October 2009

Across TVA

TVA-wide improvement effort starts

TVA’s comprehensive initiative to improve its organizational effectiveness is under way, and specific improvement programs are expected to begin in 2010. “TVA is beginning this important process as a means of improving our performance at every level in the organization,” says President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Kilgore.

John Thomas, senior vice president for the new Corporate Governance & Compliance function, is leading the TVA-wide effort that began in early September with a five-month diagnostic and planning phase.

“We’re working to complete a detailed review of how TVA works as an organization and how we can improve our systems and culture. This will be a long-term effort, and we will be deliberate and thorough,” Thomas says.

The first phase of the effort looks at six elements of TVA’s organization: (1) governance and accountability, (2) organizational structure, (3) operating policies and procedures, (4) skills and capabilities, (5) rewards and recognition, and (6) change-management effectiveness. This initial phase will be completed by mid-October, with the design of initiatives to be completed this winter. The planning phase includes an Organizational Health Index survey all employees were encouraged to take. Focus groups and in-depth interviews with managers and employees will also be part of the information-gathering.

“This entire effort is concentrated on improving effectiveness – doing the right things in the right way,” Thomas says. “The primary intent is to find ways to perform better as a team to meet current and future business challenges.”

TVA staff members are working full-time on the effort with support from organizational and industry experts from the international management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Cyber-security training due Dec. 31

Several teams across TVA are working to implement “critical infrastructure protection” standards to help utilities improve protection of critical assets that control or affect the Bulk Electric System. The standards were issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and apply to all U.S. utilities.

The standards address security issues for such assets as control centers, substations, transmission lines, switchyards, plant equipment/systems and control systems. TVA employees, customers and contractors will learn more about NERC-CIP through an awareness campaign, “Learn. Act. Protect.”

“This theme promotes awareness, education and change,” says James Sample, director of Cyber Security. “Critical infrastructure protection is everyone’s responsibility. We must all help maintain security measures and processes that maximize protection of these critical assets. Though NERC has issued a Dec. 31 compliance date, our close attention to cyber security will be an ongoing effort.”

A revised training module on the required IT awareness and security will be available to employees early October. All employees must complete the training by Dec. 31 in order to maintain TVA corporate network access.