A strategy needs a plan. And a plan needs a strategy. A strategy may present an aspirational mission and stretch goals that are not truly attainable (the philosophy here is the journey, not the destination, improves the organization). This imparts a culture of constant, yet only incremental, improvement and change. However, utilities face a time of disruption to both the supply and demand side of their business model, which can no longer be addressed with incremental improvements and change. A step change is needed – one with a common singular objective and a definitive due date. This is where the strategy needs a plan to coordinate, to prioritize, and to execute toward achieving the strategic goal.
Grid modernization is one of many endeavors electric utilities have embarked upon to reduce operating costs, improve reliability, and provide additional value to their customers. The deployment of grid monitoring and control devices, sensors, meters, data networks, telecommunications infrastructure, IT applications, and the necessary organizational change management and training can be difficult to justify individually. However, when they are combined in a holistic plan, and then combined again with the plans for other endeavors, and aligned to achieve the strategic goal, their overall benefits can more readily be justified. This is where the plan needs a strategy – to provide that clear line of sight to a common destination for the alignment, guidance, coordination and execution of the plan.