Q: How is risk management process being managed in the SPEEDIER projects?
A: Like in any project and walks of life, risks exist and depending on size and complexity there can be many risks. Working in SPEEDIER and in close collaboration with the project coordinator, IERC, from TFC we built a risk management process into proceeding of how the project is managed. This was activated from the beginning of the project and in doing so were able to identify risks early in the project and thereafter monitored their mitigation and resolution on an ongoing basis. Each work package leader has a pivotal role in the process and is directly involved in finding and applying the appropriate resolution in the process. In one of my roles in the project, as Quality Manager, and with my colleagues in TFC Research and Innovation Limited, we held a series of one-to-one meetings with each work package leader on a separate basis to assess the progress of the identified risks for their work package. Each individual risk is assessed on its own merit and both the likelihood of the risks and its potential severity on the project is assessed. The higher the severity the closer the attention. Risk management details were reported on at monthly team meetings, which is chaired by the IERC. We will continue to apply these principals for the full duration of the project.
Q: Is COVID-19 affecting the expected results?
A: The impact of the pandemic on the project has had a negative impact on the project, especially regards to the pilot trial implementation of the SPEEDIER Service. Both the IERC and in TFC Research and Innovation Limited, have discussed the pandemic impact as part of risk management proceedings to determine the appropriate forward-looking and potential steps to take to move the project forward. In this vein, we developed with the support of Limerick Institute of Technology and AEEPM a mechanism for managing and monitoring the pilot implementation progress for each of the pilot countries as a team to collectively assess progress against the backdrop of the pandemic in the pilot countries (i.e. Spain, Italy, Romania and Ireland). Fortnightly, progress is reported on by each pilot manager. Challenges, issues, and lessons learnt from each pilot country form part of proceedings. All of them are shared so, as a team, we meet the challenges head on to collectively move the project forward. The process has been very beneficial to all involved but it is highly probable that we will seek an extension to strengthen our project outcomes in support of our efforts.
Q: How important is the standardization of processes for SPEEDIER?
A: The role of standardization in the project is a very forward looking and integral part of SPEEDIER. It helps to build trust and confidence in what we aim to achieve in the project. In SPEEDIER, we are developing a pre-standardization document that is focused on the interoperable component of the SPEEDIER software tool, which is designed for SPEEDIER Experts to assist them to quickly carry out an assessment of the energy saving opportunities available to SMEs who avail of the one-stop-shop solution SPEEDIER Service. Interoperability is an important part of our thinking and a key component of the solution, helping to demonstrate European leadership. In particular interoperability is a characteristic of the SPEEDIER software tool and through definition and specification, the pre-standardisation document will provide the technical details to allow other software platforms and tools to be in a position to connect with SPEEDIER at technical and semantic levels. The pre-standardisation document will define the vocabulary and Application Programming Interface (API) constructs of a common information space for shared knowledge. This newly created capability enables confidence of the SPEEDIER Service to be more readily realised and it strengthens the integrity of the SPEEDIER energy assessment, advice, training, and ring-fence approach. The development of the pre-standardisation document for better interconnection capability enables more energy efficiency tools to communicate and share GDPR-compliant data and this can only but strengthen European efforts to combat irreversible man-made climate change.