MISO Goes Agile

Innovative technology is everywhere. Thermostats “learn” our behaviors and heat or cool our homes without us having to adjust the dial. Cars are now driving themselves and we can find a parking spot close to our favorite restaurant before we get out of the driveway.

At MISO our engineers and developers have created technology that generates over 200,000 data points on the grid every 4 seconds – sending a clear picture of all 65,000 miles of the high-voltage transmission system from Manitoba, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s real-time knowledge that provides operators the confidence to make the split-second decisions necessary to protect the transmission system and ensure electricity continues to flow reliably and safely.

To support MISO’s increasing reliance on innovated technology, we began the implementation of a scaled Agile framework for software development. Agile is an iterative approach to software development that emphasizes automation and business alignment and active participation across the organization. Ultimately, that means less re-work, faster delivery, and predictable results.

More importantly, the agile framework is exciting. It doesn’t just suggest collaboration, it demands it. People from across the organization come together to converse, sort, critique, define and plan – they map out the most efficient use of the organizations resources. Agile recognizes that change is inevitable.  The framework itself is flexible and therefore adapts to change.

If seeing is believing then all you need to do is watch the video from the first Agile Planning Increment meeting at MISO. Business Owners, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, Developers and Testers actively collaborated on “stories” that defined “sprints” with the goal of delivering the software products necessary to execute “epics.”

As the industry progresses, MISO will be here working with stakeholders to find innovative solutions to address economic, reliability and policy challenges, like the Clean Power Plan, Resource Adequacy and gas-electric coordination. We recognize that while the word “technology” is not present in our mission statement, it is technology that makes our most important job – transmission system reliability, possible.

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