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Optimising planning processes for overhead transmission lines

overhead transmission line

The challenge

Planning overhead power lines is a matter of years. It involves a multitude of steps, roles, tools and document types. Complex data sets describe the technical blueprint of power lines, the geometry, location, ownership of land parcels affected by the grid expansion as well as their compensation. 

SPIE CeGIT’s services are highly adjusted to the needs of each site’s individual client base, creating a vast amount of variations in relation to processes, roles, tooling, and data management – a challenge when it comes to speed of innovation, knowledge exchange and unified data handling.

planning processes
pain point theme cards

Our approach

Our goal was to help SPIE identify the most pressing pain points and their underlying causes as well as opportunities for unification of processes, roles, tools and data across all sites. 

With a small team of service designers and a tech consultant, we conducted a series of research interviews with involved roles ranging from project managers to CAD and GIS experts as well as land rights and data managers we were able to map out the power line planning processes at different sites from the stage of technical drawing to the milestone of clearance for construction, including roles, documents, data, and pain points.

What we did

A data flow visualisation, software tool overview and business location profile helped us track the similarities and differences between sites, their specific organisational structures, tooling, pains and needs. In an architecture diagram we visualised existing technologies and data flow. 

We clustered the most important pains into themes, including the expected benefit of resolving them, potential blockers and site specifics. Our stakeholders and interview participants were asked to rate the urgency to tackle the pain points and state role-specific reasons. We prioritized pains based on these ratings and dove into a co-ideation workshop to sketch out first solutions on a technical as well as organisational level. A follow-up project is currently ongoing.

pain points and roles

Client feedback

A vague gut feeling was turned into tangible insights.

Client quote

We are surprised how you managed to visualize and structure very complex problems.

Client quote

During this collaboration I’ve learnt a lot about innovative methodologies and now I’m eager to learn a lot more.

Client quote

Research & co-creation

Research

  • 6 technical interviews
  • 9 indepth research interviews
  • 3 high-level interviews
  • 2 validation interviews
  • 1 survey

Co-creation

  • 1 Prioritisation workshop
  • 1 Ideation workshop

Annika Hamann
http://dasplankton.de/portfolio2022