Influencing Change: Extending the Conversation beyond Planning to Execution



Eric Loyd and Danielle Cooper

TXU Energy

Dallas, Texas, USA




For the last few years, the TXU Energy Delivery Office has focused on its formation, expansion and changes to methodology and practices. Over the last year, the team has taken on new challenges: moving the business to a portfolio investment approach, redefining Technology’s role, and driving business conversations on future state capabilities. This role expansion is due to the team’s historical excellence in execution, quality and perspective. Having played a critical role in delivering functionality for the business enables the team to take the conversation further, defining and shaping “What’s Next,” in terms of team skills, abilities, and solutions.

Executive Summary

TXU Energy

About 50 retail electric providers (REPs) offer as many as 250 retail plans in the competitive markets of Texas. TXU Energy (TXUE) is the market-leader, powering the lives of more Texans than any other REP. For six consecutive years, the Texas market has been ranked as the most competitive and most innovative by international consulting firm DRG. TXU Energy exemplifies the spirit of competition and innovation, giving customers choice, convenience and control over their electricity usage and spending. Initiatives driven by the Delivery Office have helped strengthen TXU Energy’s competitive position by delivering quality solutions quickly to market.


The Project Management Office (PMO) was established in 2009, as a complement to TXUE’s systems integration effort. In those first few years, the team’s focus was primarily establishment of new processes, tools, and standards. Projects were primarily small, incremental changes to the newly implemented SAP platform. Stabilization of the platform consumed the majority of 2010, with the PMO leading various SWAT team efforts to alleviate manual workarounds and assist the business with system issues. As the platform began to stabilize, a flood of pent up project demand hit. During 2011, there were over 400 active project requests in the system, with each department clamoring for their initiatives to take priority. In response, leaders from Finance and the PMO partnered to define a project selection process and a new Demand Management organization was created, to assess each project’s alignment with strategic objectives and minimize the churn the technology teams were facing in trying to respond to business stakeholders.


Entering 2012, there were approximately 80 active projects, with clear priorities for execution. A quarterly proposal submission process was established, with more rigorous business case documentation and validation. With stabilization and process standardization complete, and a track record of on-time, on-budget delivery, the business began to ask how projects could be delivered faster. In response, the PMO began investigating Agile delivery methods. In September, 2013, the team established and trained two Agile teams made up of business and technology members and began delivering work using a Scrum-based framework. Given Agile’s focus on building in quality, Quality Assurance (QA) resources began to be integrated into the delivery organization.


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at the 9th annual University of Texas at Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, Texas, USA in August 2015. It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.



About the Authors



Eric Loyd

TXU Energy
Texas, USA



, CSM, CSPO, is a proven executive with a passion for establishing and improving Project Management Offices across multiple industries. Eric has spent the last 13+ years leading teams specializing in IT Governance, IT Portfolio and Demand Management, Project Management, IT Service & Change Management, Organizational Change Enablement, and Quality Assurance. In his current role, Eric is responsible for directing TXU Energy’s Delivery Office which is made up of the Project Management Office (PMO) and Quality Assurance (QA) groups. Eric is focused on developing leaders and teams within the project management profession, ensuring the successful management and delivery of top quality business solutions, and helping to enable business value through technology solutions. During his tenure, TXUE has experienced a 30% improvement in on time project delivery, achieving 95% on time delivery with -3.5% variance to budget. Eric is a graduate of Baylor University and is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) by the ScrumAlliance.




Danielle Cooper

TXU Energy
Texas, USA



Danielle Cooper,
CSM, is a Senior Manager in TXU Energy’s Delivery Office. Danielle began her career in consulting, working with clients across multiple industries and technologies. Her tenure at TXU Energy has provided the opportunity to leverage skill sets in areas including performance management, resource management, project management, organizational change management and communications. Danielle leads a team responsible for establishing governance and enablement practices within technology and internal stakeholders. Also a graduate of Baylor University and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) by the ScrumAlliance, Danielle can be contacted at [email protected].