1.2 Auditing the electrification of the City’s bus fleet using an agile audit approach
As part of the Climate Change Master Plan approved by Council in January 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100 per cent by 2040, the City of Ottawa (the City) has undertaken a ZEB transformation to convert its OC Transpo fleet to battery-electric buses. The aim would be to phase in a total of 450 ZEBs by 2027 and to have a fully electric bus fleet by 2036. Given some of the inherent risks related to the underlying technology, securing of funding, and implementation challenges faced in other cities, the OAG announced its intention to engage early in the transformation and conduct an agile audit of the ZEB implementation.
The OAG needed to use a methodology to provide leadership and executive management with real-time insights and foresight regarding strategic decision making with the implementation of ZEBs. Historically, traditional audits were executed with a historical examination of processes and controls. We needed to implement a methodology for agile auditing to adjust to the transformational change which was swift and complex.
We have completed three sprints of this agile audit approach, and as such have a number of lessons learned – some of which have been successful and some of which we have had to pivot. Those have been a part of supporting management and ensuring we are aligning to the standards that we abide by. For example, the inherent nature of the agile approach makes the timing of work unique. The intent of undertaking work early enough to identify risks/gaps for management consideration means that not everything is wrapped up in a bow and completed. We have found in the work we are doing that we are informing management of the risks we identify from our work and we report on the results with enough time to adjust and pivot – which is what the intention is. The challenge has been selecting the right time where enough work/progress has been done in the program to allow us to audit but not so much time that our insights cannot inform management decision making.