Smart cities can bring many benefits to our lives if executed well, but what actions need to be taken to make the best of smart city efforts? Below we have presented a list of high-level steps that can help you on your smart city journey:
Understand what the future looks like. First things first, make sure there is a shared vision of the future and what success will look like. This is typically the stage where a strategy and roadmap are defined to ensure everyone is aligned with a shared vision, and also that that vision fits in with wider organisational strategies. This is a crucial step.
Measure your maturity. Measure where you are now. Define what smart city efforts have been made and their relative success. Learn from others and compile lessons learned to avoid the common issues and repeating the same mistakes. Work out what the steps are to build upon the current state.
Define a set of projects. The identification of a roadmap allows cities to plan out projects that can enable the strategic objectives in a sensible order to maximise benefits. Working with surrounding councils, engaging in smart cities forums and conferences along with partners such as CyQIQ, can offer reliable sources of information to feed into your program and guide your smart city journey.
Assess the likelihood of each project’s implementation success. The project evaluation starts with the cost estimation and business case to determine the feasibility, along with the impact and success that is likely for each project or work package. This can help to prioritise short, mid and long-term initiatives, to ensure success and benefits are realised along the way.
Select the most promising projects. The initiatives with the greatest likelihood of success and with a high level of strategically aligned impact should be selected first. This ensures that support is maintained, impact and value is delivered, and urgent issues are attended to from the start.
As you deliver upon each of the projects, it is also important to:
Understand the problem you are trying to solve. Quantify the inefficiencies. Identify what the problems are, why they occur and what would help to resolve them. At this stage, technology shouldn’t be part of the conversation. Here we are looking to identify the right problem to solve and engage with those affected by the issue.
Identify your objectives. Clearly identify what your goals are and what success looks like to you. Setting clear goals will help recognise the most important initiatives and where necessary, prioritise them. Understand the impact of wider organisational strategies, community values and legislation that may increase the priority of initiatives over time.
Measure the results. measure the relative success of each activity and use the baseline metrics to measure the impact. Publicise the results and celebrate successes, learn from any mistakes or failures and keep improving over time.
Learn from experience. With each step forward, there will be areas to improve upon. Use each learning experience as an opportunity to reflect and adjust for future activities. It is a process and each iteration will get better and better.