Smart Projects – how to make a Technology Project A Success?
In these days, everything is smart: from fridges, to cars from light to buildings. But, what does “smart” finally mean? A good source to find it out is a dictionary: the adjective “smart” is explained as “having or showing a quick-witted intelligence” and has, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, synonyms like clever, bright, intelligent, etc. The question might be allowed: what does this now have to do with rather “dumb” technology? What make a piece of technology – like a smart light or a smart watch – smart in the sense of the quoted synonyms?
It is important to know, that a lot of the “smart” confusion of theses days is caused by the fact, that “smart” is not just an adjective, but also an acronym, standing for “Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology”.
Smart connected devices consequently requires capable hardware and software, as well as connectivity to be controlled and operated. Smart connected devices are the building blocks of any Smart City, Smart Building or Smart Lighting solution. To make it work, it requires one more element: data and analytics.
The way into a Smart Building Solution is for many customers starting with an extensive internet research to find respective solutions. A lot of technology can be found and the result might improve the confusion rather than bring clarity: every technology provider will promise the best value for money, and a full compliance with your requirements. But: what are your requirements? And how to compare the different offerings and technologies? What is good value for money?
Start with the Requirements & Goals
The first step is to gather all the requirements and to define what target shall be achieved with the project. This process is usually taking a bit of time, but from experience we know, that this is very well invested time, saving a lot of money and also time in the later stages. Get unbiased opinions of the stakeholders and formulate, what they really want, long-term and short-term, unswayed from any technology.
The Requirements Specifications are formulated, weighted and divided into “MUST” and “WISH”, ready for getting the GO-Ahead from the stakeholders.
Schematic Design – get your Building Blocks sorted
The approved Requirements Specification is the basis for the Schematic Design, who is evaluating the options and alternatives in building the targeted solution. During this phase, the potential vendors are invited to bid. The Schematic Design, enriched with the financial and risk assessment is the result from this stage and shall lead to a final “GO” designing of the stakeholder and project sponsor
Dig into the Details
A last step must be taken: the Detail Design. The Option, selected by the stakeholders and project sponsor is planned in detail. The planning includes the technical plan as well as the project implementation plan.
This step is important to understand, how the project will be realized, including the testing / commissioning and user training / acceptance steps.
Ready to Start?
This simple steps are crucial in making a Project SMART in a human sense of smartness. It partially makes sense to use the help of a consultant to structure and lead the process.
ELCA Systems can provide such support for Projects and we’re looking forward hearing from you!