Energy Power Marketing Program Recovery and Program Management

Case Study:

Energy Power Marketing Program Recovery and Program Management

Project Mission and Background

Our clients were a group of Pacific Northwest public Utilities that own and operate generating resources proposed an arrangement for obtaining power and capabilities of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). The basic premise of the proposal, called the "Slice of the System" (Slice), is that a purchaser would pay a fixed percent of Bonneville Power Administration (BPA's) power costs in exchange for a fixed percent of FCRPS generation and capabilities. Each utility needed to develop a technology solution that allowed them to forecast the available Slice they would receive from BPA each month. Originally, the vision for the program intended to leverage one vendor to build a single solution for all of the Utilities. However, after a significant amount of time and energy was spent with one vendor, the Utilities realized they needed additional program leadership to guide them to the right solution. After assessing the existing vendor, the recommendation was to capture requirements and launch an RFP for vendors to bid on. After several iterations with a new vendor and a pilot, the Utilities each pursued slightly different solutions to work with BPA to obtain the need information related to Slice. Because the new contract was a twenty-year contract with BPA, our clients had an overarching strategic goal to choose the right solution and implement that solution in a timely manner.  

 

Challenges

The client’s each had slightly different needs in their ultimate solution and desire for how they wanted to use the BPA generation capabilities and the replication of what the generation might be each month was a complex mathematical system. The clients needed a third party independent leader to help them drive to a solution among the Utilities as well as working with BPA. Specifically, the clients sought a team who could assess the current program and recommendation corrective actions as well as stay to implement and guide them to their new solutions. The client’s engagement of multiple different technology teams and multiple vendors in conjunction with slightly different requirements, added complexity to the program, requiring a program leadership team who could clearly define roles and responsibilities as well as drive the program toward a timely completion.  

Our Approach

Lewis Fowler’s Program team applied their Program Recovery Assessment methodology to first assessed the program. Once the assessment was completed it was clear the Utilities needed to redirect all efforts to a new RFP and vendor/solution. Lewis Fowler consultants quickly moved the group to capturing RFP requirements, launching and monitoring the RFP responses as well as facilitating a new pilot solution.  In the end, the Utilities each chose slightly different solutions from outsourcing the work to a third party to building in house solutions. Using our proprietary Deliverables Based Planningsm program management methodology allowed our team to quickly turn the program around.  Lewis Fowler provided diligent vendor management and oversight to coordinate on-time program delivery and mitigate the risks associated with the vendors’ unique issues and differing goals for the program.  In addition, our program manager’s knowledge of the Slice Program and BPA practices helped to reduce the overall costs and reduce time to solution.  

Direct Benefits

By taking corrective action on this program, Lewis Fowler helped their clients avoid a relationship with the wrong vendor that could have lasted over 20 years. We were also able to help each Utility come to the right solution for their specific needs and guide the Utilities through an effectively run program. The vendor oversight provided by our Program Manager alleviated miscommunications and conflicting priorities while providing our clients with a single point of contact and accountability for all program deliverables, keeping the program  in alignment the defined scope and timelines. 

Summary

Lewis Fowler helped our client reach their strategic goal of determining the right solution to support their 20 year relationship with BPA related to Slice by re-directing their program and providing critical vendor management oversight.  

 

 

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