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SGMM Navigators Guide Utilities in Their Smart Grid Transformation


August 29, 2011—The SEI Smart Grid Maturity Model team recently introduced the Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) Navigation process to help utilities adopt SGMM and modernize the electric power grid. The SGMM is a management tool that helps utilities plan smart grid implementation, prioritize investment options, and measure their progress as they move toward the realization of a smart grid.

Released as part of the Version 1.1 update of the SGMM, the SGMM Navigation process is a five-step structured approach to applying the SGMM through two facilitated workshops led by an SEI-certified SGMM Navigator. SGMM Navigators are industry experts trained and certified to guide utilities through the SGMM Navigation process.

Smart grid team lead Austin Montgomery notes that the navigation process begins with a survey workshop in which the Navigator helps utility smart grid teams complete the first step of the model: the SGMM Compass survey. “The survey contains questions corresponding to each of the characteristics in the model. It also collects demographic and performance data. The completed survey allows the utility to compare its progress and maturity profile against other utilities that have completed the survey. Survey results provide the utility with a measure of its progress across eight domains of the model containing logical groupings of smart grid characteristics or capabilities, representing key elements of smart grid strategy, organization, and operation,” said Montgomery.

After scoring and analyzing the survey, the navigator leads a findings and aspirations workshop to review the survey results and use them to set aspirations for where the utility wants to be at a certain point in the future, and to discuss motivations, actions, and obstacles relating to the aspirations.

To help more utilities use the SGMM for their smart grid implementation, the SEI has been selecting and training Navigator candidates since January 2011.

“The program is currently being piloted with more than 30 representatives from seven licensee organizations, including EBiz Labs, Horizon Energy Group, Infotech Enterprises America, IBM, SAIC’s RW Beck, TCS America, and Wipro,” said Montgomery. “We are looking to add more Navigators to this group as time goes on to boost the number of people who are trained in use of the model and who can add value to the process by bringing their own industry experience and expertise.”

In addition to the Navigation process, the Version 1.1 update of the SGMM, which was pilot tested with 30 utilities of all sizes, features enhanced security coverage, a more refined architecture, and a more developed model, which now includes 175 characteristics.

So what lies ahead for the SGMM? Montgomery said that the SGMM community continues to expand. More than 120 utilities are using the model as part of their ongoing planning, implementation, and progress measurement cycles. The next update—Version 1.2—is scheduled to be released in fall 2011, and a series of public courses on the SGMM is also in development.

***Editor's Note***
The Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University recently released the 2011 Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) update at the GridWeek 2011 conference. The update announces Version 1.2 enhancements to the entire product suite and provides updates on the worldwide community of SGMM users and partners. The SGMM V1.2 Model Definition Document, Matrix, and Compass Survey will be available for download on the SEI website this fall.

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Richard Lynch