Smart Grid Maturity Model

APQC has been instrumental in the development and application of the world’s first Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM). As global energy infrastructure ages and energy demand continues to rise, smart grid technology has become a critical part of meeting 21st century needs for energy reliability, capacity, security, climate impact, and power. By its most basic definition, smart grid is the use of digital technology to modernize the power grid. 

Beginning in 2007, in collaboration with IBM and the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition, APQC helped to create the Smart Grid Maturity Model, a management tool that an organization can use to appraise, guide, and improve its smart grid transformation. It allows utilities to plan, quantifiably measure progress, and prioritize options as they move toward the realization of a smart grid. 

Like APQC’s Process Classification Framework,SM the SGMM provides a vital common language for comparing and improving processes. It gives global electric utilities a road map of activities, investments, and best practices for smart grid evolution along with guidance on related technological, regulatory, and organizational issues. The model has eight primary domains:

  • Strategy, management, and regulatory—vision, planning, decision making, strategy execution, disciplines, regulatory, and investment
  • Organization and structure—communications, culture, knowledge management, training, and education
  • Technology—information, engineering, integration of information and operational technology, standards, and business analytics tools
  • Societal and environmental—conservation and green initiatives, sustainability, economics, and ability to integrate alternative and distributed energy
  • Grid operations—advanced grid observability, control, quality, and reliability
  • Work and asset management—optimized assets and resources (i.e., people and equipment)
  • Customer management and experience—retail, customer care, pricing options and control, advanced services, visibility into utilization, quality, and performance
  • Value chain integration—enabling demand and supply management, distributed generation and load management, and leveraging market opportunities

Under the leadership of Jeff Varney, APQC is now working in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) to steward and evolve the SGMM, including analyzing and maintaining data collected from organizations that use the model through assessment surveys.  APQC is the SGMM data steward, responsible for processing the SGMM surveys, which provide a holistic view of where a utility currently is on its smart grid efforts, and help it understand how to move forward in a risk-balanced manner.  More than 70 utilities around the world have participated in SGMM assessments to date. 

Find out where your smart grid stacks up. Contact us to participate in an assessment survey.

Beyond Smart Grid

APQC is also facilitating a working group among nuclear power operators evaluating business assessment techniques, including maturity models and assessments. With the global expansion of nuclear power, this group’s goal is to establish a model of operational and business best practices that go beyond compliance, driving superior performance across all aspects of their business. This will enable assessment of current capabilities and support strategy and improvement planning. 

Read more from APQC's Jeff Varney and his observations from the New Brunswick Smart Grid Summit

Learn more about the Smart Grid Maturity Model at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute.