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Overhead, Underground and Trouble Response

Our Client is a utility company headquartered in Alberta with more than 100 years of experience delivering electricity throughout the province. Our Client is involved in all areas of the electricity value-chain. Through subsidiaries, they make, move, and market electricity. Their priority is doing so safely and reliably as one of the largest electricity providers in Alberta. Their more than 1800 employees help bring electricity, natural gas and renewable energy to more than 900,000 metered sites across Alberta.

Corporate Objectives

  • Evolving the business to be relevant and flourishing in the future.
  • Enabling emerging technologies and addressing customer expectations.
  • Delivering sustainable business improvements within their Power Delivery teams.
  • Realizing benefits through their Power Delivery Transformation Program.


PVA partnered with this Client in Planning & Scheduling and Field Services to implement enhanced processes, management operating systems, and management behaviours. These were designed to achieve specific objectives.

  • Continue to improve our Client’s excellent safety culture.
  • Become more efficient in how work is planned, scheduled & executed.
  • Train and coach Supervisors (Coordinators) & Managers to better support their teams.
  • Make the current processes & system tools work more efficiently at all levels.
  • Improve the flow of work on projects, including both internal and external work teams.
  • Improve financial & operational performance.

Assessment Findings

Priority focus areas were identified through an initial PVA Assessment in the Planning & Scheduling and Field Services areas.

  • The workforce was not being actively managed in the areas observed, and there was almost no follow-up of the work at hand during the day.
  • The management team did not have standardized role clarity, particularly related to active management and barrier identification and resolution.
  • Work standards and productivity measurements had not been fully developed or communicated in the areas observed.
  • Barriers to work execution were not being consistently tracked, and there was little root cause analysis for repetitive problems.
  • There was no comprehensive Employee Involvement or Continuous Improvement Program in place to effectively engage the workforce.
  • The management team did not have a structured management operating system in place to align costs and hold people accountable for improved performances.
  • There was interrupted flow in the end-to-end workflow process, particularly as work moved across different organizational teams, such as from planning & scheduling teams to execution teams.
  • Work Time

  • Travel Time

  • Opportunity Time

PVA's Response

  • Improve the flow of work from planning & scheduling to execution teams (for both internal and external work teams).
  • Clarify roles for Planners, Schedulers, Project Inspectors and Supervisors (Coordinators).
  • Correct estimates, clean up backlogs & create “Job Jar” (back-up assignments) work for crews.
  • Implement more effective resource management & overtime control processes.
  • Reduce administrative burden for Supervisors (Coordinators).
  • Improve compliance to business rules, such as daily time reporting and approval.
  • Improve compliance to timely updating of information within the Maximo system.
  • Implement method changes for shift-start and end-of-shift activities.
  • Implement guidelines for how to charge time to Admin Work Orders, Asset Maintenance Work, Projects (billable, capital, expense projects).
  • Improve the team’s ability to create follow-up work orders when required.
  • Implement the scheduling of Trouble Response crews with interruptible work.
  • Increase collaboration through the creation of multi-functional teams that include trades, non-trades, and quality inspector resources.
  • Implement a comprehensive Barrier Resolution Program to continually identify, prioritize, assign and follow-up on the removal of barriers impacting the crews.
  • Implement a weekly review of key performance metrics to ensure that positive and constructive feedback is being shared back with the teams.

The Results

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Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • Sustained levels of loading 20% more work orders per FTE in all areas over 2018 levels.
  • Year-to-Date productivity improvements are at an average of 20% over 2018 levels.
  • 10% increase in recoveries as a percent of internal labour costs.
  • 34% reduction in overtime which also includes a 30% reduction in overtime per employee.
  • 32% improvement in Trouble Response crew effectiveness (total response time per average incident per person).
  • Year-to-Date improvements in OMA labour-in-charges for Trouble Response crews are at an average of 30% decrease over 2018 levels.

Annualized Savings

For Phase 1 and Phase 2

Long Term Work Continuation

  • Two employees trained to be Sustainment Facilitators.
  • Structured Sustainment Schedule in place that defines weekly activities required at all levels to hold one another accountable for compliance.
  • Internal Audits in place to measure compliance to the key activities on a monthly basis.
  • External Audits in place to be completed by PVA Resources on a regular basis.
  • Communication and feedback mechanisms in place to share results and priorities back to all members of the Power Delivery teams on a regular basis.

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The whole PVA experience has been very positive; PVA worked well with our people during a time of organizational changes, headcount reductions, etc. and ensured that our employees were focused, consistent, and complying to our enhanced behaviours, processes and Management Operating Systems, through the field coaching and follow-up.


The PVA process got at our technical issues while ensuring that our culture is evolving and that the behaviours of the Coordinators & Managers is fitting the needs of the corporation. PVA is focused & results oriented. They have helped us manage through significant reduction in headcount while continuing to enhance our efficiency & productivity levels.


PVA worked well with our people during a time of constant change; we have achieved performance improvements and our crews are getting more work done with fewer people than before; I speak highly of PVA at conferences etc. and just referenced the work that PVA has done with us at our last Utility Sector Conference in San Francisco.


The PVA project has been a positive experience overall. PVA worked well with our people. They are committed to getting the results, and they have hard to put in place operational metrics in spite of data availability challenges.