Smart City Consultants
Framework smart cities for stakeholder management

Framework smart cities for stakeholder management

A Smart city framework helps you design smart and sustainable cities for all citizens. To ensure all stakeholders are aligned, using a framework can help. In this blog, I explain how.

Robert Versteeg· 5 minute read

What is a smart city framework?

A smart city framework is a holistic policy document that states all the elements needed to build and construct a smart city. The framework states the key objectives (design) and the most important criteria for the infrastructure and technology to comply with when it is being built. This type of framework is a strategic document that briefs all interested parties on what kind of smart city the stakeholders have decided on what they want to build.

Strategic briefing of critical objectives and materials needed to build your smart city

A smart city framework has some similarities with the design of a building. Before starting the construction, you decide with your partners on the design principles you like and what type of materials you should use to construct it.

Why is policy alignment so crucial for your smart city framework?

Working together with different stakeholders is essential for success. Therefore, you must deal with various stakeholders' business principles and policies for different decision-making processes. Between departments, business complexity often needs to be aligned before running and digitizing your smart city project. Reducing business complexity will create a higher return on investment. That is why aligning departments and their policies is essential for a compelling smart city. The methodology to align your stakeholders will be discussed in the paragraphs below.

Challenges for stakeholders making smart city framework

Understanding stakeholder interests

Understanding your stakeholders, their business cases, and how they run their processes is most important to make your city successful. Don't focus on any technological solution yet. Otherwise, you might find all partners making the wrong business decisions if the business needs aren't addressed first.

Stakeholders all speak a common language.

All people involved in your smart project must speak a common language. The better all people speak a common language, the easier it will be to ensure your smart city project is successful. Therefore you need to get a good understanding of human behavior at all management levels in the organization. And ensure they all have the same sense of what needs to be achieved at a strategic and operational level.

Aligning different policies outcomes

My experience is that many policy outcomes interfere with each other. Sometimes I found that effects could vary greatly when you ask different civil servants to interpret the policies. So when you want to make a smart city project, you must ensure that all department policies follow the same procedures. Therefore a better-aligned policy leads to a more cost-effective smart city.

Distribution of resources

Good smart city frameworks have distributed their resources well. The cost of your smart city program should be something like the graph below:

Each smart city framework should use its resources to focus on stakeholder management and policy analysis. The outcome should be to find all stakeholders to speak a common language that all understand. After that, you can start to test and implement technologies solutions. And as last, you should look for the missing (data) infrastructure. Therefore focusing on each topic above helps to make which concepts have the best return on investment. This gives you control over the budget before investing in unknown technology solutions.

Solutions for successful smart city frameworks

Keep on validating what your stakeholders want.

Designing a smart city framework starts by identifying the main objectives with a road map. The best way to test your stakeholder's goals is by comparing their answers of time from earlier questionnaires, workshops, documents, and responses to market consultations. Secondly, you can update the road map frequently to can check if your stakeholder's prioritization of objectives has changed. Validating their goals leads to more efficient decisions and a reduction of your project costs.

Allowing stakeholders to change the smart city objectives

Due to the validation, your program objectives will shift over time. Your stakeholders will have new ideas about solving their objectives with new technological solutions. Therefore a smart city framework should stay flexible for as long as possible. This way, you can increase the return on your investment as your stakeholders will get new ideas about how different technologies could work for their city challenges.

Keep re-assessing your assumptions and objectives all the time

I want to summarize that your framework's goals and priorities should be validated until all stakeholders thoroughly understand the challenges and goals. With workshops, roadshows, and questionnaires, you can help them get new insights so that your stakeholders can sharpen their smart program objectives to shift.

Questionnaire Example

At smart city Consultants, we use a questionnaire that has been altered based on PAS 181. The questionnaire helps to undercover some of the stakeholders underlying hidden agendas. When our consultants set up smart city workshops, we let the stakeholders fill in the questionnaire anonymously. This way, we can manage stakeholder engagement which helps to make your smart city projects successful.

Do the questionnaire yourself

We have selected some of our questions from our questionnaire. You can see and answer the questions yourself.

Start here

More Information

I hope this blog has helped you better understand stakeholder management and policy analysis for making a smart city framework.

If you would like more information, get in touch with me here.