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Utilities Industry Business Reference Architecture

Business capability maps, value streams, and strategy maps for the electricity, natural gas, water and wastewater utility industries.​

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  • Utility leadership requires a unified and validated view of utility business capabilities that help CIOs and utility leadership accelerate the strategy design process and that align initiatives, investments, and strategy.
  • The business and IT often focus on a project, ignoring the holistic impact and value of an overarching value stream and business capability view.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Using an industry-specific reference architecture is central to organizational priorities and has many benefits. It’s critical to understanding, modeling, and communicating the operating environment and the direction of the organization, but more significantly, to enabling measurable top-line organizational outcomes and the unlocking of direct value.

Impact and Result

  • Demonstrate the value of IT’s role in supporting your utility business capabilities while highlighting the importance of proper alignment between organizational and IT strategies.
  • Apply Level 2 business reference architecture techniques such as strategy maps, value streams, and capability maps to design usable and accurate blueprints of your utility operations.
  • Assess your initiatives and priorities to determine if you are investing in the right capabilities. Conduct capability assessments to identify opportunities and to prioritize projects.

Utilities Industry Business Reference Architecture Research & Tools

1. Accelerate the strategy design process

Leverage a validated view of utility business capabilities to realize measureable top-line business outcomes an unlock direct value.

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Utilities Industry Business Reference Architecture

Business Capability Maps, Value Streams, and Strategy Maps for the Electricity, Natural Gas, Water and Wastewater utility Industries

Analyst Perspective

In the age of disruption, IT must end misalignment and enable value realization.

Utility service providers require a unified and validated view of their business capabilities that aligns initiatives, investments, and strategy in order to provide value to their customers and stakeholders.

A utilities capability business map is a generic value chain, independent of any organizational structure and application system. It covers all core Level 1 and Level 2 utilities business capability components which follow the value chain of electricity, natural gas, water, and wastewater.

An industry reference architecture can be leveraged to effectively accelerate your strategic planning process and enhance IT's ability to align people, process, and technology with key business priorities. For example, it can be used for process design, operational analysis, application portfolio management, and performance management. It provides IT with an overarching business lens to strategize solutions to meet business needs.

This is a Picture of Jing Wu, Principal Research Director, Utilities, Info-Tech Research Group

Jing Wu
Principal Research Director, Utilities
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

  • You are a CIO, head of EA, or chief architect who needs to improve their organization's understanding of business capabilities and how IT can support the delivery of essential services.
  • You work for an organization that wants to sharpen their alignment and focus on organizational outcomes and value by using automation and cost effective methods that produce the most reliable and high quality outcomes.
  • Before executing any strategic initiatives, use this blueprint to understand how the organization creates value.

Common Obstacles

  • You don't have a clear path for capturing the right information, engaging the right people, linking with the needs of the business and aligning with IT.
  • The Business and IT often speak in their own languages without a wholistic and integrated view of mission, strategy, goals, objectives, business processes, projects and measures of success.
  • The business and IT organizations often focus their attention within silos and miss the big picture need for a synergistic approach for successful outcomes.

Info-Tech's Approach

  • Build your organization's capability map by defining the organizations value stream and validating the utilities industry reference architecture.
  • Use business capabilities to define strategic focus by defining the organizations key capabilities and developing a prioritized strategy map
  • Assess key capabilities for planning priorities through a review of business processes, information, application and technology support of key capabilities
  • Adopt capability-based strategy planning by ongoing identification and road-mapping of capability gaps.

Info-Tech Insight

Utilizing an industry-specific reference architecture is central, and has many benefits, to organizational priorities. Its critical to understanding, modeling and communicating the operating environment and the direction of the organization but, more significantly, to enable measurable top-line organizational outcomes and the unlocking of direct value.

This is an image of Info-Tech's Reference Architecture Framework

Industry Overview: Utilities

The utilities industry comprises infrastructures that generate, transmit, and distribute electric power; distribute natural gas; treat and distribute water; and operate wastewater treatment facilities. In addition to billing services, utilities often provide a omnichannel to engage customers and provide related customer services.

Utilities are highly regulated and mandated to provide safe, clean, and quality essential services. Depending on the sector and jurisdiction, utilities can be part of a government's integrated services or for-profit, investor-owned entities.

In recent years, unprecedented disruptions such as extreme weather patterns and a required commitment to reach net-zero have challenged utilities to set a clear path forward. In the face of changes, utilities will have to strengthen their critical infrastructure and expand digitalization capabilities to build business resilience.

Proven technologies such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Digital Twin, and advanced data analytics have provided business insights to improve operational excellence while enhancing customer experiences to prepare for the future of utilities.

Generation → Transmission and Distribution → Retail and Customer Services

Figure above: Value Stream for the Electricity and Natural Gas sector

Business Value Realization

Business value defines the success criteria of an organization as manifested through organizational goals and outcomes, and it is interpreted from four perspectives:

  • Profit generation: The revenue generated from a business capability with a product that is enabled with modern technologies.
  • Cost reduction: The cost reduction when performing business capabilities with a product that is enabled with modern technologies.
  • Service enablement: The productivity and efficiency gains of internal business operations from products and capabilities enhanced with modern technologies.
  • Customer and market reach: The improved reach and insights of the business in existing or new markets.

Business Value Matrix

This is an image of the Business Value Matrix. It includes: Customer and market reach; Profit Generation; Service enablement; and Cost Reduction.

Value, goals, and outcomes cannot be achieved without business capabilities

Break down business goals into strategic, achievable initiatives focused on specific value streams and business capabilities.

This is an image of an outline for how one can break down business goals into strategic, achievable initiatives focused on specific value streams and business capabilities. The headings are: Business Goals & Outcomes; Business Initiatives; Level 1 Business Capabilities; Level 2 Business Capabilities; IT Capabilities; IT Initiatives; IT Goals.

Electricity and natural gas business capability map

Business capability map defined…

In business architecture, the primary view of an organization is known as a business capability map.

A business capability defines what a business does to enable value creation, rather than how. Business capabilities:

  • Represent stable business functions.
  • Are unique and independent of each other.
  • Typically will have a defined business outcome.

A business capability map provides details that help the business architecture practitioner direct attention to a specific area of the business for further assessment.

This is an image of the business capability map for Electricity and Natural Gas

Glossary of key concepts

A business reference architecture consists of a set of models to provide clarity and actionable insight and value. Typical techniques and terms used in developing these models are:

Term/Concept Definition
Industry Value Chain A high-level analysis of how the industry creates value for the consumer as an overall end-to-end process.
Business Capability Map The primary visual representation of the organization's key capabilities. This model forms the basis of strategic planning discussions.
Industry Value Streams The specific set of activities an industry player undertakes to create and capture value for and from the end consumer.
Strategic Objectives A set of standard strategic objectives that most industry players will feature in their corporate plans.
Industry Strategy Map A visualization of the alignment between the organization's strategic direction and its key capabilities.
Capability Assessments Based on people, process, information, and technology, a heat-mapping effort that analyzes the strength of each key capability.
Capability An ability that an organization, person, or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve.

Source: The Open Group, 2009

Tools and templates to compile and communicate your reference architecture work

This is a screenshot of the title page of Info-Tech's Utilities Industry Reference Architecture

The Utilities Industry Reference Architecture Template is a place for you to collect all of the activity outputs and outcomes you've completed for use in next-steps.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

Info-Tech's methodology for reference architecture

1.Build your organization's capability map 2.Use business capabilities to define strategic focus 3.Assess key capabilities for planning priorities 4.Adopt capability-based strategy planning

Phase Steps

1.1 Define the organizations value stream
1.2 Develop a business capability map

2.1 Define the organizations key capabilities
2.2 Develop a strategy map

3.1 Business process review
3.2 Information assessment
3.3 Technology opportunity identification

4.1 Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

Phase Outcomes

  • Defined and Validated Value Streams specific to your organization
  • A validated Level 1 business capability map
  • Decomposed Level 2 capabilities
  • Identification of Level 1 cost advantage creators
  • Identification of Level 1 competitive advantage creators
  • Defined future state capabilities
  • Identification of capability process enablement
  • Identification of capability data support
  • Identification of capability application and technology support
  • Prioritization of key capability gaps

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful."

Guided Implementation

"Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track."

Workshop

"We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place."

Consulting

"Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Guided Implementation

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4

Call #1: Introduce Info-Tech's Industry reference architecture methodology.

Call #2: Define and create value streams

Call #4:

Map value streams to business capabilities.

Call #6:

Create a strategy map

Call #8: Review capability assessment map(s).

Call #3: Model Level 1 business capability maps.

Call #5:

Model Level 2 business capability maps.

Call #7: Introduce Info-Tech's capability assessment framework.

Call #9: Discuss and review prioritization of key capability gaps and plan next steps.

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

A typical GI is between 6 to 9 calls over the course of 1 to 4 months.

Phase 1

Build your organization's capability map

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4

1.1 Define the organization's value stream

1.2 Develop a business capability map

2.1 Define the organization's key capabilities

2.2 Develop a strategy map

3.1 Business process review

3.2 Information assessment

3.3 Technology opportunity assessment

4.1 Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

Utilities Industry Reference Architecture

This phase will walk you through the following:

  • Identifying and assemble key stakeholders
  • Determining how the organization creates value
  • Defining and validating value streams
  • Determining which business capabilities support value streams
  • Accelerating the process with an industry reference architecture
  • Validating the business capability map
  • Establishing Level 2 capability decomposition priorities
  • Decomposing Level 2 capabilities

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior Managers

Step 1.1

Define the organization's value stream

Activities

1.1.1 Identify and assemble key stakeholders
1.1.2 Determine how the organization creates value
1.1.3 Define and validate value streams

Build your organization's capability map

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior Managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Defined and validated value streams specific to your organization

1.1.1 Identify and assemble key stakeholders

1-3 hours

Build an accurate depiction of the business.

  1. It is important to make sure the right stakeholders participate in this exercise. The exercise of identifying capabilities for an organization is very introspective and requires deep analysis.
  2. Consider:
    1. Who are the decision makers and key influencers?
    2. Who will impact the business capability work? Who has a vested interest in the success or failure of the outcome?
    3. Who has the skills and competencies necessary to help you be successful?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't focus on the organizational structure and hierarchy. Often stakeholder groups don't fit the traditional structure.
    2. Don't ignore subject-matter experts on either the business or IT side. You will need to consider both.

Download the Utilities Reference Architecture Template

Input

  • List of who is accountable for key business areas and decisions
  • Organizational chart
  • List of who has decision-making authority

Output

  • List of the key stakeholders
  • Prioritized list of decision-making support needs
  • Reference Architecture Template

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Define the organization's value stream

  • Value streams connect business goals to the organization's value realization activities. They enable an organization to create and capture value in the marketplace by engaging in a set of interconnected activities. Those activities are dependent on the specific industry segment an organization operates within. Value streams can extend beyond the organization into the supporting ecosystem, whereas business processes are contained within, and the organization has complete control over them.
  • There are two types of value streams: core value streams and support value streams. Core value streams are mostly externally facing; they deliver value to either an external or internal customer and tie to the customer perspective of the strategy map. Support value streams are internally facing and provide the foundational support for an organization to operate.
  • An effective method for ensuring all value streams have been considered is to understand that there can be different end-value receivers. Info-Tech recommends identifying and organizing the value streams with customers and partners as end-value receivers.

This image contains an example of an Industry Value Chain

Value stream descriptions for utilities:
Electricity

Value Streams

Generation

Transmission and Distribution

Retail and Customer Services

  • Generation refers to the grid-scale production of electricity.
  • Generation and production of electricity are carried out in power plants via hydro-electric, fossil fuel, nuclear, or other sources. The selection of resources are chosen based on local power requirements and fluctuations in demand.
  • In recent years, with lower cost of production and advancements in technology, renewable sources (solar power, wind energy) are considered more competitive and sustainable than traditional methods.
  • Power that is generated then moves through a complex system of grids, which consists of substations, transformers, and power lines.
  • In transmission, high-voltage electricity is transferred from power plants to electrical substations through a transmission network. This can be done through overhead or underground transmission.
  • In distribution, high voltage is further transformed to medium or lower voltage prior to being delivered to consumers, such as homes and businesses.
  • Regulated by government commissions, companies need to ensure high quality services by monitoring performance and responding quickly to outages.
  • Companies also need to provide retail billing services. Many companies have established an omnichannel strategy and provided customers with an intuitive self-serve portal.
  • Different forms of customer-owned Distributed Energy Resources (DER) such as solar power, electric vehicle, and energy storage are interconnected with the centralized grid.

Value stream descriptions for utilities:
Natural gas

Value Streams

Distribution

Retail and Customer Services

The transmission and distribution of processed pipeline quality natural gas moves through a complex system of compressor stations and pipelines.

Processed natural gas sent to distribution company facilities has reduced pressure. Odorants have been added in the upstream process so that leaks can be detected easily.

Natural gas can be delivered to consumers, such as homes and businesses, via distribution pipelines or in a liquified form stored in propane canisters.

Consumer-grade natural gas can be sold from distribution companies to industrial, gas-powered generation, commercial and residential customers.

Regulated by government commissions, natural gas companies need to ensure high quality services by monitoring performance and responding quickly to incidents.

Companies also need to provide retail billing services. Many companies have established an omnichannel strategy and provided customers with an intuitive self-serve portal.

  • The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) considers only the distribution of the Natural Gas part of the utilities industry.
  • The production and transportation of the value streams are covered in the Info-Tech Oil and Gas reference architecture.

Value stream descriptions for utilities:
Water

Value Streams

Production and Water Treatment

Transmission and Distribution

Retail and Customer Services

  • Treated drinking water can be sourced from surface, ground water, watershed, wastewater effluent as well as natural environments such as oceans, rivers, and lakes.
  • Treated recycled water can be sourced from various sources such as industrial wastewater, stormwater runoffs, and treated domestic sewage water.
  • The typical process of water treatment involves several steps such as coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection.
  • Treated water can be stored in large reservoirs as well as delivered through large transmission mains and smaller distribution pipes.
  • Pumped systems or gravity are used to help deliver and distribute treated water to consumers, such as homes and businesses.
  • Pressure is important to efficiently deliver water to the consumers. Monitoring of pressure throughout the delivery system can detect water leaks.
  • Regulated by government commissions, water companies need to ensure high quality services by monitoring performance and responding quickly to service disruptions.
  • Retail recycled water is currently only suitable for sustainable usage such as landscape irrigation, agricultural irrigation, and recharge of groundwater aquifers.
  • Water accessibility can also be obtained by the public through direct hydrant connection, potable water trucks and fill stations.

Value stream descriptions for utilities:
Wastewater

Value Streams

Billing and Customer Services

Sanitary and Stormwater Collection

Wastewater Treatment and Discharge

  • The charge of sanitary and stormwater sewage fees are calculated and are usually proportionate to the water consumption even though not being metered directly.
  • Sewer backflow can be prevented by annual inspections done by utilities companies with the requests from customers.
  • Influent sanitary sewage from homes and businesses are collected by wastewater mains prior to being treated in treatment facilities.
  • Stormwater runoffs are collected by drainage lines, then transported and discharged to waterways without being treated.
  • Lifted systems or gravity are used to help transport and convey wastewater to treatment facilities.
  • Treatment of wastewater refers to sewage services of removing contaminants, as well as disinfection of harmful bacteria and viruses prior to discharge to the natural environment.
  • During wet weather periods, seasonal stormwater is also taken in and treated. Overflow management could be a major concern for flood mitigation.

Determine How the Organization Creates Value

Begin the process by identifying and locating the business mission and vision statements.

  • Corporate Websites
  • Business Strategy Documents
  • Business Mission
  • Business Executives
  • Business Vision

What is Business Context?

"The business context encompasses an understanding of the factors impacting the business from various perspectives, including how decisions are made and what the business is ultimately trying to achieve. The business context is used by IT to identify key implications for the execution of its strategic initiatives."
Source: Business Wire, 2018.

1.1.2 Determine how the organization creates value

1-3 hours

The first step of delivering value is defining how it will happen.

  1. Use the organization's industry segment to start a discussion on how value is created for customers. Working back from the moment value is realized by the customer, consider the sequential steps required to deliver value in your industry segment.
  2. Consider:
    1. Who are your customers?
    2. What tasks are your customers looking to accomplish?
    3. How does your organization's set of products and services help them accomplish that?
    4. What are the benefits the organization delivers to them?
  3. Remember:
    • Don't boil the ocean. Focus on your industry segment and how you deliver value to your partners and customers specifically.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

Industry Member = IT Strategy Workbook

1.1.2 Determine how the organization creates value

Input

  • Business Strategy
  • Financial statements
  • Results of SWOT analysis
  • Info-Tech's industry specific reference architecture accelerator.

Output

  • Reference Architecture Template

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

1.1.3 Define and validate value streams

1-3 hours

Unify the organization's perspective on how it creates value.

  1. Write a short description of the value stream that includes a statement about the value provided and a clear start and end for the value stream. Validate the accuracy of the descriptions with your key stakeholders.
  2. Consider:
    1. How does the organization deliver those benefits?
    2. How does the customer receive the benefits?
    3. What is the scope of your value stream? What will trigger the stream to start and what will the final value be?
  3. Remember:
    • Don't start with a blank page. Use Info-Tech's value stream definitions on the previous slide as a starting point and customize from there.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

Input

  • Business strategy
  • Info-Tech's industry specific reference architecture accelerator.

Output

  • List of organizational specific value streams
  • Detailed value stream definition(s)

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Step 1.2

Develop a business capability map

Activities

1.2.1 Determine which business capabilities support value streams
1.2.2 Accelerate the process with an industry reference architecture
1.2.3 Validate the business capability map
1.2.4 Establish Level 2 capability decomposition priorities
1.2.5 Decompose Level 2 capabilities

Build your organization's capability map

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Outcomes of this step

  • A validated Level 1 business capability map
  • Decomposed Level 2 capabilities

Develop a business capability map – Level 1

  • Business architecture consists of a set of techniques to create multiple views of an organization; the primary view is known as a business capability map.
  • A business capability defines what a business does to enable value creation and achieve outcomes, rather than how. Business capabilities are business terms defined using descriptive nouns such as "Marketing" or "Research and Development." They represent stable business functions, are unique and independent of each other, and typically will have a defined business outcome. Business capabilities should not be defined as organizational units and are typically longer lasting than organizational structures.
  • A business capability mapping process should begin at the highest-level view of an organization, the Level 1, which presents the entire business on a page.
  • An effective method of organizing business capabilities is to split them into logical groupings or categories. At the highest level, capabilities are either "core" (customer-facing functions) or "enabling" (supporting functions). As a best practice, Info-Tech recommends dividing business capabilities into the categories illustrated to the right:

This is an image of an example Business Capability Map.

Business capability map for utilities:
Electricity and natural gas

This is an image of a business capability map for Electricity and Natural Gas

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Business capability map for utilities:
Water and wastewater

This is an image of the Business Capability Map for Water and Wastewater

Glossary of Capabilities(1/2)

A business capability is an ability that an organization, person or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve. Level 1 utility capabilities that are used in this reference architecture model are:

Capability Definition
Supply Chain Management The management of flow of materials, equipment, tools, and associated services prior to being put into service as assets for utilities. This can include the end-to-end process of procurement-to-pay, storage and movement of materials, equipment, and tools.
Project Management The overseeing of infrastructure projects or programs to plan, design, build and track any utility network infrastructure such as substations, transformers, power poles, gas pipelines, and water pump stations.
Planning and Engineering Holistic short-term and long-term planning of the utility systems to provide guidance in expansion, replacement, and upgrade of the infrastructure.
Data Management The lifecycle management of collecting, storing and reporting data securely and efficiently to provide insights to aid business operations.
System Supervision and Operational Technology Processes and tools that monitor and control utility physical equipment, assets and devices in a real-time or near real-time manner to ensure reliability and stability of the systems.
Quality Assurance Analyzing water and wastewater samples for inorganic, organic, and radiochemical constituents to ensure safety of the treatment process prior to distribution to the suitable level of consumption and discharging.

Glossary of Capabilities (2/2)

Capability Definition
Billing and Services Calculating customer payment of electricity, natural gas and water consumption, as well as fees associated with transmission and distribution infrastructure and other government tariffs. Customer services associated with billing, service disruptions, service installations, and other supported services.
Customer Relationship Management of the interactions with customers including advising services and attracting prospects.
Metering Consumption measurement of electricity, gas and water used by homes and businesses. With the advanced metering infrastructure, additional metering data and events could be collected beyond billing.
Field Operations Management of utility workers to build, maintain and operate physical utility infrastructure as well as restoring services to customers.
Facility and Operations Operations of plants and facilities for generating electricity, treatment of water and wastewater.
Planning and Portfolio Long-term planning of business operations to manage a portfolio of energy trading, monitor the supply and demand, and maintain the production of electricity, and water.

1.2.1 Determine which business capabilities support value streams

1-3 hours

Deconstruct value streams into their component capabilities.

  1. Analyze the value streams to identify and describe the organization's capabilities that support them. This stage requires a good understanding of the business and will be a critical foundation for the business capability map.
  2. Consider:
    1. What is the objective of your value stream? This can highlight which capabilities support which value streams.
    2. What are the activities that make up the business?
    3. Segmenting your value stream into individual stages will give you a better understanding of the steps involved in creating value.

Remember:

  • Don't do this alone. Make sure the right stakeholders participate. The exercise of identifying capabilities for an organization is very introspective and requires deep analysis. It is challenging to develop a common language that everyone will understand and be able to apply. Don't waste your efforts building an inaccurate depiction of the business.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

1.2.1 Determine which business capabilities support value streams

Input

  • Value streams from previous activities

Output

  • List of organizational specific capabilities mapped to value streams
  • Detailed value stream definition(s)

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

1.2.2 Accelerate the process with an industry reference architecture

1-3 hours

It's never a good idea to start with a blank page.

  1. The business capability map on the previous slide can be used as an accelerator. Assemble the relevant stakeholders – business unit leads and product/service owners – and modify the business capability map to suit your organization's context.
  2. Consider:
    1. What are the activities that make up your business?
    2. Can these activities be tied to outcomes? If not, they might not apply to your organization.
    3. Are there any capabilities on the map that don't fit the organization? Deselect them.
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't repeat capabilities. Capabilities are typically mutually exclusive activities.
    2. Don't include temporary initiatives. Capabilities should be stable over time. The people, processes, and technologies that support capabilities will change continuously.

Customize generic capability maps with the assistance of our industry analysts.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

1.2.2 Accelerate the process with an industry reference architecture

Input

  • Value streams from previous activities
  • Info-Tech's industry specific reference architecture accelerator.

Output

  • List of organizational specific capabilities mapped to value streams
  • Detailed value stream definition(s)

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

1.2.3 Validate the business capability map

1-3 hours

Crowdsource the capability map validation.

  1. Validate the capability map with the executive team (those who were not included) and other key stakeholders. Use validation of your business capability map as an excuse to start a conversation regarding the organization's overall strategy.
  2. Consider:
    1. Are there any sensitive areas of the organization that may take this effort the wrong way? Engage them to get their input as early as possible to ensure they don't feel left out or alienated.
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't delay validating the maps with top-level executives. Without their support, your architecture practice won't be taken seriously.
    2. Don't leave anyone out on the assumption that they won't be interested. This process will foster alignment between organizational silos.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

Input

  • List of organizational specific capabilities mapped to value streams
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Level 1 business capability map
  • Reference Architecture Template

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

1.2.4 Establish Level 2 capability decomposition priorities

1-3 hours

Deconstruct Level 1 capabilities into their component capabilities.

  1. Analyze the Level 1 business capabilities to identify and describe at a deeper, more granular level the organization's capabilities that support them. This stage requires a good understanding of the business and will be a critical foundation for the Level 2 business capability map.
  2. Consider:
    1. Which Level 1 capabilities enable the most critical stage of my value stream?
    2. Which Level 1 capabilities enable the most stages of the value stream?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't try to cut corners. Although it may seem tempting to jump right to this step and avoid doing your level-1 mapping, you will run the risk of model pollution. Starting with Level-1 helps ensure you have a unified view of your organization's capabilities and will help you avoid having to re-do the work later.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

1.2.4 Establish Level 2 capability decomposition priorities

Input

  • Level 1 capabilities map and a value stream for areas of interest and focus
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Prioritized list of Level 1 business capabilities for decomposition

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

1.2.5 Decompose Level 2 capabilities

1-3 hours

Deconstruct Level 1 capabilities into their component Level 2 capabilities.

  1. Using the Level 1 capability map as a baseline, hold working sessions with line of business represented for each (or selected) Level 1 capability or set of related capabilities and decompose them.
  2. Consider:
    1. Will you want to go deeper to Level 3? If so, then confirm if the same team for Level 2 has knowledge of Level 3+ and decompose to Level 3 concurrently.
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't do this alone. Make sure the right stakeholders participate. The exercise of identifying Level 2+ capabilities for an organization is very introspective and requires deep analysis and understanding of business functions and processes. It is challenging to develop a common language that everyone will understand and be able to apply. Don't waste your efforts building an inaccurate depiction of the business.

Input

  • Prioritized list of Level 1 business capabilities for decomposition
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Level 2 capabilities for areas of interest and focus

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

Level 2 capability decomposition:
Electricity and natural gas

This is an image of a business capability map for Electricity and Natural Gas.

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Level 2 capability decomposition:
Water and wastewater

This is an image of a business capability map for Water and Wastewater

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Glossary of capabilities(1/8)

Level 2 utilities capabilities (individual stable business function with overall contribution and enablement of Level 1 capabilities) used within this reference architecture are listed below and more can be found in the Appendices:

Capability Definition
Vendor Management Sourcing the suitable equipment, tools and services companies based on performance, pricing, discounts, delivery schedule adherence, and policy compliance.
Contract Management Management of the contracts made between utilities, customers, vendors, suppliers and partners. It includes negotiating and documenting terms and conditions.
Spend Management Management of overall expenditure of supply chain goods and services, thus provide analytical insights to reduce cost.
Sourcing Management Services and processes that organize and maximize organizational purchasing power to the best value possible in the marketplace.
Supplier Management Sourcing the suitable material companies based on performance, pricing, discounts, delivery schedule adherence, and policy compliance.
Warehouse Management Processes and facilities to physically organize and store inventory items. Management of tasks within warehouses.
Inventory Management Processes and services to manage stock and non-stocked materials, equipment and tools to support business operations, including forecasting and replenishment planning.

Phase 2

Use business capabilities to define strategic focus

Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3Phase 4

1.1 Define the organization's value stream

1.2 Develop a business capability map

2.1 Define the organization's key capabilities

2.2 Develop a strategy map

3.1 Business process review

3.2 Information assessment

3.3 Technology opportunity assessment

4.1 Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

Utilities Industry Reference Architecture

This phase will walk you through the following:

  • Determining cost advantage creators
  • Determining competitive advantage creators
  • Defining key future-state capabilities
  • Identifying the strategic objectives for the business
  • Mapping strategic objectives to IT programs
  • Validating the strategy map and program prioritization

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Step 2.1

Define the organization's key capabilities

Activities

2.1.1 Determine cost advantage creators
2.1.2 Determine competitive advantage creators
2.1.3 Define key future-state capabilities

Use business capabilities to define strategic focus

This step will walk you through the following:

  • Determining cost advantage creators
  • Determining competitive advantage creators
  • Defining key future-state capabilities
  • This step involves the following participants:
  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and senior managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Identification of Levels 1 and 2 cost advantage creators
  • Identification of Levels 1 and 2 competitive advantage creators
  • Defined future state capabilities

Define the organization's key capabilities

  • A discussion about the key or most critical capabilities is an excellent opportunity for IT leaders to review, refresh, and even reset expectations from the business as to what value IT should be providing. There is often misalignment as to whether, or to what extent, IT should be making strategic investments to help the business enhance its capabilities through technology. Some IT leaders believe they should be transforming the organization while their CEO wants them to focus on operational efficiencies.
  • Depending on the mandate from the business, an IT leader may focus on developing a cost advantage for the organization by directing technology efforts to capabilities that deliver efficiency gains. This is often the case for many IT leaders for whom the primary role for IT is to enable the business to deliver its products/services to the end consumer at the lowest cost possible. These capabilities are known as cost advantage creators.
  • Organizations can develop a competitive advantage over their industry counterparts by creating a differentiated experience for their customers. Increasingly, this is facilitated and made possible through technology. IT can direct investment into capabilities that will improve the organization's competitive position in its market by delivering unique or enhanced experiences for its end customers. IT can develop a competitive advantage by directing efforts onto capabilities that are end-customer facing. These are known as the organization's competitive advantage creators.

This is an image of a business Capability map, showing where you will place the Cost Advantage creators, and the Competitive Advantage Creators.

Defining key capabilities for:
electricity and natural gas

This is an image of a business capability map for electricity and natural gas, with key capabilities highlighted in dark blue

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Defining key capabilities for
water and wastewater

This is an image of a business capability map for water and wastewater, with key capabilities highlighted in dark blue

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

2.1.1 Determine cost advantage creators

1-3 hours

Focus on capabilities that drive a cost advantage for your organization.

  1. If your organization has a cost advantage over competitors, the capabilities that enable it should be identified and prioritized. Highlight these capabilities and prioritize the programs that support them.
  2. Consider:
    1. What is the source of your cost advantage? IT should support the capabilities that drive the cost advantage.
    2. Is the industry you operate in sensitive to prices?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't focus on capabilities that create an unsustainable cost advantage. Take a long-term perspective and allocate your resources wisely.

Input

  • Value stream, Level 0 and Level 1 capabilities from previous activities
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Identified cost advantage creating capabilities

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

2.1.2 Determine competitive advantage creators

1-3 hours

Prioritize capabilities that give your organization an edge over rivals.

  1. If your organization does not have a cost advantage over competitors, determine if it can deliver differentiated end-customer experiences. Once you have identified the competitive advantages, understand which capabilities enable them. These capabilities are critical to the success of the organization and should be highly supported.
  2. Consider:
    1. Are there any products or services your organization provides that customers consider superior to competitive offerings?
    2. Which capabilities enable the competitive advantage?
    3. How easy is it for competitors to neutralize your competitive advantage? Focus on the capabilities that are difficult to replicate by competitors to create a more sustainable advantage.
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't determine the competitive advantages alone. Incorporate various perspectives from throughout the organization to truly understand how the organization competes in the marketplace.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

2.1.2 Determine competitive advantage creators

Input

  • Value stream, Level 1 and Level 2 capabilities from previous activities
  • Cost advantage creators from previous activity
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Identified competitive advantage creating capabilities

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

2.1.3 Define key future-state capabilities

1-3 hours

Know where you want to go and chart a course to get there.

  1. In addition to the current cost and competitive advantage creators, the organization may have the intention to enhance existing or develop new capabilities. Discuss and select the capabilities that will help drive the attainment of future goals.
  2. Consider:
    1. Are your competitors doing anything to give them a competitive advantage? Can your organization easily replicate the capabilities needed to neutralize that advantage?
    2. How is the external environment (political, economic, social, or technological) likely going to change in the future? How might these changes impact your current key capabilities?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't blindly copy your competitors' strategies. It is important to understand that each organization is unique; before focusing on key capabilities that might neutralize your competitors' advantages, ensure they fit well with your overall strategy.

Input

  • Value stream, Level 0 and Level 1 capabilities from previous activities
  • Cost advantage creators from previous activity
  • Competitive advantage creators from previous activity
  • Reference Architecture Template

Output

  • Identified enhancements to existing or new organizational capabilities

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

Step 2.2

Develop a Strategy Map

Activities

2.2.1 Identify the strategic goals and outcomes for the business
2.2.2 Map strategic objectives to IT programs
2.2.3 Validate the strategy map and program prioritization

Use business capabilities to define strategic focus

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Identification of business strategic objectives
  • Defined and validated strategy map/goal cascade

2.2 Develop a strategy map

  • A strategy map is a tool to help narrow the focus onto what matters most. With ever-changing resources, business strategies, and external environments, the strategy map can ensure IT is consistently providing value through the enhanced prioritization of IT programs.
  • Strategy mapping is a technique that helps executives communicate the business strategy to other levels of the organization by visually representing the organizational strategic objectives and mapping each of them to value streams, business capabilities, and ultimately, to specific IT programs. There are five layers to a strategy map: strategic business goals, business initiatives, value streams, business capabilities, and IT programs.
  • Strategic business goals are the targets and outcomes that the organization is looking to achieve.
  • Value streams enable an organization to create and capture value in the market through interconnected activities that support strategic objectives.
  • Business capabilities define what a business does to enable value creation in value streams, rather than how.
  • IT programs are actionable descriptions of how the IT department will enable one or multiple business capabilities in its target state.

This is an image of an outline for a strategy map used to break down business goals into strategic, achievable initiatives focused on specific value streams and business capabilities. The headings are: Business Goals & Outcomes; Business Initiatives; Level 1 Business Capabilities; Level 2 Business Capabilities; IT Capabilities; IT Initiatives; IT Goals.

2.2.1 Identify the strategic goals and outcomes for the business

1-3 hours

Knowing the key strategic objectives for the business will drive business-IT alignment.

  1. It is important to make sure the right strategic objectives of the organization have been identified and are well understood. Engage the right stakeholders to help identify and document the key strategic objectives.
  2. Consider:
    1. What are your targets for the organization?
    2. What are the organization's strategic investment goals?
    3. What are the goals of the organization over the next 12 months?
    4. What are your top business initiatives over the next 12 months?
    5. Are there external forces that will impact the current strategic objectives?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't simply go with the existing documented strategic objectives for the business. Ensure they are up to date; interview the decision makers, if needed, to get the most updated objectives.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

2.2.1 Identify the strategic goals and outcomes for the business

Input

  • Business strategy
  • Executive stakeholder Interviews
  • IT project portfolio

Output

  • Business goals
  • Business context information

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Illustrative example of strategic goals and outcomes for Utilities

ABC Corp.

  • Health and safety
    • We are committed to reducing the total number of recordable injuries and incidents by 10% in the next three years . Health and safety of our employees is our top priority.
  • Customer service
    • Our organization strives to maintain our industry leading customer satisfaction ratings by delighting our customers. Providing clean, safe, and quality services is essential to the organization.
  • Operational excellence
    • We will demonstrate operational efficiency by making data-driven business operating decisions, including providing real-time operating key measures to the organization.

2.2.2 Map strategic objectives to IT programs

1-3 hours

Communicate the business strategy visually to other levels of the organization.

  1. Starting with strategic objectives, map the value streams that will ultimately drive them. Next, link the key capabilities that enable each value stream. Finally, map the IT programs supporting those capabilities. This process will help you prioritize IT programs that deliver the most value to the organization.
  2. Consider:
    1. Focus on the value streams that truly drive the strategic objectives.
    2. Are there any capabilities that are not tied to outcomes?
    3. Are all strategic objectives supported with IT programs?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't be too granular. The audience for a strategy is interested in a higher-level understanding of what IT is doing. As such, keep things at the program level as opposed to the individual projects that compose a program.

Illustrative example of strategy map

This is an image of the strategy map discussed earlier in this blueprint. The headings are: Business Goals & Outcomes; Business Initiatives; Level 1 Business Capabilities; Level 2 Business Capabilities; IT Capabilities; IT Initiatives; IT Goals.

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

2.2.3 Validate the strategy map and program prioritization

1-3 hours

Crowdsource the strategy map validation.

  1. Validate the strategy map in layers. Start with IT and confirm which IT programs enable particular capabilities. Next, work with the business departments to validate the capabilities that support the value streams. Finally, validate the strategic objectives of the organization with the C-suite and communicate the value streams that support them.
  2. Consider:
    1. Are all strategic objectives equally important? If not, get a prioritized list of strategic objectives.
    2. Do any of the programs have critical dependencies that influence sequencing?
    3. If there are strategic objectives that do not have any IT programs mapped to them, consider adding new programs. Conversely, reconsider upcoming programs that do not have a connection to strategic objectives.
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't delay validating the strategic maps with top-level executives. A proactive approach will save you time in terms of rework, and maximize alignment.
    2. Don't leave anyone out on the assumption that they won't be interested. It is easy to miss key stakeholders – be careful and organized.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

2.2.3 Validate the strategy map and program prioritization

Input

  • IT initiatives
  • Goals cascade

Output

  • Validated Strategy Map and Goals Cascade

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Phase 3

Assess key capabilities for planning priorities

Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3Phase 4

1.1 Define the organization's value stream

1.2 Develop a business capability map

2.1 Define the organization's key capabilities

2.2 Develop a strategy map

3.1 Business process review

3.2 Information assessment

3.3 Technology opportunity assessment

4.1 Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

Utilities Industry Reference Architecture

This phase will walk you through the following:

  • Assessing process support for capabilities
  • Evaluating user adoption of processes for key capabilities
  • Prioritizing key capabilities process refinement
  • Assessing how well information supports capabilities
  • Evaluating accessibility to data for key capabilities
  • Prioritizing data improvements for key capabilities
  • Assessing technology support of capabilities
  • Uncovering value opportunities for applications
  • Comparing results with industry research to determine plan of action

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Step 3.1

Business process review

Activities

3.1.1 Assess process support for capabilities
3.1.2 Evaluate user adoption of processes for key capabilities
3.1.3 Prioritize key capabilities process refinement

Assess key capabilities for planning priorities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Outcomes of this step

  • Identification of capability process enablement

Business process review

Use process analysis and assessment to drive collaboration and integration.

  1. Organizations undergoing growth, either organically or through M&A, tend to develop in a piecemeal and short-sighted fashion in an attempt to preserve their view of agility. This can lead to the following pains:
  2. Duplicated or conflicting business activities.
  3. Processes that create bottlenecks by involving too many business units.
  4. Manual rekeying of data into multiple systems.
  5. Inefficient process for producing standard reports.
  6. These organizations are driven by the desire to effectively manage existing business processes while recognizing the need for a faster ability to share data, information, and insight across multiple systems and business units to support increasing demands for more rapid response.
  7. A primary goal of a strategy is to provide a framework that enables the current business environment to function as seamlessly as possible, allowing for flexibility when processes need to evolve.
  8. Through effective strategy design, IT can provide integration across business units by performing an analysis of how well the organizational capabilities are supported by processes. Specifically, IT should analyze and assess processes based on adherence, enforcement, overlap and on the presence of effective monitoring measures.

Assess how well processes support capabilities

This is an image of the Process Assessment Legend. it includes the following: Red: NONE: No documented process exists; Yellow: LOW: Processes have been documented but have not been effectively communicated and may be in conflict; Light Green: MEDIUM: LOW + processes are explicitly defined and have been formally communicated. There is minimal overlap between processes; Dark Green: HIGH: MEDIUM + processes are enforced and regularly monitored for deviations. Employees typically adhere to the process.

Figure above: Process Assessment Legend

Business process support of key capabilities:
Electricity and natural gas

This is an image of a business capability map for Electricity and Natural Gas, colour coded using the legend discussed above. The Process Assessment Legend is displayed to the right side of the Business Capability Map.

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Business process support of key capabilities:
Water and wastewater

This is an image of a business capability map for Electricity and Natural Gas, colour coded using the legend discussed above. The Process Assessment Legend is displayed to the right side of the Business Capability Map.

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

3.1.1 Assess process support for capabilities

1-3 hours

Standardization breeds efficiency.

  1. Begin by assessing whether each key capability has documented processes supporting it. Then evaluate whether the processes have been communicated, and the extent to which there is process overlap.
  2. Consider:
    1. What processes are documented?
    2. Have the documented processes been communicated to the business users?
    3. Are some of the processes redundant? Has that been done on purpose, or can you optimize them?
    4. Are there key capabilities that lack processes all together?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't waste time. Only evaluate processes that are documented and communicated, and then evaluate them for exclusivity.
    2. Don't do this in a vacuum. Validate that you have captured all existing processes by speaking to other employees.

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat-mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

3.1.2 Evaluate user adoption of processes for key capabilities

1-3 hours

Having processes is one thing, but are they being adhered to?

  1. The next level of analysis involves assessing whether defined processes are being adhered to. Confirm whether the organization enforces adherence.
  2. Consider:
    1. Is there regular monitoring for deviations from the defined process? Is this recorded and acted upon?
    2. Are there certain groups of users that are not following the processes in place? Why?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't think the lack of process adherence is simply the employees' fault. In some cases, the processes might not be well designed or are outdated, thus warranting the need for refinement.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Template

3.1.2 Evaluate user adoption of processes for key capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat-mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Step 3.2

Information assessment

Activities

3.2.1 Assess how well information supports capabilities
3.2.2 Evaluate accessibility to data for key capabilities
3.2.3 Prioritize data improvements for key capabilities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning and Analysis staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Outcome of this step

  • Identification of capability data support

The data, Reporting and Analytics Diagnostic helps identify information gaps

Assessing how well information supports capabilities is nearly impossible to perform without an honest and thorough understanding of end user sentiment toward data, reporting and analytics.

Develop data driven insights to help you decide which business capabilities require new or improved reporting and analytics and opportunities to improve business processes, and by extension enable the capabilities of the business.

The Data, Reporting and Analytics programs will help you:

  1. Assess data quality and reporting satisfaction at a glance
  2. Evaluate data quality across nine dimensions of quality
  3. Evaluate reporting across ten dimensions of satisfaction
  4. Determine which areas are the most critical
  5. Determine effectiveness of analytics tools

Apply the Data, Reporting and Analytics Diagnostic

This is a screenshot of the Data Quality Scorecard and the Report Scorecord.

Here are some critical insights to extract from the Data, Reporting and Analytics Diagnostic report

Begin with understanding the perception of the information in use in your organization to assess the effectiveness of supporting key business.

Data and reports that are deemed to be low accuracy, currency, or completeness could hamper strategic business capabilities and should be investigated further regarding their effectiveness in supporting key business capabilities.

This is a screenshot from the Data Reporting and Analytics Diagnostic Report. It includes definitions and degrees of satisfaction for the following terms: Clarity; Accuracy; Currency; Completeness

Information assessment

Assess the availability and quality of data in providing information as a business asset.

  • Information is central to every organization's success and ability to realize its goals. Too often organizations experience the following pains:
    • Duplicated or conflicting data residing in disparate databases.
    • Inadequate controls or edits on data.
    • Manual rekeying of data into multiple systems.
    • Inability to provide executives with reliable and easily accessible information for decision making.
    • Inability of business units to assume "ownership" of data.
  • These organizations are driven by the desire to effectively manage existing business processes while recognizing the need for a faster ability to share data, information, and insight across multiple systems and business units to support increasing demands for more rapid response.
  • A primary goal of a strategy is to provide a framework that enables information to be viewed as a critical business asset, across organizational boundaries and accessed as seamlessly as possible.
  • Through effective strategy design, IT can provide integration of data across business units by performing an analysis of how well the organizational capabilities are supported by information. Specifically, IT should analyze and assess data based on quality, integrity, ownership and an effective data governance framework.

This is an image of the Information Assessment Legend. It includes the following: Red: NONE: Data is unavailable, unreliable, duplicated, or not of sufficient detail; Yellow: LOW: Data is available but not subject to adequate integrity or quality controls. Data ownership is undefined. Light Green: MEDIUM: LOW + Data is available but not fully automated. Data ownership is mostly defined. Dark Green: HIGH: MEDIUM + Data is available, of high quality, fully automated with clear ownership.

Figure above: Information Assessment Legend

Information support of key capabilities:
Electricity and natural gas

This is an image of the business capability map for electricity and natural gas, labeled using the Informational Assessment Legend.

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Information support of key capabilities:
Water and wastewater

This is an image of the business capability map for water and wastewater, labeled using the Informational Assessment Legend.

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

3.2.1 Assess how well information supports capabilities

1-3 hours

  1. Information is a key business asset.
  2. Begin by assessing whether each key capability has data available to support it. Then evaluate the quality and integrity of the data and the extent to which there is clear business unit ownership of the data.
  3. Consider:
    1. What data exists to support the capability?
    2. Does the same data exist in various databases?
    3. What controls exist to ensure quality and integrity?
    4. Are there key capabilities that lack automated information all together?
  4. Remember:
    1. Don't waste time. Only evaluate information holdings that are central to the capability.
    2. Don't do this in a vacuum. Validate that you have captured all existing data by collaborating with other IT and business unit employees.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Architecture Template

3.2.1 Assess how well information supports capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Data dictionary
  • Key reports
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat-mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning and Analysis staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

3.2.2 Evaluate accessibility to data for key capabilities

1-3 hours

Having data is one thing, but is it easily accessible and available in a format suitable for decision making?

  1. The next level of analysis involves assessing whether data is easily accessible to the main users of the information.
  2. Consider:
    1. Is data well integrated so executives do not have to access more than one source for the information they need? Is there a data warehouse capability to bring together data from disparate databases?
    2. Is there an end-user business intelligence (BI) capability? Are users sufficiently trained in its use?
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't think that the lack of information is the fault of any one IT unit or application. In most cases, the core problem is a lack of a comprehensive approach to enterprise and data architecture.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Architecture Template

3.2.2 Evaluate accessibility to data for key capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Data dictionary
  • Key reports
  • Listing of key system of records/transactional data source system inventory
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat-mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning and Analysis staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

3.2.3 Prioritize data improvements for key capabilities

1-3 hours

Use data to institute information as an asset.

  1. Key capabilities should be well supported by data. If there are any capabilities that scored Level 2 or below, prioritize establishing an effective data governance framework. Leverage Info-Tech's blueprint Build a Data Architecture Roadmap for further information.
  2. Consider:
    1. Is data management fully in your mandated area of influence, responsibility, or accountability? If not, consider who you may need to recruit for support from the business side to drive refinements.
    2. Effective data governance will require close collaboration between IT and the data owners on the business side.
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't create redundant data. Ensure there is minimal overlap with existing data elements if you are creating a new application or database process.
    2. Don't forget to think about end-user access and reporting tools when creating new data holdings. This might be more challenging, but it will ultimately ensure long-term success.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Architecture Template

3.2.3 Prioritize data improvements for key capabilities

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat-mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning and Analysis staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Step 3.3

Technology opportunity assessment

Activities

3.3.1 Assess technology support of capabilities
3.3.2 Uncover value opportunities for applications

Assess key capabilities for planning priorities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Outcome of this step

  • Identification of capability application and technology support

The Application Portfolio Assessment Diagnostic helps identify application gaps

Application portfolio management is nearly impossible without an honest and thorough understanding of end user sentiment toward IT software.

Develop data-driven insights to help you decide which applications to retire, upgrade, re-train on or maintain, to meet the demands, and by extension enable the capabilities of the business.

The Application Portfolio Assessment program will help you:

  • Assess the health of the application portfolio.
  • Understand the business' perception of the application in use throughout your business.
  • Identify and build core IT processes that automate IT-business alignment.
  • Create a plan to address alignment gaps impeding business growth.
  • Deliver your plan to demonstrate IT value and progress. Apply the Application Portfolio Assessment Diagnostic

Here are some critical insights to extract from the Application Portfolio Assessment report

Begin with understanding the perception of the applications in use in your organization to assess the effectiveness of supporting key business capabilities.

Applications that are deemed as unleveraged, questionable, or contentious should be investigated further regarding the effectiveness of supporting key business capabilities.

This image contains critical insights found in the Application portfolio for High performing, at risk, and nonessential applications.

Technology opportunity assessment

New technologies can create opportunities for business agility and help develop resilience to changing market conditions.

  • Business agility is essential to stay competitive. However, the application portfolio of many organizations cannot sufficiently support the flexibility and efficiency the business needs because of legacy challenges.
  • Organizations experience application sprawl over time, caused by many factors, that can end up costing more for licenses, operational resources, and maintenance.
  • Organizations are looking for ways to modernize their applications, but want to develop options without introducing additional risks. Adopting a capability-based approach to assessing applications will enable the IT department to identify opportunities to:
    • Automate tasks through the strategic selection and implementation of applications.
    • Integrate applications that have cross-capability implications.
    • Rationalize the application portfolio.
    • Eliminate redundant or legacy applications that don't deliver enough value.
  • The market availability for software applications dedicated to supporting a specific capability (or set of capabilities) can serve as an indicator of the presence of legacy challenges. Where there is a lack of application availability, it may be a signal of either custom developed, ad-hoc and makeshift solutions, or shadow IT.

This is an image of the Technology Opportunity Assessment Legend. it includes the following: Red: NONE: Capability is typically unsupported by applications. The likelihood of legacy applications supporting these capabilities is high. Yellow: LOW: Capability is somewhat supported by applications. There is typically a mix of legacy and purchased applications supporting these capabilities. Light Green: MEDIUM: Capability is moderately supported by applications. Organizations do not have to build their own applications; however, there aren't many solutions to choose from. Dark Green: HIGH: Capability is well supported by applications. Organizations can choose from a variety of solutions that will meet or exceed their needs.

Figure above: Technology Opportunity Assessment Legend

3.3.1 Assess technology support of capabilities

1-3 hours

Determine how well key capabilities are supported by applications.

  • Perform an application rationalization exercise on the key capabilities to see how well they are being supported by applications. Applications should be assessed based on flexibility, ease of use, and integration.
  • Consider:
    • How flexible are the applications?
    • How well do the applications integrate?
    • How easy are the applications to learn and use?
    • Are there overlap, unplanned redundancy, or data quality issues?
  • Remember:
    • Don't perform a complete overhaul. Consider continuity in delivering business services before you rip out and replace everything.
    • Don't forget about shadow IT. Ask around to get an accurate understanding of what applications are being used to support business capabilities.

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Listing of key system of records/transactional system inventory
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat-mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning and Analysis staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Architecture Template

Application support of key capabilities:
Electricity and natural gas

This is an image of the Business Capability Map for Application support of Electricity and Natural Gas, colour coded using the Technology Opportunity Assessment Legend

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Application support of key capabilities:
Water and wastewater

This is an image of the Business Capability Map for Application support of Water and Wastewater, colour coded using the Technology Opportunity Assessment Legend

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

3.3.2 Uncover value opportunities for applications

1-3 hours

Make sure the business is leveraging applications wherever it should.

  1. Unsupported key capabilities are areas in which IT can deliver high value for the business. The key capabilities that score none or low in the technology assessment are the ones that require the most attention.
  2. Consider:
    1. Prioritize which unsupported key capabilities to focus on based on their importance.
  3. Remember:
    1. Don't focus on unsupported key capabilities that will require too much investment.
    2. Don't build an application just because you can. Research existing solutions before deciding to build in-house.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Architecture Template

3.3.2 Uncover value opportunities for applications

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Listing of key system of records/transactional system inventory
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Heat-mapped capability map

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Enterprise/Business Architect
  • Data Architect
  • Organizational Planning and Analysis staff
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers

Phase 4

Adopt capability-based strategy planning

Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3Phase 4

1.1 Define the organization's value stream

1.2 Develop a business capability map

2.1 Define the organization's key capabilities

2.2 Develop a strategy map

3.1 Business process review

3.2 Information assessment

3.3 Technology opportunity assessment

4.1 Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

This phase will walk you through the following:

  • Assessing Capability Gaps via a MoSCoW Analysis

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)

Utilities Industry Reference Architecture

Step 4.1

Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

Activities

4.1.1 Assess capability gaps via a MoSCoW analysis

Adopt capability-based strategy planning

This step involves the following participants:

  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Department Executives and Senior Managers
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)

Outcome of this step

  • Prioritization of key capability gaps

Consolidate and prioritize capability gaps

  • Direct strategic IT investments based on the collective output of the capability assessments.
  • Combined with a solid understanding of business priorities and IT's mandate, a capability assessment can be the driving force that informs a unified perspective on the sequencing of an organization's strategic IT initiatives.
  • Assessments based on how well a capability is supported by people (via organizational analysis), process (via process review), data (via information assessment), and technology (via application, infrastructure, data, and security improvements) will inform the overall health of a capability, or in other words, the size of a capability gap. This information, when contrasted with the concept of a MoSCoW-based (prioritization technique to categorize requirements as must-address, should-address, could-address and won't-address) effort to value, forms an enhanced decision-making framework for determining initiative sequencing on a strategic roadmap.
  • If a capability has a large gap (is poorly supported by people, process, data, or technology), it should be considered as high effort (difficulty) to address. When the capability is well aligned with business priorities and the IT mandate, the capability gap should be considered as high value to address.
  • See the figure on the right: IT leaders should focus their efforts on the lower-right quadrant (low effort, high value). In the top-right quadrant (high effort, high value), IT should seek business support to drive the initiative. Capability gaps on the right side of the quadrant overall are good candidates for capability outsourcing.

an image of a blank MosCoW analysis for Effort and Value is depicted.

Figure above: MoSCoW analysis for business capabilities

MoSCoW capability gap analysis

This is an image of the MoSCoW capability gap analysis for the value to effort impact ratio

Value to effort impact ratio

  • HE = High effort
  • LE = Low effort
  • HV = High value
  • LV = Low value

← We are looking to act on low effort, high value

4.1.1 Assess capability gaps via a MoSCoW analysis

1-3 hours

Elevate your focus from the IT level to the organization level

  1. Gather and synthesize the priorities from the information, people, process, and technology assessments to develop a consolidated view of IT's planning responsibilities.
  2. Consider:
    1. How big is the difference between current needs and the assessment of the factors that support each capability?
    2. Are there any groups of capabilities that have low scores from the assessments? Consider a root-cause analysis to determine what could be impacting multiple capabilities.
  3. Remember:
    • Don't forget about healthy capabilities. Enhance the green (low-gap) capabilities once you have resolved the issues with the red and yellow (large-gap) key capabilities.

Download the Utilities Industry Reference Architecture Template

4.1.1 Assess capability gaps via a MoSCoW analysis

Input

  • Reference Architecture Template
  • Capability maps

Output

  • Shortlisted assessment of capability gaps via 2x2 matric

Materials

  • Whiteboard/Flip charts
  • Reference Architecture Template

Participants

  • Business Analysts
  • Business Unit Leads
  • CIO
  • CTO, VP Applications, VP Infrastructure
  • Departmental Executive and Senior managers
  • Portfolio Manager (PMO Director)

MoSCoW analysis for business capabilities

this is an image of the MoSCoW analysis for business capabilities

Note: Illustrative Example. To edit and customize this visual please download the corresponding template.

Ranked list of IT implications template

MoSCoW Rank IT implication Value stream impacted Comments/Actions
M Enhance data integration across multiple applications Retail and customer services To enable business to communicate services restoration information timely to the customers
M [Implication] [Value Stream]
M [Implication] [Value Stream]
S [Implication] [Value Stream]
S [Implication] [Value Stream]
S [Implication] [Value Stream]
C [Implication] [Value Stream]
C [Implication] [Value Stream]
C [Implication] [Value Stream]
W [Implication] [Value Stream]
W [Implication] [Value Stream]
W [Implication] [Value Stream]

Address key capability gaps

As part of your next steps checklist, leverage the reference architecture for priorities that drive measurable top-line organizational outcomes and the unlocking of direct value.

Reference Architecture

Summary of Accomplishment

Problem Solved. You have:

  • Accelerated the building of your organization's capability map by defining the organization's value stream and validating the industry reference architecture.
  • Used business capabilities to define strategic focus by defining the organization's key capabilities and developing a prioritized strategy map.
  • Assessed key capabilities for planning priorities through a review of business processes, information, and application and technology support of key capabilities.
  • Consolidated and prioritized capability gaps for incorporation into priorities.

If you would like additional support, have our analysts guide you through other phases as part of an Info-Tech workshop

workshops@infotech.com

1-888-670-8889

Additional Support

If you would like additional support, have our analysts guide you through other phases as part of an Info-Tech workshop

To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.

Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech's historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.

This is a Picture of Jing Wu

Contact your account representative for more information.
workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

Review capability assessment map(s).

This is an image of sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team: this is an image of the capability assessment map(s).

Using the business capability map as an accelerator, Info-Tech analysts will work with relevant stakeholders to modify and validate the business capability map to suit your organization's context.

Info-Tech analysts will work with relevant stakeholders to review the various capability assessment maps and identify value opportunities within your organization.

Contributing Expert

This is a picture of Anuradha Ganesh, Principal Research Director – Architecture, Data, ML, and Artificial intelligence, with Info-Tech Research Group

Anuradha Ganesh
Principal Research Director –
Architecture, Data, ML, and Artificial intelligence
info-Tech Research Group

Chris Chapelsky
Senior Manager, Grid Transformation
EPCOR Utilities Inc.

Bibliography

"A definitive guide to business capabilities " LeanIX, 2022, Accessed July 2022
"A Utility Business Reference Model for Sustainability LIFT for Management" NEWEA, Jan 2017, Accessed July 2022
"Approval to Operate Wastewater" EPCOR Utilities Inc., May 2015, Accessed July 2022
"Approval to Operate Water" EPCOR Utilities Inc., May 2015, Accessed July 2022
"Basic Information about Water Reuse" EPA, June 2022, Accessed July 2022
"Reference Architecture for Electric Energy OT and Accompanying Profiles"" DOE, Mar 2022, Accessed July 2022"
"Reference Model Visualizing Enhanced Digitalization Capabilities" EnergyCentral, May 2020, Accessed July 2022
"Storm Water Systems: All You Need To Know" DeepTrekker, 2022, Accessed July 2022
"TOGAF Version 9.1" OpenGroup, Feb 2009, Accessed July 2022
"Understanding Your Water Bill" EPA, Mar 2022, Accessed July 2022
"Utilities process classification framework V7.2.1" APQC, Feb 2019, Accessed July 2022
"Utility capability topics" TechTarget, 2022, Accessed July 2022
"Utility capability topics" Wikipedia, 2022, Accessed July 2022
"What are business capabilities" BizzDesign, Aug 2021, Accessed July 2022

Glossary of Capabilities (1/8)

Capability Definition
Vendor Management Sourcing the suitable equipment, tools and services companies based on performance, pricing, discounts, delivery schedule adherence, and policy compliance.
Contract Management Management of the contracts made between utilities, customers, vendors, suppliers and partners. It includes negotiating and documenting terms and conditions.
Spend Management Management of overall expenditure of supply chain goods and services, thus providing analytical insights to reduce cost.
Sourcing Management Services and processes that organize and maximize organizational purchasing power to the best value possible in the marketplace.
Supplier Management Sourcing the suitable material companies based on performance, pricing, discounts, delivery schedule adherence, and policy compliance.
Warehouse Management Processes and facilities to physically organize and store inventory items. Management of tasks within warehouses.
Inventory Management Processes and services to manage stock and non-stocked materials, equipment and tools to support business operations, including forecasting and replenishment planning.

Glossary of Capabilities (2/8)

Capability Definition
AP and AR Accounts payable and receivable process and services to support supply chain management.
Planning and Budget Activities of planning of construction projects or programs and approval processes to get approval and funding support.
Resource Scheduling Processes of managing and scheduling personnel including engineers, designers, and field workers, to complete the construction project or program.
Records Management Management of business records such as drawings, designs, permits, and other supporting documents.
Construction Services Activities that build the utility infrastructure such as underground cables, switching cubicles, water mains, and gas pipelines.
System Planning Long-term planning activities to design and construct the utility infrastructure.
Hydraulic Modeling Engineering modeling of water and wastewater resources management within the network infrastructure. It is also used to simulate natural gas transmission and distribution within the pipeline systems.
Asset and Work Management Procedures and tools to manage the life cycle of assets and related preventative maintenance work orders, work requests and inspections.
GIS, Design and Drafting Activities to digitize utility infrastructure and assets from proposed designs and construction drawings to as-built processes.
Resource Planning Long-term planning activities to optimize the management of personnel including engineers, and field workers required to support long-term plans of operating the utility infrastructure.
Flood Prevention and Mitigation Strategies and processes to prevent flooding and reduce the damages caused by flooding.

Glossary of Capabilities (3/8)

Capability Definition
Data Strategy Tools and processes of how data is collected, analyzed, and used within the organization to achieve business objectives.
Data Governance A collection of roles, policies, processes, and standards to ensure the effectiveness of executing the organizational data strategy.
Master Data Management A collection of tools and processes to ensure a unified and single truth of common critical business data is shared across the organization.
Business Intelligence Processes and tools to collect, store, and analyze organizational data to provide business insights to aid business operations.
Critical Asset Management Set of standards and procedures to ensure appropriate secure controls are in place to protect business critical infrastructure such as nuclear plants and electric power systems.
Communication Network Operation Management of secured, structured, and near real time communication networks, often including fiber optics within the SCADA network zone.
Distribution Operation The processes and activities to ensure reliable electricity and gas delivering infrastructure to consumers, including homes and businesses.
Outage Management The detection, localization and restoration of electricity, natural gas, and water services in utilities.
Substation Operation Processes and procedures to operate and maintain all the essential components of power substations.
Transmission Operation The processes and activities to ensure reliable electricity transmission infrastructure to the downstream delivering systems.

Glossary of Capabilities (4/8)

Capability Definition
Control Operation Processes and tools to monitor, control, and manage the utility systems while coordinating and centralizing the decision making of the overall operations.
SCADA Operation Procedures and tools to monitor and control local or remote devices near real-time via communication networks such as fiber optics.
Settlement and Billing Processes and tools to generate and collect payments that customers owe to the utilities, as well as the reconciliation of energy usage and allocation among involved entities, such as delivery facility owners and billing service providers.
Omnichannel Management A collection of methods for utilities to interact with customers including company website, self-served portal, notifications, automated phone system, and social media.
Services Requests A formal request from customers for utilities to provide services such as meter installation, water curb cock turn-on/turn-off, and check backflows.
Customer Care Manage how well utility customers are treated and services have been fulfilled.
Collection Services Debt collection processes to recover utility customers' overdue payments
Sales and Marketing Marketing company services and brand awareness to potential new customers.
Energy Plans Management Provide various energy consumption plans including fixed rate or variable rate for electricity or gas consumptions to help customers to make economic decisions.
Sustainability Engagement Practices provided to advise customers to help reduce energy consumption and conserve water for the sustainable future.

Glossary of Capabilities (5/8)

Capability Definition
Developer, Builder Services Services provided to land developers and infill builders to ensure utility infrastructures are properly designed and constructed.
Community Outreach Information provided to customers and communities about services or construction projects such as upgrade of a large transmission line.
Advanced Meter Infrastructure Practices and systems to communicate and control two-way smart meters remotely over a communication network.
Meter Data Management Processes and tools to collect, store, evaluation, estimate and edit meter reading data from AMI system.
Meter Reading Operation Manage collection of customer meter readings based on measured consumptions from homes and businesses, and then transfer data to billing systems.
Gas Regulator Operation Services that manage the maintenance of customers' gas regulators, including homes and businesses.
Compliance and Quality Assurance Practices to maintain the standards and follow regulations required to operate metering operations.
Mobile Workforce Management Processes and tools to manage field utility workers' operational tasks.
Outage Restoration Procedures and operations to restore disrupted services to customers
Scheduling and Dispatching Organization of short-term work such as work orders, work requests and inspections, as well as identification of the best available field utility workers with matching skill sets.

Glossary of Capabilities (6/8)

Capability Definition
Operational Maintenance Services to maintain the safety and reliability of the utility infrastructure, including preventative maintenance work schedules by asset types.
Fleet Management Processes of managing the life cycle of utility vehicles to increase productivity, reduce cost, and enforce driver safety through regulations.
Production Operation Processes and tools to operate the generation of electricity effectively and efficiently.
Environmental Compliance Practices to conform to environmental standards and regulations to operate electricity generation.
Facility Operation Processes and procedures to operate various facilities at the power generation plants.
Engineering Services Instrumental engineering practices to design and maintain the power generation plants.
Energy Sales and Trading The electricity wholesale trade between electricity generating companies with electricity services providers.
Demand Management Monitoring long-term and short-term consumer demands of electricity and water to plan and implement the production or generation of resources to meet the needs.
Water and Wastewater Management Management of water supply to power generation plants, as well as the process of treating industrial wastewater prior to being discharged safely.
Fuel Management Monitoring, controlling and planning the usage of fuel consumption at the power generation sites to optimize production.

Glossary of Capabilities (7/8)

Capability Definition
Energy Portfolio Management Strategies and practices to incorporate various energy resources, such as renewable energy options, besides the traditional sources.
Booster Station Operation Processes and procedures operated within booster stations to lift water or wastewater above gravity for easy downstream transmission and distribution.
Sensor Devices Operation Activities to monitor and control remote sensors to detect events such as water levels, flow speeds, and pressures to help optimize the distribution system.
Lab Information Management Procedures and tools to automate the collection of water and wastewater samples to ensure the quality of treatment practices.
Monitoring and Reporting Processes and tools to monitor the quality of water and wastewater treatment practices and generate quality assurance regulatory reports.
Lead Response Procedures to assess the lead hazards and address the risk of consumption of dangerous levels of lead in the potable drinking water.
Cross Connection Control Procedures to assess and manage the potential cross contamination of potable drinking water.
Chemical Usage Processes and tools to manage the usage of chemicals in the water and wastewater treatment process.
Ordos Management Processes and procedures to reduce the unwanted smells from the air during wastewater treatment.

Glossary of Capabilities (8/8)

Capability Definition
Plant Operation Processes and procedures to operate water and wastewater treatment plants and facilities.
Sludge Disposal Processes and procedures to remove the sewage sludge generated during the wastewater treatment processes.
Digester Gas Management Processes and procedures to repurpose the methane-rich wastewater byproducts.
Capacity Management Monitoring and planning the operation of water and wastewater treatment capacity in treatment plants. It also involves managing the storage capacity of water reservoirs or water drainage ponds.
Conservation Management Strategies and practices to conserve water supply in the event of extreme hot weather or shortage of natural water sources.
Discharge Management Processes and procedures to safely discharge treated wastewater, including drainage runoffs and treated sewage water to waterways.

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Guided Implementation #1 - Model
  • Call #1 - Introduce Info-Tech's industry business reference architecture methodology
  • Call #2 - Define and create value streams
  • Call #3 - Model Levels 1 and 2 business capability maps
  • Call #4 - Map value streams to business capabilities
  • Call #5 - Create a strategy map

Guided Implementation #2 - Drive
  • Call #1 - Introduce Info-Tech's capability assessment framework
  • Call #2 - Review capability assessment map(s)
  • Call #3 - Discuss and review prioritization of key capability gaps and plan next steps

Author

Jing Wu

Contributors

Chepalsky, Chris - Sr Manager, Grid Transformation, EPCOR Utilitities Inc.


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