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Our client is an organization that provides 95% of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in one of the Canadian provinces. They serve 490,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers, and employ 2,000 employees and professionals. This client manages $4 billion worth of generation, transmission and distribution assets. The organization has recently undergone privatization, and it now needs to enhance the various departments, processes, and management operating systems to move from a not-for-profit to a market-based organization.


  • The foremost objective was to re-energize the business unit while moving from a “single, independent” department to a contributing member of the overall utility.
  • Improve cost controls, reduce overall costs, and get more of the annual work plan accomplished.
  • Improve maintenance planning and management techniques to increase overall utilization of resources and preventive maintenance program attainment.
  • Develop and implement proactive management styles with the Supervisors and Managers to increase their involvement and engagement of the workforce.

Assessment Findings

Need for Improvements

  • Productivity

  • Opportunity

  • Assignments were not communicated with realistic time expectations.
  • Employees determined the pace and the time they felt was required to complete assigned work.
  • Lack of control on the overtime used to complete activities that should have been completed during regular working hours.
  • An excessive amount of time was spent out in the field searching for the proper documentation and/or equipment needed to complete work.
  • Minimal or no cooperation from other departments such as engineering to address and help resolve issues that they were responsible for creating (missing information, drawings or permits).
  • When issues were identified by workers out in the field they were not communicated nor documented, and were left for the next individual to identify and encounter the same issue at a later date.
  • Supervisors rarely engaged the workforce and spent only about 2% of their time actively supervising their people.
  • There was a lack of expectation setting and appropriate follow-up at the beginning of the day, during the day, and at the end of the day by the Supervisors with their employees.
  • Supervisors believed that their people knew what to do and did not require a great deal of follow-up or communication.

PVA's Response

Improvement in Supervisory Activities

Utilities Supervisory Activities

  • Provided training and individual one-on-one coaching to the Supervisors and Managers to improve the effectiveness of their management skills.
  • A customized Management Operating System (MOS) was designed and installed to increase accountability and ownership of the results.
  • Developed and implemented a problem resolution mechanism to increase the involvement of all employees in the change process and results attainment.
  • Developed performance standards and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for the preventive maintenance routines.
  • Utilized those performance standards to provide specific daily targets to the Maintenance personnel.
  • Improved the planning and execution of work.
  • Implemented a comprehensive overtime control program.
  • Enhanced the roles and responsibilities for Supervisors and Managers.
2% 0% 44% 29% 25%
45% 5% 15% 15% 20%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Travel Time on Sites
  • Available

Hover over charts for details.

The Results

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Some significant results obtained by our client included:

  • Reduction of the overtime rate by over 80%.
  • Increased the amount of preventive maintenance work plan completed by 16%.
  • Reduced regular maintenance operating costs by 23%.
  • Improvements in the communication of maintenance and capital issues.
  • Improvements in the levels of pro-active management by the Supervisors and Managers.
  • Improvements in intra and inter-departmental communications and cooperation.
  • Creation of a climate of continuous improvement.

Total Savings

Utilities - System Maintenance

Long Term Work Continuation

  • A client Coordinator was trained and certified during the PVA engagement. A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System (MOS) was developed for the Coordinator.
  • PVA conducted audits over 18 months to ensure the continued utilization of the Management Operating System.
  • Standard operating procedures (SOP’s) and manuals were developed as reference material for the future.
  • Planning and Management Meetings were implemented to ensure that long-term checks and balances for utilization of the MOS were being performed.

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PVA came into my department for an 8 month period and focused right away on Planning, Processes and Productivity. The initial thought was that the culture of my department would cause significant challenges in implementing the PVA process, but other than a few minor bumps, it has been smooth sailing for the majority of the implementation. I am pleased to say that we have now successfully implemented a weekly work plan, bi-weekly KPI’s, an opportunity-based Steering Committee, held multiple Supervisor coaching sessions, and significantly reduced overtime. Overall the process has been very well received, the PVA staff have been great to work alongside, and I look forward to the next steps in my department’s ongoing Continuous Improvement process.