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The Importance of Vision During Implementation


The Smart Grid community has laid out the importance of creating a roadmap from the onset of Smart Grid enabling technologies. The majority of utilities, in turn, have sat down and shaped their vision of tomorrow's Smart enterprise. As the focus shifts from planning to project execution, there are many common pitfalls. The vision has now been laid out in a list of discrete, granular projects. The challenge is then to create a truly integrated Smart Grid from seemingly separate projects while ensuring the Smart Grid vision continues to evolve.  

In most utilities the Smart Grid project team has been assembled from a variety of line of business IT stakeholders, business stakeholders and core project managers. These individuals are key to the successful implementation of a component of the overall vision. However, if the utility company allows for the independent execution of the project there could be a significant impact on the realization of the overall roadmap. Unfortunately, one of the greatest issues during the execution of a transformational project is the creation of Smart Grid project myopia.

The project team will execute against the defined goals of the individual project but will lack the vision to ensure the project will seamlessly integrate with the Smart Grid roadmap. When carrying out this particular project it is important to have a distinct and separate team that works in an advisory and oversight role to ensure that the granular aspects of the project meet the evolving needs of the corporation's Smart Grid landscape. This oversight role ensures a truly integrated Smart Grid and does not sacrifice vision for project execution.

The project team is incentivized on the successful completion of the project but this is limited to that individual project. There are tough decisions that need to be made during the project that can limit the scope of the project but also limit the scope of the Smart Grid vision. These decisions may cut the cost of today's Smart Grid plan at the expense of a technology landscape that will not evolve with current industry trends. Although the cost of execution may be greater today, these tough decisions can limit the amount of rework required to integrate with future Smart Grid components. With the oversight of a separate Smart Grid vision team each project will be executed with respect to an evolving landscape and savings can be realized through a truly integrated Smart Grid technology landscape.

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