AusGrid lacked visibility of field staff allocation – who exactly was doing what, and when. Plus, there was no reliable way of measuring utilisation.
Ausgrid employs over 2,000 field engineering and support personnel to maintain network infrastructure sprawling across more than 22,000 square kilometres.
To manage workflow and communication, the company used a custom, depot centric, spreadsheet based scheduling system, which had fallen far behind what was possible utilising cloud-based collaborative technologies.
As a result, different personnel worked from conflicting versions of the schedule. Field workers lacked confidence in the data they were sent. Jobs were cancelled because key equipment hadn’t been booked.
Ausgrid needed a smart, simple, real time collaboration product that would be used between managers, schedulers, supervisors and engineers. It needed to provide visibility not only at depot level, but across the organisation.
An off the shelf solution would require significant customisation to meet Ausgrid’s operating environment and experience shows this would be costly, procurement heavy and consume unnecessary time. So our project team worked directly with a small group of real users, to create a bespoke solution, prioritising a base feature set and shipped its first release within days. This was deployed to a small user sample, who provided immediate and ongoing feedback.
Iterating like this, from prioritised features first and then outwards, within 12 weeks we had developed a product that was limited in scope but highly functional. The speed and quality of this outcome consolidated trust among the stakeholders.
With Ausgrid embracing our methodology, we rolled into a new cycle, delivering more features at pace and increasing the user base. With more use and more users informing the process, an elegant but robust product quickly took shape. In the final phase, the UX and more sophisticated integration was developed.
per month in increased productivity
The project paid for itself in less than three months.
Multi-million dollar productivity improvement.
After just 9 months, a full quarter earlier than anticipated, the MyWork platform was complete. We had created a field crew scheduling and collaboration tool that Boston Consulting Group’s global utilities expert described as the “world leading solution” in the space.
MyWork immediately delayed $2M in capital expenditure for the planned SaaS platform upgrade. MyWork became a living piece of software that Ausgrid could use to better understand its future needs, seek ongoing staff input and integration points for its other enterprise systems.
MyWork drove harmonisation across Ausgrid different depot work practises. As real users provided live requirements, different depots worked together to find best practices to achieve Management outcomes. Features could be suggest and tested in UAT days later before being rollout out.
More importantly, users ‘owned’ MyWork, it was for them, and designed by them. Some innovative features the came from staff we’re given staff monikers.
It drove acceptance levels through the roof.
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