Utility – Scottish Power
Scottish Power is a global energy company, a world leader in wind energy production with operations focused in the UK, US, Brazil, Mexico and Spain.
It is a retail company that operates in the UK as part of a group of companies, with each having their own board of directors who hold decision-making responsibility. The Energy Retail division contains ScottishPower Energy Retail Ltd which holds the gas and electricity supply licences and has over 5.2 million customers in the UK
As part of a new governance standard within the business the operations team was tasked with developing a new Disaster Recovery policy. The client had recently updated its ‘Meter to Billing’ process for its electricity and gas billing system. The system had been in operation for over a year and had been operating to a satisfactory level and was achieving the operational KPI’s that had been set. The new system was installed and integrated with the existing back-office support systems, which included a Storage Area Network, Backup systems, UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) system and Data Management systems. However, there was no reliable documentation or dependable knowledge or experience of how these systems interfaced with each other or who (which department) owned or used the data at any particular moment in time.
Over a 4 week period the OBASHI Methodology was used to capture and portray the current state of how the Meter to Billing process operated. The key objectives were to establish the interface points with the other systems and the data ownership hierarchy. Using interviews with department heads and system managers we were able to ascertain the data flow user base and build a clear picture of how the “meter to billing” processes worked. OBASHI B&IT diagrams were created so the interconnectivity between assets and systems could subsequently be analysed using OBASHI Dataflow Analysis View diagrams.
The OBASHI project captured and documented the interface points between the new and existing systems. Using the diagrams as a communication tool allowed the various domain experts to understand critical processes and their dependant assets. Using this technique unearthed a number of SPOFs (single of points of failures) that had fallen between departmental or team responsibility. This highlighted the impact on the business should an asset fail and, hence, where there was a potential need for additional redundancy capability. Analysis revealed that the existing disaster recovery plans would not have worked effectively due to the interfaces and communication protocols having been changed as part of the ‘Meter to Billing’ upgrade project.
- Review of Disaster Recovery strategy
- Potential risks identified with existing DR strategy
- OBASHI diagrams created of critical asset interface points
- Clear and simple communication between department heads and system managers
- OBASHI diagrams used to analyse for Single Point of Failures
- The need for additional redundancy capability identified
- Disaster Recovery strategy updated