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14th Mar 2023
Danielle Abel, Energy Queensland
It’s an interesting time to lead projects at Energy Queensland. They’re on the frontline of disruption and multiple disruptive forces but are relentless in their ambition to create an energy future that unites and excites all Queenslanders. Danielle Abel shares the approach that’s seeing them flourish amid uncertainty.
Energy Queensland is the largest, wholly government-owned electricity company in Australia. They:
With so many external factors likely to impact your programs of work, how does Energy Queensland keep the lights on?
Whether it be supply chain limitations, material shortages, insufficient resources or severe weather events, disruptions can spell disaster to a program of work.
At Energy Queensland, our program includes over 10,000 distribution, transmission and maintenance projects, and the level of churn and volatility can be extremely challenging.
We believe the key to successful program delivery is flexibility and planning for change. Over the past five years, we’ve seen a continual increase in customer enquiry, so we’ve adapted program delivery to suit. It ensures we’re meeting the expectations of new customers and keeping existing assets safe and reliable.
With the increase in customer activity coinciding with rising disruptions, Energy Australia has implemented several successful initiatives:
Energy Queensland focuses on the mechanics and dynamics of project delivery to achieve successful outcomes in the face of disruption.
While these initiatives aid our ability to adapt to an ever-changing program of work, as an electricity distribution company there are still times when the severity of disruptions results in widespread turmoil.
Cyclones, floods, bushfires, storms, and severe weather events are all a part of life in Queensland. Although we have many strategies in place for when these occur, the level of damage to our network and program of work is volatile and unpredictable.
In these trying times, our number one priority is repairing our network safely and getting communities reconnected. Mobilising crews of over 700 people to assist with cyclone recovery efforts or storm response is no mean feat, and it can disrupt our planned program immensely.
During periods of extreme disruption, demand for scant resources rises. People feel increased frustration in their efforts to deliver projects. At these times, we focus on assuming ‘best intent’ within our project teams and appreciate that with so many competing priorities, the right decisions won’t always favour our projects.
We live in a fast-moving world where change is the only constant. Disruption will continue to have a major impact on projects across every organisation.
As project professionals, we must be adaptable and persistent with our plans to combat disruption to our program. We must take time to review our shortcomings, acknowledge and celebrate our successes and always endeavour to learn and improve how we manage work.
At Energy Australia, this adaptive thinking will help us energise Queensland communities and deliver on our promise to provide secure, affordable, and sustainable energy solutions, despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
If you liked this article, you can see more by reading the latest edition of the Australian Institute of Project Management’s digital magazine.
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