HomeIndustry SectorsBusiness and marketsBusiness agility: Standards for utilities

Business agility: Standards for utilities

The electricity supply industry and specifically state-owned utilities are not known for their business agility – an organisational must-have to respond rapidly to internal and external changes without losing momentum.

This is about to change with the anticipated 2020 launch of a new business agility framework for utilities.

This article first appeared in ESI-Africa Edition 1, 2019. You can read the magazine’s articles here or subscribe here to receive a print copy.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the British Standards Institution (BSI) have launched the Business Agility Concept and Framework (PAS 1000:2019), the first-of-itskind global standard to measure business agility. DEWA and BSI also signed an agreement to develop the PAS 60518:2020 standard for risk management in the energy and utilities sector. This is the first of its kind in the world and will be a global reference for the energy and utilities sector. The new achievement underlines the pioneering role of government bodies in the UAE.

“Since the dynamics of the global market are fast changing, public and private organisations are increasingly paying attention to business agility for sustainability and growth. This standard will be beneficial to, and can potentially be adopted by, any organisation in any sector,” explained HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

The Dubai authority is also committed to cooperate with other regional and international leading organisations to support efforts and adopt the standard once it’s developed and published. “DEWA is the Middle East’s first organisation to implement the SAP Risk Management 10.1 and adopt best international practices based on the ISO 31000 certificate. DEWA also received the Business Continuity Management System (ISO 22301) for its integrated operations and is the first utility in the Middle East and North Africa to do so,” said Al Tayer.

According to the Dubai authority, commitment to implement risk management solutions has helped achieve competitive results in global benchmarking, surpassing the private sector and major European and American utilities in efficiency and reliability. DEWA has recorded a reduction in losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.3% compared to 6–7% in the US and Europe; while water network losses were reduced to 6.6% compared to 15% in North America, which is one of best results in the world. DEWA also announced achieving the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world of 2.39 CML compared to 15 minutes in Europe. “DEWA’s efforts have also contributed to global benchmarks. The UAE, represented by DEWA, maintained its first global ranking for the second year running for Getting Electricity in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report. DEWA achieved 100% in all criteria,” added Al Tayer.

The main aspects of the standards include raising the performance of teams in the organisation and rapid adaptation to changes. The most important aspects of the business agility standard are to identify internal organisational challenges, and to develop an integrated framework for its implementation in operations, strategy, and business agility practices.

“DEWA operates a rigorous risk management system, bolstering its resilience by anticipating risks and preparing for change, to ensure business continuity. DEWA also adapts its work environment and operations,” said Khawla Al Mehairi, executive vice president of Strategy and Government Communications at DEWA.

Al Mehairi explained that a team from DEWA took part in the preparations for this standard in a workshop held in London in June 2018. The participating organisations commended DEWA’s proactive approach to develop more detailed and applicable guidelines for risk management in service sectors around the world. A number of international utilities participate with DEWA and BSI in developing the new standard.

These include France’s EDF, Germany’s RWE, the British National Grid, Duke Energy from the US, Canada’s Hydro Quebec, and Britain’s United Utilities. Al Mehairi noted that the new standard will be launched during Q3 of 2019 and will be ready for implementation in 2020.

This article first appeared in ESI-Africa Edition 1, 2019. You can read the magazine’s articles here or subscribe here to receive a print copy.

More about Middle East Electricity

In 2019, Middle East Electricity is focusing on the breakthroughs in the generation, distribution, storage and use of power to meet domestic needs and international requirements. The conference and exhibition is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, 5-7 March 2019. Share your experiences and photos from the show with us on social media using @ESIAfrica and #MEE2019 www.middleeastelectricity.com

Guest Contributor
The views expressed in this article by the author are not necessarily those of the publishers and/or association partners. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the publisher and editors cannot be held responsible for any inaccurate information supplied and/or published.