Monthly Archives: October 2014

Documenting a Project so the Ops team can succeed

A project team can work without a lot of big picture structure, as long as each person on the team understands what their task is “today.”

But a project can only be successfully handed off and maintained over time, if it’s presented with some standard features and a clear picture for how you use it. Sooner or later, you have to be able to explain it to people who weren’t there as it was being built.

Some of the tools you can use for this are:

  • A RACI that shows who owns which responsibility
  • A series of workflows that detail how departments and third parties integrate
  • A series of detailed SOPs for Tier 1, and some broader direction for Tier 2 trouble-shooters
  • SLAs and OLAs to define the timing and commitments between the project team and other groups in the organization

While project development teams must always be working to a plan, their day-to-day activities are often responsive rather than proactive. An operations team performs best when working from a clearly defined template, so they can proactively drive top performance from the system.

Ten years rewarded (my HAN device arrives)

I’ve spent the last decade working for the companies who are building out the Smart Grid. Which means hearing a lot of debates… how to make usage and cost information available to consumers, whether ZigBee has any real-world application (or is even viable as designed).

So I was excited to pick up my very own HAN device from Rainforest, which arrived already integrated with my BC Hydro meter.

Ooh, nice box.

Ooh, flashing lights!

The unit is a little smaller than a deck of cards (and much lighter). It booted up and connected within about seven seconds.

A single button toggles through a number of readings, including:

Current usage

Price per kWh

Yesterday vs today, which will probably be even more exciting tomorrow!

After years of working with designers and customers to develop similar technology it’s really neat to have something like this in my own home.