Bruce Power manages project risk and
opportunity across its generating
stations using Active Risk Manager
ARM keeps Bruce Power’s nuclear stations powering Ontario’s electricity grid.
Bruce Power is a partnership among TransCanada Corp., Borealis Infrastructure (a Trust), The Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals. The company’s 2,300-acre site based on the east shores of Lake Huron, Ontario, houses Bruce Power’s two generating stations, which each hold four CANDU reactors. Combined, the stations provide power to one in three hospitals, homes, schools and businesses in Ontario.
An important part of the company’s operations is the constant refurbishing and updating of its facilities to keep its reactors performing to the highest levels of operation and safety. Bruce Power continuously runs capital equipment and IT upgrade programs to ensure it delivers a consistent power supply and has recently invested in Active Risk Manager (ARM) from Sword Active Risk to manage risk across its project delivery.
Highlighting the need for project risk management
The appointment of Bruce Power’s new project management leadership was the catalyst for a review of its business processes with the result that the company identified the way it was managing project risks as one of the areas for improvement. At the time all risks for projects and programs were managed inconsistently – data existed in different formats in departmental and project silos, making it difficult to have an overall risk picture.
Arnie Peña, Risk Management Specialist at Bruce Power explained; “We wanted to increase the use of project risk management and adopt a standard approach through the organization that could be scalable horizontally and upwards within business departments.
“Our aim was to use an application that would improve our management of risk and opportunity across the organization, not just on projects but other business units as well. We needed a solution that was flexible and could be easily used by different departments within the organization – Active Risk Manager matched our needs.”
A risk management approach throughout the organization
The team identified that the risk management tool needed to be user friendly and easy to train people, so that different groups and business units could manage their own departmental risk registers.
The company conducted a review of several competitor products, selecting ARM for its ease of use, clear implementation path and the fact that it was a complete standalone product, requiring no additional ‘bolt-ons’.
“We were impressed with how easy ARM was to use, the scenarios that ARM displayed and the powerful reporting functionality.” said Peña.
Deployment of ARM began at the end of 2014, going live just three months later. ARM is now being used extensively by project managers, engineers, planners and risk specialists in the project management and delivery teams. It is being used for specific IT projects, replacing and refurbishing systems and construction projects.
The use of ARM has transformed the way that the company is now able to manage project risks. It has visibility of all project risks and can aggregate them vertically and horizontally across the organization. The previous risk ‘silos’ no longer exist in the business units that utilize ARM and the greater transparency and reports have helped with management buy-in with decisions.
“In total we have nearly 180 people using ARM desktop across the organization to manage project risk. It is great as a project delivery tool and the large suite of reports in ARM is invaluable,” said Peña.
Powerful reports transform the management of project risks
ARM Risk Performance Manager (RPM) provides a way to deliver the risk information needed for strategic decision making. The team can create dashboards, tables and charts using information from the ARM risk register without the need for specialized IT or report writing assistance.
As well as using the standard reports within ARM, risk specialists within the teams have been trained to develop additional specific reports.
“One of the great things about ARM is the power of the reporting. Before we had to try and explain risks just with numbers on spreadsheets, but RPM helps us present to senior managers risk for projects and programs, our exposure and opportunities that we can capitalize on – something we just couldn’t do before. It is an excellent communications tool and helps us manage risks better and in a more cohesive way,” said Peña.
The project team can also now identify project related opportunities, where activities may be run concurrently, making use of available resource or equipment and saving time or money. Following the success of ARM the project risk team is now identifying how it might be rolled out across the organization to other departments.
“There have been examples where we have been able to take advantage of a particular safety station resource, which may be difficult to access normally, and fit it into a project schedule, thereby making the project time shorter, saving time and utilising assets more efficiently. This opportunity management is a great asset which without ARM we just couldn’t do before,” concluded Peña.