Innovation @ Copperleaf: How the Value Model Library Helps Organizations Make Better Decisions
We speak with Stan Coleman, Chief Architect, about the Copperleaf® Value Model Library and how it helps organizations improve their decision-making, asset management, and capital planning outcomes. The Copperleaf Value Model Library leverages the knowledge and experience Copperleaf has gained from working with a wide variety of clients from different industries across the globe. It’s an extensive and constantly evolving collection of best practice models that helps new clients get up and running quickly with a value-based decision-making approach.
What is the Copperleaf Value Model Library? How does it tie into what we do?
“Copperleaf helps organizations make better decisions. We work collaboratively with our clients to evaluate their current business processes and use our award-winning Copperleaf Decision Analytics Solution to implement strategies for improvement.
What we’ve found is that many organizations are grappling with the same challenges—regardless of industry or geographical location. There are common threads that require similar solutions and having a solid foundation is an important first step.
For example, utilities across the globe are challenged by the impact of new technologies, aging infrastructure, evolving regulations, and a changing business environment where ESG-related pressures are higher than ever. They all want to make better decisions about where and when to invest in their businesses to maximize value and mitigate risk. However, defining what “value” means can often be the biggest challenge, and starting that conversation with a view as to what others have done can accelerate their ability to change and achieve improved business results.
The Copperleaf Value Framework provides an enterprise-wide view of all the value measures that support the organization’s goals.
The Library is dynamic and constantly evolving—ensuring our clients are aligned with industry best practice into the future. It includes more than 200 models to help clients assess the value of potential projects from a variety of different angles.”
What does the process of developing a Value Framework look like?
“We work closely with our clients to really understand the company’s strategic objectives, financial parameters, approach to managing risk, key performance indicators (KPIs), constraints, etc. The Value Framework is built by compiling the strategic objectives of these diverse stakeholder groups, then identifying more granular metrics that can be used to evaluate the contribution of a given investment to those objectives. We call these “value measures”. For example, an ESG-driven “Healthy Environment” objective could be valued in terms of reductions in CO2 and energy usage, and avoidance of environmental risk. Each investment will contribute to one or more of these numerical measures, providing a better understanding of the value or benefits of any given investment.
Once we’ve identified all the value measures, we then construct a series of “value models” that enable the organization to quantify the value of every proposed investment. These value models can come “off the shelf” from the library or can be based on models that already exist but tweaked to accommodate a particular client’s needs. We can also develop models from scratch for clients with extremely unique requirements.
At the end of this process, the Copperleaf Value Framework provides an enterprise-wide view of all the value measures that support the organization’s goals—as well as the models used to calculate how individual investments or projects contribute to those measures. The result is that everyone can understand the rationale behind each decision, driving consensus and linking day-to-day decisions with business strategy. This helps create a culture of transparency, accountability, and trust.”
Why did we build the Value Model Library?
“The library has been a work in progress for over 10 years and embodies Copperleaf’s collective experience developing value frameworks for thought-leading organizations worldwide, including BC Hydro, Duke Energy, Anglian Water, National Grid, Network Rail, and others. Through this experience, we’ve been able to see the broad spectrum of what clients value, how they calculate those metrics, and the similar concerns and challenges they share. By sharing best practices, our clients can become stronger and improve their own performance.”
What are the key benefits of the library? How does it help our clients?
“It can be daunting for a new client to develop a value framework from scratch, so having the library provides a good starting point and makes it much easier and quicker to build their own framework. Often, new clients don’t believe how quickly we can get them up and running! The library is especially useful for organizations working in regulated environments because the methodology has been accepted by their peers and regulatory bodies and is therefore proven and credible.”
What industries can benefit from the Value Model Library?
“Clients from any industry we’re working with can benefit from the library. For example, in the first project we ever worked on in the oil and gas sector, we were expecting the organization’s needs and strategic goals to be quite different from electric utilities but learned that their fundamental values are actually very similar. They are both concerned with environmental impact, economics, safety, risk, and reliability metrics. Therefore, many different industries can benefit from similar value models in many areas—because their core values are alike.
The key is understanding what is similar and what is different, and then leveraging our library and experience to find the best solution for a specific organization. We’ve developed value frameworks for over 80 of the world’s leading organizations and have confidence in our ability to support any client through this journey.”
The Copperleaf Value Framework gives our clients a rich set of data and insights to efficiently manage portfolios for hundreds of thousands of investments impacting millions of assets.
How is Copperleaf’s approach to developing a Value Framework unique?
“The organizations we work with typically have high engineering and financial complexities, with tens of thousands of projects in play simultaneously. Their employees find that they either can’t do what they need to in Excel, or else they’re simplifying the details to the extent that they’re no longer useful for analysis.
The Copperleaf Value Framework gives our clients a rich set of data and insights to efficiently manage portfolios for hundreds of thousands of investments impacting millions of assets. Our approach scales to any size and type of organization, allowing them to create effective plans that deliver value to the business.
There are a lot of theoretical models out there, but the Copperleaf approach uses models that are already being used and have therefore been proven across various industries. The value models in our library are a great asset to clients who want to expedite the development of their value frameworks and trust that their approach is aligned with the best in their industries.”
For more information on the benefits of a value framework, check out this article or visit our Knowledge Hub.