Western Area Power Administration

Competencies

  • Organizational Alignment
  • Strategic Development
  • Human Capital Optimization
  • Strategic Analysis & Planning
  • Mission Alignment
  • Re-staffing/Resource Redeployment
  • Executive/Leadership Coaching
  • Leadership Development
  • Performance Optimization
  • Privatization Planning

Challenge

To restructure the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA—a division of the Department of Energy) to operate like a private company, configured for new business and organic internal growth.

Background

At the time, the Department of Energy was considering the possibility of privatizing its hydro power assets. WAPA was selected to realign itself into a private company to help the Department of Energy understand the ramifications of such a move. WAPA had approximately 2,700 all-government employees in five regions headquartered in Golden, CO.

Process

The first project was to develop a business strategy, realign the organization to support that strategy, and redeploy the personnel to staff the structure effectively. In a follow-up project, ECI provided executive coaching to the Director of WAPA and the Leadership Team through all aspects of the company transformation. In the project, the WAPA Team and ECI centralized and/or decentralized business processes as necessary to provide the client with strategic business growth targets and help them meet the newly established financial goals.

Results

A Leadership Team was formed from the functional leaders of the headquarters staff and the management of each of the regions. That team developed a business-based strategy which focused new attention on marketing the electricity (in a deregulated environment) and forming alliances with other electricity producers to share common resources (e.g., transmission lines). A key element of the new business was the development of the Leadership Team relative to freemarket concerns—the focus of Leadership Team development in the year following the realignment. Employee teams analyzed and restructured the organization. Since these were government employees, no one lost his or her job as a result of the zero-based staffing. However, there was significant redeployment of resources to support the increased power marketing functions. The engineering function was significantly reduced (in favor of outsourcing), and the displaced engineers went into other areas. By centralizing and streamlining some functions (Finance, HR, and Power Marketing) and decentralizing others (Transmission and Vehicle Maintenance), Western Area Power was able to save $13.6M (on paper). However, the actual savings exceeded $18M in the first year. The function was never privatized, although other Power Administration areas were restructured along the same lines as WAPA and also realized similar savings.


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