Design a Roadmap to Support Your Goals and Objectives.
Faced with changing business and regulatory demands, organizations need SMART strategies to frame their decisions and refine their business objectives. Westin’s strategic services are designed to:
Define vision and strategies to attain integrated business solutions;
Document the organization’s goals and expected results;
Identify root causes of business and technology problems – not just symptoms;
Prioritize options and define dependencies;
Align recommendations with budget and resource constraints;
Gain buy-in and communicate throughout the organization;
Define measures and target levels of performance;
Address the considerations and obstacles of implementation; and
Ensure continuous improvement and periodic course corrections.
Westin understands how to coordinate business and technology strategic planning in a practical, attainable manner. We work with you to align your values, strategies and solutions to improve organizational efficiencies and effectiveness. At Westin, we are proud that our customer’s plans get implemented and that they achieve their goals.
360 Perspective for Enabling EUM
Effective Utility Management is based on the 10 attributes of effectively managed utilities. These include:
- Product Quality
- Customer Satisfaction
- Employee and Leadership Development
- Operational Optimization
- Financial Viability
- Infrastructure Strategy and Performance
- Enterprise Resiliency
- Community Sustainability
- Water Resource Sustainability
- Stakeholder Understanding and Support
Westin’s proven eUM 360 methodology enables utility leaders to catalyze and sustain Effective Utility Management in today’s increasingly complex business decisions. Attaining excellence demands updated approaches, including uniting business and technology management practices.
Technology Strategic Planning
Utilities are constantly seeking to do more with fewer staff and limited revenues. At the same time, utility strategies often require fully implemented and integrated information solutions to help achieve their goals and measure progress.
Technology Strategic Planning helps you identify the strategies required to achieve your utility’s business goals. By addressing both information technology and control system strategies, this planning approach unifies your efforts toward shared business imperatives. These plans articulate how you can leverage people, processes and systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness, support business decisions, ensure that investments provide the best return, and initiate a programmatic approach to attain success. Westin helps utilities:
Improve performance by coordinating and focusing systems and resources;
Streamline and integrate business processes that cross departments;
Develop executive and staff buy-in to ensure program success;
Prioritize and justify investments based on business benefits and technical requirements;
Establish governance, organizational structure, and resources required to implement strategies; and
Define projects considering priorities, schedule, dependencies, resources and funding.
We work with you to create a comprehensive road map for your unique business needs. This planning effort articulates strategies, realistic project definitions and justifiable cost estimates to ensure that your organization is poised for action.
Organizational goals change over time due to external influences and economic drivers. Sometimes strategies and goals need to be reset because progress has occurred or time has passed and it is apparent that it is time to re-establish the organization’s guidance documents.
Strategic planning provides the foundation for effective management of workforce succession, aging infrastructure, rate pressures, demographic change and regulatory compliance. Westin’s planning approach rapidly formulates a road map for long-term success. Westin collaborates with you to:
- Develop a vision of your future business success;
- Define your core business imperatives and strategic objectives;
- Prioritize business strategies and establish dependencies;
- Assess your organization’s ability to deliver on the strategy;
- Assess organizational performance against industry benchmarks;
- Align resources with business goals and objectives; and
- Initiate the change-management process.
The discipline of improving utility performance requires an attainable vision, clear strategies and the ability to monitor progress. Mature utilities measure performance on strategic initiatives and the resulting business outcomes, without getting buried in trivial data and piles of meaningless paper. They utilize key performance indicators (KPIs) and tools that let them query up-to-date information to help make business decisions.
Business Intelligence (BI) ensures that you have the right information, at the right time, in the right format to guide your decisions. The term “BI” refers to both the discipline of decision making and a class of systems used to gather information from various business applications, then streamline its delivery. Having a suite of meaningful KPI’s, combined with a BI system that aggregates data from across the enterprise, modern utility managers have the requisite information at hand to continuously improve utility performance.
Westin works with you to develop your enterprise BI solution – from identifying what to measure to system implementation and integration in order to achieve your unique business requirements. Westin works with you to:
Develop KPIs that measure progress toward a strategic objectives;
Select and implement a BI system that fits your agency’s business requirements;
Establish the links to business systems that generate source data including plant operations, maintenance, finance, customer service, and other business applications;
Identify simple, intuitive reports and dashboards that enable managers to track, trend and predict business performance; and
Apply BI to improve business practices and drive change.
Project and Program Management
Projects are successful because they are managed to success. Project management is a critical factor in delivering a project on-time and on-budget with the desired performance.
Westin applies industry-recognized standards and controls to project management. Westin’s team includes certified Project Management Professionals (PMP) with extensive, practical experience applying Project Management Institute (PMI) principles in the field.
When organizations take on several related projects at once, the value of management is compounded. Organizations that execute projects and programs effectively:
Ensure repeatable results and consistent outcomes through standardized project approaches;
Manage inter-project dependencies;
Establish standardized project management processes;
Prioritize projects based on technical and business goals;
Ensure resource availability;
Move projects to full implementation; and
Minimize the cost and lost momentum of project restarts.
In addition, Westin applies a formal Quality Assurance Program which includes an independent audit of each client’s satisfaction.
Westin was selected to review and update the Boston Water and Sewer Commission’s (BWSC) existing IT Strategic Plan. In recent years, the number of software applications that required BWSC support had grown from 14 to approximately 50 software applications. This expansion required careful planning, governance, sequencing, budgeting, coordination, user training, performance reporting, data integration and application support in order to be successful.
During the strategic planning review process, Westin evaluated BWSC’s business and technology environment with follow-up workshops to discuss identified gaps and improvement opportunities. Westin’s assessment addressed existing applications and business practices, technology challenges, and top opportunities for improvement. The resulting IT strategic plan helps the Commission evaluate and prioritize their key requirements, aiding in further development of the maturity, operational effectiveness and organizational efficiency of the Commission.
EID selected Westin to develop an Information Technology Strategic Plan (ITSP) to define and articulate its information technology vision and better align IT services with its business needs. Westin developed a thorough understanding of specific business drivers, organizational challenges, objectives, and existing information systems with a “Business-Centric” approach. The resulting ITSP provides a strategic direction and implementation plan for all IT projects, key strategies for organizational and staffing structures to support IT; and approaches that integrate IT and business processes across the District. The ITSP will be used to develop the priorities for future technology initiatives and identifies
Toronto Water selected Westin to help develop their 10-year strategic plan to establish a vision for the utility and identify practical short, medium and long-term goals that would move Toronto Water from they were to where they wanted to be.
Planning began with an “Environmental Scan” of peer agencies to identify issues, trends and drivers that are changing how utilities do business. The scan considered socioeconomic; regulatory; workforce demographics; health, safety, and security factors, as well as information technology; customer management; water supply and demand; and environmental management.
A major component of the planning effort was working with Toronto Water’s General Manager and Directors to confirm their mission and vision, articulate core values, and establish guiding principles. These principles were used as topic areas to ensure a comprehensive plan spanning all aspects of utility performance.
Using a balanced scorecard approach, each principle was further divided into supporting strategies and actions in a manner that was meaningful and relevant to Toronto Water’s leadership, management, and staff.
The plan also defined communications tactics to ensure that Toronto Water employees understood the plan and its relevance to their daily work.