davidhope & associates pty ltd

Specialising in SCADA Strategy and Planning, Business Justification, determination of user needs, gaining the agreement of all parties to projects, working through detailed change issues with staff, designing new organisations and roles, and Implementation Strategies and Plans


Having trouble gaining approval or acceptance of your SCADA Project?

This may be because you are unable to demonstrate a satisfactory Benefit Cost Ratio. SCADA projects are often only justified if Strategic Benefits are taken into account properly. Often, operational savings (from reduced electricity costs, reduced staffing, etc) in Public Utilities only provide enough benefits to cover around 5 - 20% of the scheme costs.

Or maybe it is because your organisation is wary of implementing technology projects. Perhaps this is because.......


Wariness can often be overcome by preparing an overall SCADA implementation strategy which allows issues to be managed and risks reduced. The strategy should:

  • Allow for all user requirements - from operations and maintenance staff, planners, through to senior managers - to be well researched and understood before technical options are considered in detail
  • Understand that the new SCADA technology will most probably have much improved functionality and many extra features compared with the system it will replace. To realise the benefits of your investment, you must take full advantage of this improved capability. It is an opportunity to modernize your policies, processes and procedures. In fact, trying to keep the old ones can cause many implementation difficulties as well as reducing the benefits. The failure of the first attempt to introduce a Transport Card to Sydney in the early 2000ís owed much to agencies trying to hold onto their old practices.
  • Introduction of new technology requires a good change process, including introducing and exploring with staff the details and benefits of the new technology before they are asked for their user requirements.
  • Provide for a range of technical options to be produced which match the user requirements
  • Provide for a business case which explores the technical options, and also a range of acceptable user the requirements. The cheapest option may not produce the best value for money or business outcomes. The "do nothing" option can appear to be the easiest short term option, but carries with it the loss of longer term opportunities and the associated risks.
  • Set up a realistic implementation plan which covers:

o    procurement of suppliers and contractors;

o    the input required over the entire project from your company's own employees (this can include such things as site access, provision of functional specifications; problem solving and dispute resolution; handover and commissioning; training; and reorganising your workforce to take advantage of the new technology);

o    a project plan which proactively manages quality and progress against real milestones; and

o    a benefits realisation plan

Regarding implementation options, a planned, standardized, production line approach can often save 20% or more in capital costs, and involve many fewer implementation risks, than an ad hoc, wait till we're forced to, approach.

It is ironic that many Utilities implement modern "non-core" systems (e.g. financial, email) without the need for extensive Business Cases, but are reluctant to modernise SCADA systems, which operate their core assets.

The Strategic Benefits of modern SCADA systems include:

  • Improved operating and customer service capability
  • Opportunities to standardise operating procedures and to better utilise staff
  • Reduced costs and risks through standardisation of technology: maintaining SCADA, training operators, etc
  • Reduced incident risks through the reduction in the number and severity of operational incidents and improved capability to respond once an incident has occurred (remote monitoring, remote control, and ability to control groups of assets)
  • More knowledgeable and capable staff, learning through the power of the technology
  • Better ability to negotiate with regulators and lawmakers
  • Improved capital and maintenance planning through more integrated, useable information
  • Improved ability to integrate with other company information systems such as financial, customer, maintenance management, planning, geographic, email, etc
  • Improved ability to take advantage of any opportunities
  • Better company image through being able to demonstrate competitiveness and competence in the market-place
  • Prerequisite for leading companies

David Hope has had over 30 years experience in a Public Utility, and understands the issues and technology from the operator's perspective. David's experience spans planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance, as well as strategic planning, business planning, high level policy, and general management. David has been responsible for successful SCADA Business Cases worth around $Aus 150 million, and for the implementation, including program strategies, client representative functions, and program management.

David is now an independent consultant who would be very happy to talk to you about your project, anywhere in the world.

Services include: analysing problems; assistance with early planning via workshops or value management studies; working through difficult change problems and issues with your staff; designing new roles and working with staff to implement changes in the organization; preparing strategies for integrating SCADA with other technologies; preparing and implementing strategies for gaining acceptance among the users of the new technology in your organisation; preparing strategies for the use of the new technology by the operators and other users; preparing business cases; preparing implementation strategies and setting up programs and projects; and managing programs or projects.

Read: David Hope's SCADA Justification Paper


SCADA Business Presentations, Workshops & Training have been undertaken in:

London, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Sydney and Perth.


For further information:

Email David Hope



davidhope & associates