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Structure and Operations

The PDES, Inc. management structure and operational processes have changed little since inception of the consortium. It is by changing the consortium's technical projects that PDES, Inc. has successfully adapted to changes occurring both externally in the business environment and standards community and internally in the mix of member organizations and their priorities.

Management Structure and Roles
The PDES, Inc. management structure is depicted in the chart on the right. All activities of the consortium are approved and overseen by the Executive Board. The General Manager ensures that the Technical Teams perform the activities in accordance with the Board-approved Technical Development Plan. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) provides technical expertise to the Board and General Manager (GM), as needed. The Technical Teams are each managed by a Team Leader. Team Leaders also work as a group on the Systems Integration Board, where they discuss progress and resolve project-related issues. The roles, responsibilities, and some of the management processes of the consortium are described in the following paragraphs.
 

PDES Org Chart

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Strategic and Operational Management
The PDES, Inc. Executive Board, comprised of one senior representative from each member organization, provides strategic direction for the consortium. The Board elects individuals from among its members to serve on the Board's Executive Committee who oversee the Legal, Finance, Contracts, Technical, Membership, and Communications functions of PDES, Inc. The full Board meets twice a year to review progress of PDES, Inc. technical work and participate in planning and other activities important to the consortium's goals and accomplishments; subcommittees meet via teleconference and in person as required to fulfill their responsibilities.

The General Manager is responsible for development of the Board-approved Technical Development Plan (TDP), execution of the consortium's technical activities in accordance with the Plan, and ensuring the timeliness and quality of the consortium's technical efforts. The GM also oversees a staff that performs day-to-day support activities for the consortium. The Technical Director (TD) and the Operations Manager (Ops Mgr) support the GM by tracking costs and members' contribution of resource hours, coordinating or leading program planning and schedule tracking activities, leading development of the consortium's contract deliverables, and facilitating completion of other work as appropriate. The Ops Mgr also oversees and coordinates the work of other professionals who provide financial, contracts, audit, administrative, Web publishing, and technical computer services to PDES, Inc.

Technical Management and Technical Teams
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), made up of senior technical managers from each of the member organizations, serves as advisor to the Executive Board and GM. The TAC meets two times per year to evaluate accomplishments, progress, and plans of the technical teams, provides guidance in identifying and resolving technical issues that arise during the consortium's work activities, and, as needed, makes recommendations about the consortium's technical priorities and choices.

The Systems Integration Board (SIB) is the forum for monitoring progress across the technical teams, coordinating interrelated tasks, and making trade-off decisions about short-term project activities, priorities, and schedules. Its members regularly address the consortium's Action Items Log and Resource Matrix to resolve any conflicts. The SIB members include the General Manager, Team Leaders, Technical Director, and the Ops Mgr. They meet bi-weekly via teleconference and at least twice each year at the Offsite Meetings.

Team Leaders (TLs) provide direct management of PDES, Inc. technical activities. They lead definition of their teams' work efforts, goals, and schedules and coordinate their teams' work efforts throughout the phase of work. TLs ensure the teams perform their work in accordance with the goals, schedule, and deliverables defined in the TDP and arrange for team members to participate in group working sessions and provide presentations and demonstrations for PDES, Inc. meetings and other professional venues.

SIB members discuss the progress and issues associated with the teams' work and share knowledge/provide advice based on their own rich experience and the unique resources of their organizations.

The Technical Teams are composed of skilled individuals from the PDES, Inc. member organizations and, in some cases, by subcontractors and certain other resources that work closely with PDES, Inc. Each technical team meets regularly via teleconference (e.g., weekly) and at PDES, Inc. meetings (e.g., the Technical Team Offsite Meetings held twice each year).

Teaming Methodology
There are a number of ways PDES, Inc. managers, Team Leaders, Board members, and TAC members monitor and remain closely involved in the plans and technical progress of the consortium.

Regularly scheduled activities used to coordinate the consortium's day-to-day activities and ensure management participation in making its major decisions include:

Weekly:
Technical Team Conference Calls

Bi-Weekly:
System Integration Board (SIB) Conference Calls

Quarterly:
CAx Implementor Forum
LOTAR Project

Twice a Year:
Executive Board Meetings
Implementors' Roundtable
System Integration Board (SIB) Meetings
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
Technical Team Offsite Meetings

Each meeting follows an agenda that includes briefings on technical progress and issues, discussion of topics appropriate for analysis or resolution by the group, and participation in presentations or workshops designed to broaden knowledge or heighten awareness of the group's members.

The Technical Team Offsite Meetings, held twice a year, are particularly important events for facilitating and demonstrating technical progress. Each Offsite lasts approximately five days devoting time to general sessions (with topics relating to the entire group, such as teams' technical progress and issues, technical workshops, and informative presentations) and the remainder to technical team working sessions. Working sessions include both Technical Team meetings and special meetings where individuals with particular expertise meet with teams and/or individuals in need of their counsel. Cross-team gatherings are held as appropriate to discuss topics of common interest. Offsites also include meetings of the CAx Implementor Forum and the Implementors' Roundtable. The CAx Implementor Forum brings together STEP vendors and PDES, Inc. members to conduct technical and business exchanges relevant to support needs of the PDES, Inc. pilot projects and deployment activities; the Implementors' Roundtable brings together PDES, Inc. members and key software vendors to discuss important STEP implementation issues. The TACs are normally conducted in conjunction with the Offsite Meetings.

Meetings important to achieving PDES, Inc. goals also occur in other settings where the goals or needs of the consortium might be addressed directly or indirectly. PDES, Inc. members at all levels are often speakers or attendees at meetings of industry associations, professional associations, and standards bodies. While there, they often meet to discuss PDES, Inc.-related efforts, issues important to their employers' use of STEP, and ways to advance the acceptance of STEP and STEP-related standards.