Design, Technology, and Innovation Projects

Transformation doesn’t happen overnight.

We took the layers of our smart city definition and adapted them into a maturity model to help us think about where we are and where we are going.

A maturity model for “smartness”

Smart City Maturity Model. A Smart Cities Maturity Model that assesses a project from level 1 (low maturity) to level 4 (high maturity) on five dimensions:
Dimension A. Engage society: how openly do you allow others to participate? Level 1 = 1-way/broadcast information. Level 2 = 2-way engagement, receive input. Level 3 = Close the feedback loop. Level 4 = Inclusive partnerships/relationships.
Dimension B. Lead Collaboratively: what does your leadership look like on your teams? Level 1 = Hierarchical. Level 2 = Encourage team problem-solving. Level 3 = Shared accountability for outcomes. Level 4 = Transparent multi-partner governance.
Dimension C. Work across disciplines, systems: How do teams work together? Level 1 = Silos. Level 2 = Across disciplines or units. Level 3 = Across teams or departments. Level 4 = Across systems.
Dimension D. Tech and data: How is content managed and technologies used? Level 1 = Paper/no data. Level 2 = Some automation/some data. Level 3 = Transactional services/analytics. Level 4 = Integrated systems/data models.
Dimension E. Capability: How evolved is your ability to solve problems? Level 1 = In-person, one episode at a time. Level 2 = Some analysis - high level trends. Level 3 = Deeper analysis, identify hidden problems, respond. Level 4 = Real-time data, predictive, proactive, transformative.

The maturity model includes integrating data and technology – which powers efficiency and automation in a smart city. But it also builds a foundation for being able to effectively use that technology by:

  • Engaging people – how we invite in participation and perspectives of the people we serve
  • Leading collaboratively – how we organize ourselves and set direction
  • Working across disciplines and systems – how we collaborate inside and outside of the city government

Plus the overall capability to solve problems and meet goals that comes when technology meets people and process.

How our programs and services grow

We think about progress across these dimensions in four maturity levels:

Level 1 involves siloed and separated teams with hierarchical governance that communicate one-way, often with paper-based systems that yield no data, and thus problem-solving must be done in person, one episode at a time.

Level 2 involves cross-disciplinary teams empowered to solicit input from others, enabled by some automated technologies that yield data that gives you high level trends with which you can identify target problem areas or opportunities.

Level 3 sees diverse teams with shared accountability for outcomes, empowered by their ability to close feedback loops by sharing information on actions taken, enabled by more robust transactional technologies that yield richer analytics, with which you can conduct deeper analysis and identify more hidden problems, yielding in a more responsive problem-solving capability.

Level 4 evolves into deeper and more robust partnerships and relationships empowered by transparent, multi-partner governance of networked teams across systems and sectors that are enabled by integrated technologies and robust data models that yield a proactive, predictive problem-solving capability. This stage transforms cities into hyper-efficient, sustainable, and resilient systems that support a high quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors.