openKONSEQUENZ operations diary
freely available for network control centres

Module Operation diary about Eclipse project “eLogbook@openK” published

The consortium openKONSEQUENZ aims to provide a software for network operators in the energy and water industry that implements their requirements in a functional, efficient and safe way.

The operating diary is a module of the openKONSEQUENZ platform. It is the central application for the documentation of all essential information and processes of a shift, especially those information that are not recorded in the control system. This includes, for example, the entry and exit of plants, the stay of external personnel on the premises and current maintenance measures. In addition, the network control centres which use the module benefit from the structured information transfer during a shift change, since from then on all information can always be transferred in an audit-proof manner. From a legal point of view, the time of the transfer of responsibility at a shift change is now also precisely documented.

The operations diary is licensed under the Eclipse Public License 1.0 and can therefore be used freely by everyone. The module is published via the Eclipse project eLogbook@openK and includes source code, documentation and a link to a demo platform.

On the technical side, the application managers of the openKONSEQUENZ module Operations Diary are Mr. Gordon Pickford (MVV Netze GmbH): “The Operations Diary facilitates the work in the network control room, as now all information – even those that are not recorded in the control system – can be viewed by all employees at any time.” and on the technical side, Mr. Frank Dietrich (PTA GmbH): “During development, we placed great emphasis on quality and safety. Now we have an application that is stable, safe and easy to maintain”.

An agile project, high quality requirements and an efficient project team

The openKONSEQUENZ aims to develop software that is independent of manufacturers and suppliers. The project team was set up accordingly broadly. openKONSEQUENZ as the organiser commissioned Main-Donau-Netzgesellschaft mbH for the purchasing. The client and driver of the module was MVV Netze GmbH. The IT service provider PTA GmbH was responsible for the software development and Basys GmbH (a company of the develop group) for quality assurance.

After the project initialisation, the agile Scrum project was characterised by three-week sprints in which the software was extended step by step. The technical requirements were defined by the product owner in the form of user stories at the beginning, but also during the ongoing project, and stored in the product backlog. During the regular sprint planning meetings, all project members agreed on the contents of the next sprint and thus gradually emptied the product backlog. The Scrum Master of the PTA was responsible for the smooth running of the meetings, but also during the development times.

At the end of each Sprint, the Product Owner carried out the technical acceptance based on the User Stories. Since openKONSEQUENZ has very high demands on the quality of its software, a non-functional acceptance in the form of audits was also necessary. The following aspects were examined:

  1. The project had to be carried out according to the official Scrum standard.
  2. The architecture and quality specifications of openKONSEQUENZ had to be met throughout. This applied to the areas of architecture, source code, IT security and continuous integration.
  3. The technical documentation had to be in accordance with standard Arc42.

Dr. Martin Jung (develop group) carried out the regular audits and confirmed the compliance with all specifications: “The quality of the technical solution as well as the documentation is very good, so that this project should serve as a benchmark for further openKONSEQUENZ projects”.

In December 2017, openKONSEQUENZ officially accepted the Operations Diary module. This marked the end of ten months of project work, which was characterised by a very good cooperation of all project participants. Dr. Tim Walleyo (member of the management of PTA GmbH) praised the performance of all participants after the end of the project: “The development within the framework of an open source project as well as the quality assurance by an external reviewer was something special for us. I am all the more pleased about the achieved result”.

Operation diary already in productive use

MVV Netze was the first network operator to go live with the operations diary and has gained initial experience in recent weeks. In the meantime, there is a small list of optimisation requests that are currently being implemented by the PTA and will soon be available to all users.

The interest in the operations diary is growing, so that other network operator companies have already decided to use the module in 2018.

Dr. Tim Walleyo, Member of the PTA Management Board

What requirements do you have for modules
as a network operator in the energy industry?

Feel free to contact me for a professional exchange!