Successful energy project work–what are the odds?

dice My colleagues at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement have played with DICE in some recent project work.   They’re not gambling but are working to increase the odds that improvement projects succeed.

DICE is an acronym for the essential elements associated with successful big projects. It is described in a 2005 Harvard Business Review article by Harold Sirkin, Perry Keenan and Alan Jackson.

As defined by the authors,  D = Duration: time between milestone reviews–the shorter the better; I = integrity:  project teams’ skill; C = Commitment:  senior executives’ and line managers’ dedication to the program; E = Effort: the extra work employees must do to adopt new processes–the less the better.

While the DICE creators developed, checked and confirmed the elements against a range of large projects–those aimed at “transforming” part or all of a business–the DICE scale looks like a good guide when you want to deploy or upgrade your energy management program.

D:  Maintain a regular review process, at least monthly–actions and results (actual performance).

I:  Equip the people who are in the lead to manage energy with the right tools.  Give access to expert help when they need it.   Make sure the key people can understand energy units and patterns of energy use.

C:  Engage senior leaders of the organization with energy information (the flip side:  if senior leaders in your organization have essentially no interest in energy management, this will make front-line and mid-level efforts hard to start and hard to sustain.)

E:  Make it easy for people to do the right things in managing energy–minimize the extra effort to keep track of information and focus on high leverage actions.

Of course, we built Energy Stewards® to help you roll the DICE:

D: use the Action Table and relative performance of buildings in your portfolio at least once a month as part of a review of progress;

I and E:  study the graphs and tables, which make it easy to see which buildings are improving and which are not;

C:  Keep senior managers in the loop, you can build a big picture report from summary numbers (or built custom reports when you take advantage of the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tools).

We think the DICE approach can help you increase the odds that your energy management work actually pays off!

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