Adopting a Central Event Management (CEM) solution is an ongoing process that starts before the solution is installed and continues long after it goes live. As with any enterprise solution, the introduction of CEM is not just about getting the IT right; it also means changes are needed to many work processes and staff roles.
The key is to properly balance people, processes and technology (PPT) to maximize rollout success and ongoing benefits. At TaKaDu, we’ve worked with many utilities as they go through this transformation and have seen what’s needed and what works. We’ve seen that managing the transformation is key to a smooth and fast deployment and to getting the maximum value from CEM.
Plan for change
People are creatures of habit and typically once they learn to work a certain way, they are often content to continue. But, once CEM is introduced, continuing the old way of working, which was based on the capabilities and limits of whatever existed before, will make it much harder to reap the benefits of the new technology.
For example, instead of continuing to follow a schedule of periodic routine surveys to find leaks, a utility that has implemented TaKaDu CEM can instead proactively survey specific areas based on a leak detection event. But if the field team is not prepared in advance for the new approach, they might stick to the pre-set survey schedule, missing the opportunity to stop a leak when it is still in the early stages.
Here are some key recommendations for successfully managing transformation across people, processes and technologies (PPT) when adopting a new CEM solution.
- Assign a transformation leader who has the authority to direct resources, prioritize processes for change.
- Nominate the right users and train them in stages – Place the system in the heart of the network operation and assign selected control room personnel as users. Train them on basic features at the beginning and then expand capabilities to manage the full range of event types.
- Set expectations appropriately and measure the adoption progress – Managers and users should understand from the outset that value will build gradually over the course of weeks and months.
- Review the working processes in light of the new technology, and modify them as needed, define new processes, and cancel obsolete processes.
- Increase inter-departmental communication and collaboration – This can simplify working processes and speed up completion of tasks, leading to higher overall efficiency.
- Start small and plan to grow – A pilot that covers up to about 2,500 kms of network pipes divided into 50-80 DMAs, and includes three key modules (Events, Graphs, Areas) is usually enough to bring clear initial value and enable the PPT transformation to gain momentum, facilitating later expansion across the network and with additional modules.
The above recommendations are just a few of our insights about how utilities can best manage transformation when adopting a CEM solution.
For more in-depth information about all those steps, and additional recommendations, please download our new eBook: Transformation That Drives Central Event Management (CEM) Success.