In 2010, the Public Utility Commission of Pennsylvania approved Act 129, regulation requiring the deregulation of energy generation within the state. In addition, the client, the largest natural as and electric provider in Pennsylvania, offset compliance costs and needed infrastructure improvements, the client applied for the first electric rate increase in 25 years.
The energy and utility industry has been stable in Pennsylvania for more than 20 years. Deregulation brought unprecedented change to the industry requiring simplified rate structures, opening the market to generation suppliers so customers may do comparative price shopping and actively implementing energy efficiency savings programs to soften and off-set the impact rate increase to the customer. These changes are also precursors to the even more transformational change of the future Smart Grid Smart Meter program. In an organization where customer confidence is based on steady, reliable operations and department operations excel in responding to environmental and technical disaster, mobilizing people for changes other than emergencies was a new business demand. The client believed these transformational changes needed a more focused and robust approach and a fast timeline.
To comply with the new regulations, ensure employees were prepared to manage the changes and encourage customers to shop for energy suppliers, this large national natural gas and electric provider developed a regulatory deployment program with 5 key projects executing on December 31, 2010.
While the client had faced large changes before, new regulations and rate changes required employees and business units to implement and communicate a significant set of complex changes to business processes and messaging. The key challenge was how to best apply a change management structure and techniques, integrate with the IT project team change behaviors and maintain a sense of urgency and discipline to achieve the business outcomes.
The client engaged Pactera to assess a business readiness structure, approach and plan. Through the assessment, the team was charged with developing a consistent change management strategy and deployment process for five key projects. The changes resulting from these efforts were significant and impacted information technology systems and internal business processes. To be successful, the client’s business units needed to fully grasp the magnitude of the changes, and identify and update the impacted business unit processes and procedures. To help manage the “people” side of the change, the Pactera team partnered with the client and:
- Conducted an Organizational Readiness Assessment to identify gaps, barriers and impacts with the potential to delay or derail the project initiatives
- Developed and executed a consistent Change Management approach across divisions meeting the clients’ tight deadlines
- Developed a Communication Plan to engage stakeholders and sponsors and increase their awareness, understanding and acceptance of the project initiatives impacting their day today operations.
- Introduced a framework for implementing robust change management practices and building a change management competency within the organization.
To create a baseline of current activities and identify gaps, opportunities and goals, Pactera conducted an organizational readiness assessment. A team of two Change Management practitioners joined the existing Business Readiness team, and spent several weeks gathering data through a variety of methods including documentation review and Subject Matter Expert and impacted stakeholders’ interviews. Utilizing the Prosci organizational Impact Assessment tool, the team assessed current change management practices and activities. Following the current state assessment, the team developed a view of a future state through sponsorship discussions, project plans and inclusion of industry best practices.
The final stage was a creation of a gap analysis for project sponsors, detailing the variance between the current and desired future state and a recommendation of critical path actions. Utilizing this data, the team developed a comprehensive change management strategy and framework to inform and educate impacted stakeholders including sponsors, leadership and project team members. A deployment plan detailed the steps to “getting started” and a “roll out” communication plan detailed channels, events and key messages needed to reach all stakeholder groups. To encourage the development of a sustainable change management competency in the organization, the team detailed a change management program organization profile describing the