Retrofit EMS Part 3: Standardizing the Variables

R3 Retail Development > Energy Management > Retrofit EMS Part 3: Standardizing the Variables

In the previous segment of this series, we explored the importance of capturing the unique attributes for each location within a roll-out project using detailed real-time surveys. The survey data collected is the foundation for establishing the design criteria for the new energy management controls system at a single location.

The data collected by the surveys is organized and comes in a standard format, but that is not what we are talking about when we say standardizing the variables.

With Retrofit EMS roll-out projects, we typically have a pre-defined future state that we are aiming for – this future state is established by the organization stakeholders, and might be something like, reduce energy costs by 10% across the entire organization.

Picture a map. The end goal is the target destination. Each location scattered across the country at its current state is a starting point. The route to get to the end destination is different for each starting point – and each starting point can have more than one route that will eventually get you where you want to go.

At R3RD we have traveled those different routes many times, identifying the dead-end streets, road blocks, and detours that inevitably surface along the way and developed an atlas of the most efficient and successful avenues leading to the energy conservation goal.

The process of standardizing the variables can be viewed as creating that road map or it could be viewed as a mathematical formula – the equation is just made up of situations and various components instead of numbers.
We tackle each location in a roll-out project in the same established manner – we identify the common factors and define and label the variables. What we look at, what we look for, how we capture and analyze the data, regardless of the project the methodology is always the same. This approach allows our team to successfully complete hundreds of projects in a short amount of time.

We assign an overall big picture project manager who ensures the small projects remain in line with the overall project objectives and all key deliverables and stakeholder expectations are met or exceeded. We designate site specific project managers to a set number of projects typically grouped by a common denominator such as geographical location, age of building, or existing equipment type.

We utilize pre-defined project measurables, deliverables and milestones to track each site-specific project and the overall project. The site-specific variables are anticipated, expected and handled in a consistent manner. This standardization is how we navigate the road map variables to reach our end destination.

By Suzanne Ferguson

About the author

Suzanne Ferguson is a leading program management and process expert with over 20 years’ experience successfully developing and implementing programs and systems across multiple industries. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Oregon University in Organizational Change and a Masters in Business Administration from Willamette University.