Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)

This is an Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) for development of a concrete canoe, by a team at Oklahoma State University. Scroll down to see the corresponding Work Breakdown Structure. Link to their home page.

The Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS) should be addressed with the idea that each task in the WBS must be assigned to a committee or person.  The OBS will mirror the structure of the WBS.    Major categories will be assigned a major committee with a committee chair, while lower level tasks and categories will be assigned to groups and individuals within the major committees. This is why it was so important to have a completed WBS, because any task not on the WBS that creeps into the project will become the responsibility of the Project Manager to do or re-assign to someone who is likely already working on known tasks.

This OBS was set up with a Project Manager at the project level to oversee and coordinate the entire project. A Lead Engineer was assigned to specifically oversee three major task groups Design, Construction, and Academics.  Six major committees were developed with a committee chair for each Fundraising, Hull Design, Structural Design, Construction, Academic, and Paddling Committees.  Each major committee has numerous task-oriented sub committees.  However, the Project Manager, Lead Engineer and six committee chairs make up the primary leadership team and should meet as a group at least twice a month in the Fall and weekly in the Spring.

The Project Manager should schedule, assign, and monitor tasks, while the Lead Engineer coordinates and reviews the total research and design effort.  The Fundraising committee should create a promotional brochure to aid in securing donations and track project costs.  The Hull Design committee tests new hull designs to obtain a hull that satisfies the hull design objectives.  The Structural Design committee must structurally analyze the final hull design and develop a concrete mix and reinforcement scheme to provide a strong, durable, final product.  The Construction committee is responsible for procurement of materials, construction techniques, and display.  The Academic committee compiles information to provide the display content, write the design paper and write the oral presentation.  Finally, the Paddle team is responsible for setting up a practice course, developing a work schedule, recruiting paddlers, and monitoring paddling progress.

While each committee has a different leader, many team members will be active on several committees.  It is the primary responsibility of the committee leaders to pass knowledge down to the future concrete canoe leaders.  Transferring knowledge will ensure the success of future concrete canoe teams.