“Our approach is centered around prioritizing the operator as our customer. We aim to develop systems and apply AI logic that aligns with their actual workflows, rather than imposing our assumptions. This effective partnership between business systems and operators is the ultimate goal we strive for. The key is to ensure that the implementation is driven by the end-users themselves, leading to optimal outcomes.”
- Tim O’Connor, Chief Operations Officer, Xcel Energy
To support the user-centric way of doing business, McKinsey helped Xcel Energy set up a Digital Operations Factory to deliver user-empowering tools and analytics quickly, harness cross-functional talent, and work in agile ways to solve the most pressing needs. Notably, multiple workflow automation, custom mobile applications, and advanced analytics solutions were developed to streamline intensive processes. This enabled Xcel Energy to progress on its goals for an advanced grid for clean energy and tools to support smart decisions for the use of renewable energy.
The transformation necessitated a combination of reskilling, hiring, and partnering to form a cross-functional team of over 200 people in under two years. To ensure consistent standards and focus on impact, Xcel Energy built a chapter-based model. This model brought together communities of practice centered around product management, experience design, software, and data science.
Xcel Energy’s strategic approach of tackling the most challenging problems first and fostering innovation is proving successful. Within 9 months of launching the new cloud platform, the company expanded it to 3 additional business units. Xcel Energy continues to scale the platform to keep their plants cost competitive, advancing towards a zero-carbon baseload. As the years go by, Xcel Energy anticipates gaining widespread recognition as a pioneer in the utility industry, setting an example of how digital is a key ingredient in enabling the Energy Transition.