision, we still relied on the risk management plan to help us through a few hiccups. For example, we were not able to find a student graphic designer at an appropriate cost to help us design the flyers. Our risk management plan told us to switch over to Canva and design the flyers ourselves after the trigger date had passed without any drama.


Our advice is to truly think about the scope of your project before you commit. Take care in your risk planning to decide if the project has a good likelihood for success. Be creative and enthusiastic with your ideas, but also be realistic. Don’t feel stuck with every aspect of your initial proposal and don’t be afraid to shrink the scope to make your goal achievable.

Team 5 – St. Joseph Services

Project Description
The St. Joseph Services (SJS) group project was a meet and greet that we hosted after both Sunday morning services at the St. Martin de Porres church in the Austin neighborhood. Our goal was to generate local community awareness for the organization within the Austin and Humboldt Park neighborhoods. We provided complimentary coffee and refreshments to the parishioners in order to draw in attendees and worked with representatives from SJS to speak about the organization, hand out promotional material and answer questions.

Organization Description
St. Joseph Services provides after school programs for children, adult language classes, and computer classes primarily in the Austin and Humboldt Park neighborhoods of Chicago. In addition to their youth and adult programming, they also foster an environment for developing values and talents through interpersonal engagements in order to strengthen their respective communities. SJS places special care in cultivating engaged volunteers and program staff from the neighborhoods they serve, and places an emphasis on becoming positive role models for friends and neighbors while building programs from within the community. Most of the proffered programs are provided for a small fee, and the organization operates out of third party locations to save on expenses.

Our primary goal at the outset of the project was to create local, community awareness for St. Joseph Services. We would host a meet and greet at a local church, with a goal of spreading the word to at least 25 people after each church service. We had planned on hosting two events, one in each of Austin and Humboldt Park. After we were unable to partner with a second church in Humboldt Park, we decided to supplement our Austin event with an online fundraising campaign. Our second goal for our project was to generate $400 in donations through our GoFundMe page, all of which would go towards the SJS summer camp program.

We were successfully able to exceed both of our project goals, and therefore deem our project a success. As explained in our initial proposal, our goal for our community awareness event was to speak with at least 25 people after each ceremony. We were successfully able to attract and speak with over 75 people across both masses, well exceeding our goal of 50. We also generated $610 through the GoFundMe page, $210 more than our initial goal of $400. Lastly, we were able to successfully minimize our out-of-pocket expenses spent on organizing and hosting the event. Our expenses totaled $130 between supplies, fliers and other materials, which after being divided evenly, we feel was acceptable and within our spending limits.

Lessons Learned
During our time spent on this project we learned a great deal regarding successful project management. We discovered very early in the process that it was going to be difficult to schedule meetings that fit within everyone’s school and personal schedules. Due to this conflict, we realized early on that we would have to make the most of the time we had together as a group. Having a set agenda and delegating tasks before and after each group meeting allowed us to be time-efficient and focused, maximizing our time together. We were able to have focused conversations around tasks accomplished by individual group members, and spent our time making project decisions rather than working on tasks as a group. Each meeting ended with the delegation of more tasks to move the project forward, and we made sure to maintain regular communication outside of the meetings to address issues that came up along the way. Working in this fashion kept us aligned with our proposed timeline and allowed room for diversions from the planned project plan and timeline.

We also learned that in general, when planning a project it is best not to make assumptions. Assumptions on schedules, response time, and priorities can all derail a well thought-out and organized project. While we knew that not every church would be open to helping us host our event, we made a general assumption that people would be responsive. We were quite surprised that when trying to schedule an event in the Humboldt Park area, our only contact at the proposed venue was very reluctant to communicate with us and ultimately prevented us from having an event there as well. This had an effect on our overall timeline, as we were only able to organize the fundraiser in lieu of the event during the last two weeks of our project.

The first piece of advice we would give to other groups is to contact potential venues and schedule dates as early as possible. Scheduling with the venue can be challenging, especially when accounting for personal schedules of group members. Getting this done early will allow for more date options and might be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful event. We would also suggest having backup venues and dates ready in case of unforeseen circumstances or the desired venue is not available during the desired date. These were all issues that came up for us during the planning stages of our project, and we eventually had to enact one of our contingency plans since we could not secure a second church.

We also suggest that when looking for a venue to host or partner with, try to find one that has a similar mission or goals as you and/or your organization. We found that partnering with a church who valued community outreach, which was the ultimate goal of our event, extremely helpful. They were supportive of our project, and made every effort to help us plan our event and make it a success. This allowed us more flexibility in promoting the event, and provided us with additional moral support on the day of. When imagining how our event would have played out with a more reluctant venue partner, we are appreciative of the support we were provided.

Finally, we also recommend staying within the original scope laid out in the beginning stages of the project. Deviations from the plan will likely be unavoidable as issues and problems arise, however these changes should be focused on reaching the ultimate project goal. It’s too often that deviating from the plan results causes disruptions in the project and ultimately leads to a decreased chance of success. Making slight adjustments to the proposal is fine and often beneficial, as we found it to be, but trying to achieve more than the group is capable of is a recipe for disaster. Aim high, but stay within the group’s limits, as failing to do so leads to far more harm than good.

Event Photos