Lee Merkhofer Consulting Priority Systems

Resource Allocation

The Santa Clara Valley Water District needed a defensible tool for optimizing the distribution of its $300 million budget among functional and geographic units of its water and flood programs. The completed system allocates funds based on maximizing public safety, environmental quality, responsiveness to community concerns, customer service, and financial return. Scales and metrics are provided for quantifying benefits. A recent audit praised the utility for the quality of its priority system.

Water Project

IT Spending

A financial services company initiated an ambitious e-business program. Project proposals exceeded the budget, and project interdependencies and limited time-windows for success made choosing which projects to delay difficult. Teaming with S&P, we created a priority system that prioritizes proposals and identifies on-going projects that should be slowed or terminated to accommodate new efforts. The first application identified an alternative project portfolio that increased value by almost 30%.

IT Investments

Asset Management

This application created a budget allocation system for Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) to optimally distribute its $250 million annual operating budget across 10 business units responsible for transmission, distribution, and various retail services. According to George Bell, the Director of Asset Management, “This effort was worth 10 times what it cost.” Larry Taylor, the President of NSP Electric, described the weight assignment process as “a break-through for the leaders.”

Powerline Maintenance