The Agile piloting model has been utilised both in Finland and internationally. Below are some examples of how the model has been used for various needs and reasons why agile piloting is worth using.
The Agile piloting model has become an established part of the toolkit used by major cities in Finland. When cities use agile piloting in developing their services, they gain practical experiences of new solutions in advance. The model is a light and agile way to bring various operators together. For small companies in particular, it offers a low-threshold opportunity to participate in the development of cities.
The City of Helsinki has utilised the model in the development of social and health care, educational and sports services, for example. A total of approximately 50 agile pilots have been carried out in the districts of Kalasatama and Jätkäsaari.
Lessons for the entire network
Learning is key in agile piloting. Pilots carried out in real urban environments create understanding of new solutions and technologies. For cities in particular, it is important to stay up to date on the latest technologies and their possibilities and challenges.
Pilots provide companies with user feedback as well as valuable lessons for their product development and business models. Some of the pilots have led to more extensive collaboration projects and, in some cases, to direct customer relationships. A pilot may also lead to a solution being rejected or redirected before too many resources are spent on working on the solution, which is also a valuable result for a pilot.
Lessons are also learned by the network involved in the pilot. Typically, the participants may include local operators, commercial partners or technology partners.
Here are some examples of cases in which the Agile piloting model has been utilised either as it is or by adapting it:
1. The City of Stavanger adopted the model in Norway two years ago. The City wanted to involve start-up companies more closely in the city’s development. A second round of agile piloting is currently underway in Stavanger, with the development of tourism services as the theme.
2. In the Healthy Liveable Neighbourhoods project, agile piloting is utilised in the development of green infrastructure and urban farming. The pilots are coordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki, and the participants include Copenhagen, Stavanger and Kristiansand, as well as the City of Vantaa from Finland. The lessons learned about the pilots are shared with the cities in the Nordic Smart City network. The programme also provides a framework for collaboration between the cities.
3. In autumn 2021, Tallinn will start an agile piloting programme in the B.Green project, which also develops green infrastructure solutions.
4. In Finland, the Baltic Sea Challenge used agile piloting last year when seeking new solutions for protecting the Baltic Sea from plastic litter.
5. This spring, the model was utilised in Helsinki City Transport’s call for innovation, which sought ideas from companies for promoting the services and comfort of metro stations.
Have you checked out the Pocket Book for Agile Piloting yet? This publication summarises the best lessons learned from agile pilots in Helsinki.
Caption: Granlund’s Green Kalasatama pilot utilises augmented reality. The pilot is being carried out in the densely built maritime district of Sompasaari in Kalasatama. Photo: Vesa Laitinen.