People, Process, Technology: Driving Operational Excellence at Hydro One

By: Martin Huang, Vice President of System Operations at Hydro One

Martin, can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?

I’ve worked in the power and utilities industry for 30 years now. I hold a Master’s Degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of British Columbia. After graduation, I worked in planning, operations, and management at BC Hydro. I worked there until quite recently when I became the Vice President of Systems Operations at Hydro One in Toronto.

What does your current role at Hydro One entail?

I’m mainly responsible for Hydro One’s transmission and distribution operating centres. We have smart meter infrastructure and we operate 24/7 to keep the lights on. Hydro One serves over 1.3 million customers in Ontario, so when the power goes out, we are the ones doing everything we can to get it back as fast as possible. Our team is central to operations at the Hydro One.

What does Operational Excellence mean to Hydro One?

There are a number of things that fall under the umbrella of Operational Excellence at Hydro One. Most importantly, operational excellence is about being safe. Ensuring that all of our employees make it home safely each day is the number one objective for us. Operational excellence is also about reliability, customer satisfaction, and cost effectiveness. How can we deliver the best and most reliable service to our customers, and how can we do so efficiently?

How are you driving organizational change at Hydro One?

There are two key drivers of change in our organization, reliability of performance and customer satisfaction. In order to improve in both of these areas we need the help of technology, but also the right processes and the right people and capabilities. That is why it is important to understand what the end goal looks like and what you are really trying to accomplish. Although it is a moving target, we need that understanding if we want all of these factors to work together and make change happen. [...]

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