Developing a Technology Work Plan (TWP) is a critical step when deciding how to advance a utility’s automation, IT, and communications infrastructure. The TWP uncovers gaps between your utility’s present and desired future states and aligns applications and technologies to best fill each gap. The TWP also addresses poorly performing technologies, prioritizes deployment, defines integration strategies, and calculates the budget. Before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on technology, it is smart to take a step back and look carefully at your present state, future state, gaps, and strategic goals (such as increased reliability or reduced costs).
Below is a diagram that outlines the technology planning process PSE utilizes for maximum results:
As part of a TWP, a utility would:
PSE has found that, in most cases, the cost of developing a TWP is less than one percent of a utility’s capital cost to purchase the technology. A plan also supports collaboration from a team, as opposed to a single staff member advocating for a technology. The team makes educated decisions based on information received on program capabilities, vendor integrations, current and future system needs, and, in some cases, cost-benefit analysis.
Sometimes poor technology decisions can be made if you don’t have a plan, such as:
PSE recommends that you consider creating a TWP soon, if you haven’t already, to keep your utility on track and focused.