In Conversation - Surgical Strike
In my experience, Surgical Strikes are the best way to jump start any energy efficiency portfolio tracking system. I have borrowed the phrase from its military context where it refers to a specific attack of a target to accomplish a specific mission. The phrase applies to a business need, such as tracking, as much as it does to a military operation. I have found that identifying a very specific goal and pursuing that solution yields quick results that can be built upon to accomplish larger objectives.
I have been associated with energy efficiency since the 1980’s and specifically with tracking of energy efficiency portfolios for the past fifteen years. I have been involved with the development and implementation of tracking systems for numerous clients. Initially these were custom developed software that reflected the specific program requirements for a portfolio. The time needed to get a system launched ran into several months and even years. In a world where we need instantaneous results, this gestation period became unacceptable. This prompted me and my team to develop a platform that could be infinitely configurable. Today, I still come across a mix of requirements. Some of the larger portfolios follow an approach where every single program has to be configured, all integration completed, and extensive testing performed before the system can be launched. This approach requires extensive thinking and foresight of how the program is structured and invariably takes a lot of time since requirements are never solidified sufficiently.
The alternate approach, that I prefer, is to go for quick wins with Surgical Strikes. To do this, my team identifies those programs that can easily be launched and take them on first. Characteristics of such programs include a limited and well-defined set of measures with deemed savings, a simple workflow process, limited forms and documentation requirements, and quick fulfillment. Surgical strikes on such target programs result in quick wins that builds the confidence with the platform and process and provides the impetus needed to launch the more complex programs.
I have seen this approach work very well in several instances. To be honest, there may be some decisions that need to be changed, but the versatility of the ANB platforms allows such changes to be made quite easily.
S. Balakrishnan, founder of ANB Systems Inc., is a veteran of the energy efficiency industry. Over the years ANB has tracked over $4.6 billion in incentive dollars.
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