EERE Project Monitoring - An Overview

clock August 29, 2012 15:55 by author Bulletin Board
While project monitoring has always been an important part of EERE’s work, the Recovery Act highlighted a need for greater consistency across programs and sites, as well as a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. In August 2010, EERE rolled out its Monitoring Plan for Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D) projects. The plan details the processes involved in the monitoring of all RDD&D awards. [More]

“On the Ground” Project Monitoring - Site Visits

clock August 10, 2012 07:10 by author Bulletin Board
Ensuring project success requires effective monitoring of what’s actually happening “on the ground.” While a Technical Project Officer (TPO) can evaluate a great deal of important project information from his or her home office, known as “desktop monitoring,” this cannot replace the increased level of communication and goodwill built from an onsite visit with the recipient. TPOs utilize site visits as an opportunity for face-to-face meetings to foster an improved relationship with the Recipient, review new and/or complicated grant requirements, and discuss progr... [More]

Finding the Resources to Assist EERE’s Diverse Range of Grantees

clock July 20, 2012 15:43 by author Bulletin Board
Government regulations for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) grants can be overwhelming for new grantees, and this problem can be magnified when there is a language barrier involved. This was the case in a Spanish speaking U.S. territory. Although the Technical Project Officer (TPO) was well qualified to monitor the project, it became clear during a site visit that something was getting lost in translation. [More]

Monitoring EERE's Recovery Act Portfolio of RDD&D Awards

clock June 21, 2012 11:11 by author Bulletin Board
As the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Recovery Act-funded projects were quickly initiated to provide an economic stimulus, EERE needed tools and processes to ensure uniform oversight across the portfolio of programs and technologies. As of the fall of 2010, an EERE-wide central repository had not been established for storing and analyzing project performance data for Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D) awards. In addition to this lack of a central monitoring and reporting system, a reference hub where Technical Project Officers (TPOs) located in multiple offices could view guidance documents, access forms, or retrieve other relevant data did not exist. [More]

Optimizing the TPO Onsite Visit Experience: A Real-World Example

clock May 22, 2012 10:09 by author Bulletin Board
EERE’s Technical Project Officers (TPOs) conduct periodic onsite visits (or onsite reviews) for projects to monitor progress and assess recipient performance. The TPO determines whether a site visit is needed based on conversations with the recipients, reporting information, and monitoring requirements. These visits provide the opportunity to obtain firsthand information and meet the key players in person.

Given the large number of projects in EERE’s financial assistance award portfolio, TPOs have developed methods to make the best use of limited time during the visits. [More]

Public-Facing Dashboard Helps to Ensure Accountability

clock May 14, 2012 10:11 by author Bulletin Board
One way to ensure accountability is to show the public how well a project is meeting its stated Recovery Act goals. A large municipal government in the western United States developed a website dedicated to showing its citizens the progress it made on its building retrofit program. The public-facing dashboard provides both financial information and a range of statistics showing the number of retrofits completed by category. Categories include single and multi-family homes, small businesses, larger commercial entities, hospitals, and city-owned buildings. Summary statistics show both energy assessments conducted and retrofits completed. [More]

Developing a Risk Assessment Tool to Evaluate and Manage Project Risk

clock March 6, 2012 13:10 by author Bulletin Board
How do busy Technical Project Officers manage the risk associated with their portfolio of projects? Successful risk management can ensure that a project that achieves its goals on time and within budget by enabling DOE and grant recipients to identify and address issues before they turn into problems.

One EERE program has developed a risk assessment tool that measures and evaluates the risk associated with a range of projects in a systematic way. Using a series of financial and technical performance indicators, it has developed a tool that forms an evidentiary base for the systematic assignment of risk (classified as low, medium, or high). While the particular metrics used are designed specifically for this program, this tool has wider applicability to other programs. [More]

Recipient Risk Management Tool Helps DOE Track Project Potential Problem Areas

clock December 23, 2011 13:14 by author Bulletin Board
A cornerstone of effective project management is the identification, assessment, mitigation planning and tracking of project risk. With the aim of continually improving project management and oversight, EERE mines best practices and lessons learned to incorporate it into its knowledge base and enhance practices and procedures. Mindful of managing the risk associated with the activities it funds, EERE examines risk at the programmatic and project-level. [More]

EERE Responds to Uncertainty in Research Projects to Support Promising New Technology

clock October 28, 2011 17:01 by author Bulletin Board
Research and development has always carried some level of risk. Advanced technology projects involve significant unknowns, and may need to resolve complex scientific questions before a new technology can be brought to market. Recognizing this, EERE regularly evaluates the financial assistance projects in its portfolio and uses a variety of techniques to identify and respond to sources of risk. Sometimes this even means pulling the plug on research that begins to reveal less favorable results, in favor of those projects that can deliver better results faster. [More]

Working together to Fuel a Regional Economy

clock October 14, 2011 16:46 by author Bulletin Board
Project management staff are often pleased to identify high-quality outcomes of financial assistance projects, and work to share those outcomes with others who may be able to benefit quickly from them. In this way, EERE works to maximize the public benefit realized by its investments in emerging technologies.

In the case of one Recipient, a nonprofit economic development organization working to promote hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in early market applications, project results were leveraged across other states in the region. EERE staff observed that the Recipient had been particularly effective in its work on an education subprogram, and had taken a novel technology approach: the Recipient focused on increasing the deployment of early market stationary fuel cells. [More]