Stakeholder-based Needs Identification Research

Effective installation energy professionals (Energy Managers, Facility Managers, Utility Managers, Engineers, O&M Staff) are critical to well-functioning facilities on which DoD relies to execute its mission.  These energy professionals are asked to operation and maintain a vast array of equipment and systems that is growing in complexity and connectivity (which introduces additional demands to meet cybersecurity requirements).  As demands on installation energy professionals grow, resources have been in decline making it even more difficult to operate and maintain installation facilities at or near optimum performance.  To help installation energy professionals be more effective in executing their jobs, ESTCP, in collaboration with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), funded a demonstration project to employ a structured approach to problem solving.  BMNT Partners developed the approach, called Hacking for X (H4X), and is applying it to address a variety of problems facing DoD, Hacking for Defense (H4D).  The application of H4D to the problems facing installation energy professionals includes a rigorous evaluation of identified problems through facilitated stakeholder engagement to determine root causes and prioritize them based on mission needs. The main objective of the project is to demonstrate an effective process of collaboration with installation energy staff to identify common issues/problems and develop solutions through ESTCP technology demonstrations. 

The initial problem sourcing and curation phases included conducting site visits at several Army/Navy/AF installations to meet with installation energy professionals to identify common challenges they face in performing their job responsibilities. The findings were then evaluated and consolidated into a 12 unique problem statements that were carried forward for further consideration.  Following the site visits, the team presented the 12 problem statements identified during the site visits at the Energy Exchange in August 2018. The session attendees had the opportunity to contribute their perspective on the problems identified during the research phase and voted on which of the 12 problem areas they felt should be the highest priority.

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“Need improved utility meter data collection and management to support greater use of high value information” emerged as the most pressing need, as voted by the session participants. Next, in preparation for the SERDP-ESTCP Symposium, the project team will perform additional research to refine the highest priority problems and identify key stakeholders and subject matter experts to participate in the process.  At the Symposium (November 27-29 at the Washington Hilton, DC) BMNT  Partners will lead a small group of installation energy professionals and subject matter experts through a facilitated process to refine the problems further and identify root cause(s) along with potential solutions. The outcome of this session will be used to inform future ESTCP solicitation topics designed to produce higher quality proposals and generate solutions with greater impact and benefit to the end users, installation energy and water professionals. 

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