Tauranga City Council: Revolutionising Parks and Reserves Maintenance
Every year at the ALGIM conference, local councils compete for the ICT Project of the Year, an award that recognises outstanding project management success. The award always has exceptional entries and Psoda proudly maintains our tradition of sponsoring this prestigious award.
Every year we have the honour of introducing the three finalists, the first of which for 2023 is Tauranga City Council.
As part of Tauranga City Council’s mission to “Make Tauranga Better”, the Council established a new business unit dedicated to managing parks and reserve maintenance.
The problem was how to do it and do it well.
The result was a project to deliver a brand new, custom built tool to support the business unit.
Previously, external contractors handled the maintenance of parks and reserves. This created a range of challenges for Tauranga City Council, including:
- Higher maintenance costs
- Inadequate service level agreements
- Lack of coordination among contract jobs
- Diminished civic appeal
- Reduced satisfaction among ratepayers
Not only that, the dynamic nature of community needs demanded a more agile approach that the previous contract cycle couldn’t keep pace with.
To build a custom tool to support the new business unit.
Collaboration was at the heart of the project’s success. It involved tightly knit teams from both ICT and City Operations. The collaborative approach allowed for iterative refinement of business processes and validated assumptions. Clear communication channels, harmonised methodologies and an integrated change management approach ensured every stakeholder was on board and working in tandem.
The project team demonstrated remarkable innovation in various ways:
- Platform to product: The automated GIS platform was transformed into a self-onboarding product for different city operations users.
- Competitive analysis: Competitive analysis revealed a gap in dedicated technology for in-house asset maintenance jobs, prompting the adaptation of an existing GIS platform.
- Expansion of Scope: The project expanded its scope to tree assets, showcasing adaptability and risk reduction.
- Integration of GIS and Lean Development: Integrating the existing GIS platform with lean development methodologies and Agile frameworks demonstrated efficiency.
- Predictive Maintenance: Implementing data analytics for predictive maintenance showcased forward-thinking resource and infrastructure management.
- Mobile Workforce Management: Enhancing the platform with mobile workforce management capabilities demonstrated a commitment to real-time monitoring and dynamic scheduling.
- Find n Fix App Feature: Developing an intuitive mobile app that encourages field workers to identify and address maintenance needs proactively showcased a cultural shift within the organisation.
- Process Automation: The automation of daily operations streamlined processes and eliminated manual inefficiencies.
The project culminated in the implementation of a highly efficient Field Service Management platform, which revolutionised the way operations are managed.
The results from the project have been wide ranging, with a myriad of benefits realised:
- Enhanced operational efficiency: Operators’ streamlined fieldwork and inspections have led to faster task completion, reduced downtime and optimal resource allocation.
- Cost reductions: Improved resource management and efficiency have achieved significant cost reductions.
- Clear communication: Streamlined communication among operators and with the central management system has improved overall coordination, accelerated response times and optimised the use of resources.
- Immediate data access: Operators have immediate access to critical data, enabling on-site, informed decision-making and reducing delays in issue resolution.
- Strong user adoption: The user-friendly interface minimises the learning curve for operators, enhancing user adoption.
- Enhanced community trust & confidence: Efficient maintenance and rapid issue resolution have enhanced parks and reserves reputation, fostering greater trust and confidence within the community.
- Minimised downtime: Timely maintenance and repairs minimise downtime in public spaces, ensuring uninterrupted accessibility and enjoyment.
- Agile decision-making: The system enables agile, data-driven decision-making by providing real-time data and insights.
- Proactive planning: Data generated over time allows teams to proactively enhance their monthly and annual operational planning.
Barbara Dempsey, General Manager of Community Services, expressed her pride in the project’s outcome. The project has not only increased the efficiency of workers but has also made their fieldwork more seamless and intuitive. It has improved daily task management and elevated the city’s beauty. The positive feedback from the community is a testament to the council’s dedication to progress and innovation.
Tauranga City Council’s ICT project is a testament to what can be achieved when innovation, collaboration and effective project management converge. The project has not only transformed parks and reserves maintenance but has also enhanced community trust and confidence. The project embodies the council’s commitment to “Make Tauranga Better”.
Tauranga City Council is one of three finalists in this year’s ALGIM ICT Project of the Year award sponsored by Psoda. The winner will be announced during the ALGIM 2023 conference in Wellington.