As described in my past entries, I’m currently working on the launch of the Pay-as-you-go pilot. In a nutshell, people from communities will be able to purchase the use of the solar systems installed at their homes for a week, month, or day, (depending on their purchasing capabilities). A local store owner will act as a distributor of the codes that activate the system. Working on this pilot has taught me first-hand the importance of establishing proper communication and action plans in order for the process to run smoothly and for time not to be wasted.

A week ago, we had an all company meeting regarding the scheduling and planning of the pilot. The whole company seemed to understand fully the tasks and the dates that they needed to be done by. Regardless of the overall consensus during the meeting, things did not go as planned. For example, we were supposed to do repairs on some of the systems today but did not have the replacement parts, such as batteries,  for the repairs. Many of the obstacles we have faced could have been prevented easily with a little more communication and planning.  A big obstacle the company faces is the ability to convey messages clearly because of language barriers– the clients don’t even speak Spanish, so it’s hard to tell whether Quetsol employees are explaining all of the details effectively. This language barrier creates glitches in the communication which lead to inefficiency.

Even though this situation is somewhat stressful, it is a great learning experience. This has helped me understand and distinguish small details that, if overlooked, cause big delays in the overall project. Working on this pilot has helped me internalize the importance of communication as well as the establishment of a clear action plan to follow and back-up strategies if things don’t go as planned.