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Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes

Executive Summary

Christopher Columbus wants to attempt to find new trade routes to Asia by sailing westward. This desire is motivated by dangerous waters in the East, and the high cost of shipping. The goals of the expedition are to find new trade routes to Asia, to spread Christianity, and to lead an expedition to China. The main tasks in the project include developing funding proposals and securing funding, acquiring boats and their crews, and conducting a shakedown cruise in the Mediterranean. The voyage requires three boats. Columbus will hire a captain for each boat. The captains will hire their first officers, and the Comptroller of Christopher Columbus Inc will hire the rest of the crew. Columbus will not take a salary but will be entitled to 10% of all spoils. The crew will be paid 50% in advance, and 50% upon returning from the voyage. The main risk in the project is the sinking of the boats. Preparations will take up to six months.

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Project Plan

The journey that Christopher Columbus is about to undertake requires very careful planning. This need arises from the sensitivity of the journey, and the uncertainties surrounding the trip. No one has successfully made a trip to Asia using the route proposed by Columbus. Therefore, Columbus will be discovering a new trade route that Spain can use to reach Asia. This project plan is the response of Christopher Columbus Inc to the Request for Proposals (RFP), issued by His Majesty King Ferdinand, and Her Majesty Queen Isabella. It covers all the essential elements of the project that Christopher Columbus is willing to undertake at the pleasure of the King and the Queen.

Statement of Goals and Constraints

The main goals of this project are as follows. First, Christopher Columbus would like to map out new and more efficient trade routes to Asia. The rationale for this goal is that the current routes are long, and are unsafe for Spanish boats because of pirates and unfriendly navies from other countries. The second objective of the project is to spread Christianity to the new lands uncovered during the project. Spain, as part of the universal Christian church, must play its role in the evangelization of the entire world. The third objective is to lead an expedition into China. Reports indicate that China is a very attractive country, with plenty of resources and business opportunities. The presence of the Spanish people in China will bring vast wealth to Spain.

The main constraints surrounding this project are as follows. First, the project is very expensive, and therefore, private citizens or a single business venture cannot afford to finance it. Secondly, the King would like the expedition to end within three months after Columbus and his crew leave Spain’s main seaport. No one has used the trade route proposed by Columbus before. This makes it extremely difficult to predict how long the trip might take. Columbus sees only a 65% chance of completing the voyage in less than four months

Project Plan

Summary of Project Objectives

The objectives of the project are as follows

  1. To find efficient trade routes to Asia
  2. To facilitate the spread of Christianity
  3. To lead an expedition to China


The tasks that Christopher Columbus Inc. needs to complete in order to achieve the objectives of this project are as follows.

  1. Prepare a project plan and a funding proposal
  2. Secure funding for the project
  3. Acquire a fleet of boats for use in the voyage
  4. Hire crews for the boats, and buy insurance
  5. Acquire supplies for the voyage
  6. Conduct a shakedown cruise in the Mediterranean

Work Breakdown Structure

Prepare Project Plan and Funding Proposal Secure Funding for the Project Acquire Fleet Hire Crew Acquire Supplies
  • Determine project goals and objectives
  • Prepare a project plan and funding proposal
  • Prepare project budget
  • Get approval to present budget from the Royal Accounting Standards Board
  • Present project proposal to the King and the Queen
  • Prepare specifications of boats needed for the voyage
  • Prepare tender documents and float the tender
  • Award the tender for supply of boats
  • Retrofit the sails of the boats with more suitable sails
  • Take custody of boats upon delivery
  • Buy insurance for boats and captains
  • Prepare detailed job descriptions for crew members for the three boats
  • Hire captains for the boats
  • Facilitate the captains to hire first officers
  • Conduct the interview for the rest of the crew members and select suitably qualified persons
  • Hold stakeholders meeting to determine their expectations in regards to the project
  • Hold a captains’ meeting to determine the needs of the crew member in the expedition
  • Create a list of supplies, equipment, weapons, fuel, and boat maintenance materials needed for the voyage
  • Task crew members with the work of acquiring supplies.

Table 1: Work Breakdown Structure.

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Human Resource Plan

The fleet for the voyage will consist of three boats. Each boat will be under a captain, who will be assisted by a first officer. Christopher Columbus will be the overall head of delegation. Columbus will hire the three captains. The captains will in turn hire their first officers. The rest of the crew members will be hired by Christopher Columbus, Inc.

Terms of Contract

The terms of the contract for this voyage are as follows

  1. Christopher Columbus Inc undertakes to find new trade routes to Asia, under the command of Christopher Columbus.
  2. Columbus shall not take a salary for the period of the voyage. Instead, he shall have rights to 10% of all spoils accruing from the voyage, and knighthood.
  3. The Royal Treasury shall meet all the costs associated with the voyage, including salaries, cost of supplies, and cost of boats.
  4. Christopher Columbus Inc shall retain the responsibility of overall planning and coordination of the project.

The following is the payment schedule for the project proposed by Christopher Columbus, Inc. First, the seafarers shall receive fifty percent of their wages upfront, and the balance upon arrival. The permanent staff of the company who will not be part of the voyage will receive a monthly payment for the entire period of the project. In addition to these payments, Christopher Columbus Inc will need to pay for the boats and the sails before the onset of the voyage. Money for these expenses will come from the Royal Treasury.

Risk Management Plan

The project is very risky based on the fact that no one has attempted such a feat before. The following risk management matrix shows the major project risks, their significance, and ways of managing them.

Risk Impact Probability Priority Actions
Failure to secure funding from the Monarchy 4 2 8 Hold a conference with private investors. If it fails, find another sponsor from another kingdom
Failure to return on schedule 4 3 12 Ensure that the office is aware of all the possible reasons for delays before leaving to take care of public relations
Loss of boats at sea 3 5 15 Acquire boats with the least probability of sinking
Take measures to ensure any single remaining boat can accommodate all crew members on the voyage
Failure to find supplies for the return trip 2 5 10 Carry dried foodstuff that can be used on the return leg

Table 2: Risk Management Plan.

Estimated Project Cost and Duration

The main costs associated with this project are the costs of office staff, costs of crews and captains, the cost of equipment and supplies, and the cost of the boats. The detailed assessment of these costs is as follows.

Office staff

  1. Project manager, $30/day
  2. Comptroller (Arturo Bayliner), $35/day
  3. Administrative Assistant (Juan de Puca), $20/day


  • 3 Captains @ $60/day
  • 3 First Officers @ $45/day
  • 125 Regular Crew Members @ $20/day


Boat Number Boat Type Probability of Not Sinking Before Reaching Asia Cost ($) Crew Size
2 Carrack 0.95 55,000 40
4 Carrack 0.90 42,000 40
6 Schooner 0.85 40,000 45

Table 3: Boats for the Expedition.

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Supplies and Equipment

  • Food
  • Equipment
  • Weapons
  • Boat maintenance materials
  • Fuel

Project Duration

The following is an indicative Gantt chart based on the information provided regarding the time it will take to handle each of the project tasks.

MONTH 1 2 3 4 5 6
Prepare a project plan and funding proposal X
Secure funding for the project X
Acquire a fleet of boats for use in the voyage and make new sails X X
Hire crews for the boats and buy insurance X
Acquire supplies for the voyage X
Conduct a shakedown cruise in the Mediterranean X

Table 4: Gantt Chart.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, February 26). Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, February 26). Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes.

Work Cited

"Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes." StudyCorgi, 26 Feb. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes." February 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes." February 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes." February 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Christopher Columbus: Voyage to Asia’s Discover Trade Routes'. 26 February.

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