Power GIS Technical Advisor

City of Tacoma

Tacoma, Washington

At Tacoma Power, we recognize the dynamic evolution underway in the power utility industry. With increasing demands placed on the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) system due to environmental changes and the imperative for future electrification, Tacoma Power is committed to modernizing our operational technologies, notably our Graphical Information System (GIS). To this end, we have adopted an Agile support framework known as DevOps.
As part of this initiative, we are seeking a dedicated Power GIS Technical Advisor to serve as the product owner. In this pivotal role, you will provide strategic direction for the GIS product within the T&D team. Responsibilities include making product decisions, managing the product backlog, crafting user stories, defining success criteria, and ensuring alignment with T&D business objectives.
The Power GIS Technical Advisor fosters relationships with key stakeholders and supervisors through regular meetings to understand team needs, facilitating the development and validation of user stories, business processes, and test plans.
This role plays a crucial part in organizational change management efforts stemming from ongoing GIS evolution, solutions, and integrations. Collaborating with change management, development, and testing professionals, the Power GIS Technical Advisor establishes criteria, thresholds, and program metrics to mitigate implementation risks and impacts, ensuring stakeholder needs are met with new systems and processes.
As the product owner, this position drives Program Increment (PI) Planning and Sprint Planning meetings, leading the team in developing success criteria for adopted user stories. Additionally, they determine the priority of GIS support issues and make recommendations on support requests or system failures, reallocating team resources as necessary.
Within a matrixed organization encompassing cross-functional teams from T&D, Utility Technology Services, ITD, and vendors, the Power GIS Technical Advisor assumes a crucial role in coordinating collaborative endeavors.

Responsibilities include:

  • Orchestrates and manages complex assignments and projects requiring advanced expertise in GIS data mapping at the journey-level.
  • Performs the full range of duties that demonstrates advanced broad practical knowledge in a variety of processes, methods, techniques, and best practices as a GIS mapping professional with an understand of T&D infrastructure attributes, and design.
  • Demonstrates comprehensive practical knowledge across various processes, methods, techniques, and best practices as a GIS mapping professional, including an understanding of T&D infrastructure attributes and design. 
  • Drives GIS product decisions by reviewing and prioritizing all items on the Product Backlog. Determines the priority order of User Stories other Product Backlog Items through consultation with SMEs, Scrum Master, and Product Team.  
  • Drives organizational change management efforts by leading regular meetings with T&D Section Managers and ASMs. keeping them informed about project progress, key milestones, important items, upcoming resource needs affecting staffing, OCM communication to staff, and other relevant updates. 
  • Manages GIS product deployment and support, overseeing continuous improvement initiatives for asset management. 

Minimum Education*
Bachelor's degree public or business administration or directly related field.
Minimum Experience*
2 years of analytical and/or program coordination/management work in area related to assignment
*Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Desired Qualifications:
To ensure the success of this critical and unique role, candidates will benefit from having extensive experience with GIS and a power utility (6-10 years).  

Knowledge & Skills

Proficient in leading and directing GIS engineers or engineering technicians, guiding priority setting, workload management, and goal setting within a team. Skilled in leading matrixed work groups effectively, even without formal positional authority.
Business Background
Extensive expertise in high voltage overhead and underground electrical power systems, including a comprehensive understanding of electrical connectivity models and mapping of Transmission and Distribution (T&D) features. Proficient in managing T&D feature attributes, ensuring standardization and accuracy across the board. Demonstrated experience in creating, editing, and constructing T&D electrical infrastructure within GIS environments, alongside expertise in generating construction drawings using AutoCAD. Proven ability to interpret As-Built data related to T&D electrical infrastructure 
Proficient in applying Agile principles to software implementation or configuration, with knowledge of various Scaled Agile roles and processes in product development. Familiarity with Agile ceremonies and their significance. Experienced in roles such as Product Owner or Business Analyst, adept at developing requirements, including epics, user stories, use cases, and business process designs for both current and future states. Skilled in performing gap analysis, creating testing scenarios, desktop procedures, and training materials. Additionally, possess an understanding of DevOps principles and support models
Effective Communication
Proficient in clear and concise verbal and written communication, adept at compiling reports, presentations, and records. Skilled in respectful and sensitive interaction with individuals and groups to foster productive relationships and achieve desired outcomes. Prioritizes excellent customer service, adept at responding to evolving customer needs and facilitating the implementation of comprehensive solutions.



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Category GIS Technician