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Smart City Project Management Consultant

Smart City Project Management Consultant

Dimitar Hristov, Cluster Sofia Knowledge City

As it was pointed out in the previous articles thanks to the project Skills4Cities we came to the conclusion that three professions are among the most relevant for facing the challenges of the smart city projects implementation and they are.

  • Smart city project developer
  • Smart city project manager and
  • Smart city project management consultant.

This, the fourth and last from the series of consecutive articles on this topic is about the job role of the Smart City Project Advisor.

Role description

Smart City Projects Management Consultant or adviser can be an external professional management consultant, hired, based on a time contract or on a project basis. In very rare cases he/she can be also an internal consultant in a job position as an expert in the city administration. Unlike a Smart City Project Managers' direct involvement in the Smart City project lifecycle, professionals who offer such project consultancy devote their time to advising the municipalities on smart city projects or directly the Smart City Project Managers, who are already engaged by the city government or other city's stakeholders for managing a particular project.

The city administrations or all city stakeholders pay for project management consultancy services if they lack project management expertise in this specific area or need an impartial party to evaluate the work of Smart City Project Developers or Smart City Project Managers. This approach seems to be growing, as more cities over the world report using outsourcing or contract project management services, according to some surveys. The SC-Project Advisors bring specialized skills and knowledge to assist the implementation of such projects in the cities as well as in making the best possible decisions in resolving concrete challenges that Project managers meet during the life cycle of the project. They typically provide advice as consultants and sometimes as mentors to SC project managers or in some cases, depending on their contracts they are involved in oversight and leadership in executing projects from planning to completion. Daily tasks can include managing budgets, resources, and relationships to achieve organizational objectives, as well as planning, developing, and executing schedules to ensure the timely completion of projects.

These professionals often define and monitor each project team member’s role and function and coordinate all team activities throughout the lifecycle of a project. Identifying and managing project risks and developing solutions are additional duties.

IMPORTANT: What’s the difference between a Smart City Project Manager and a Smart City Project Management Consultant?

While both professionals need each other’s help throughout the phases of a project, project managers tend to oversee every aspect that goes into the execution of a project, including resources, people, time, materials, and money. They balance these elements to achieve the objective, no matter what gets in the way. But, when smart city project managers need to understand the specific limitations of each factor, they can count on a smart city project consultant. These professionals help managers of smart cities make sure that proper strategies are being adopted in a project from beginning to end.

Responsibilities and duties

During the execution of any project, the SC-project advisor analyses data identifies trends and inefficiencies to prevent problems from arising during the project management. Providing roadmaps and periodic recommendations to the city manager or directly to the project manager are common functions of the role, as is the creation and implementation of mitigation and contingency plans. Other tasks required of an advisor can include:

  • facilitating meetings with the stakeholders including with the citizen to support the project goes smoothly
  • building positive relationships with the vendors of technologies, products, and all kinds of solutions for the city processes
  • supporting or replacing the SCPM of making functional analyses, cost-benefit analyses, and using tools in support of decision making in regard to the project cohesion and selection of proper solutions
  • supporting the process of public procurements and their documentation, tracking documentation, and data collection
  • making in-depth needs surveys and analyses, conducting follow-up studies on projects, and producing impact assessment reports
  • dissemination of the project results, collecting feedback, and all additional services that the project manager and city management need to communicate better the smart city project with the stakeholders
  • contacting and inviting investors when this is a need for the project implementation, organizing meetings, pitching, and workshops for engagement of investors
  • creating presentations for the city stakeholders, city management, citizens, and investors.

What is the relation and similarity of this job role to other job roles?
To our understanding, this job role (profession) is quite similar and close to other commonly accepted and used in the professional world professions like Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Project Management Consultant, Project Management Service Provider. etc.

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Cluster Sofia Knowledge City (CSKC) is an association of enterprises from knowledge-intensive industries, universities, R&D organizations related to the chain of production and supply of technologies, products, and services. It is a tool for joint actions of the business, education, and science with urban and public institutions to generate and effectively use knowledge, know-how, and scientific infrastructure for the benefit of the city. The main goal and policy of the cluster are to stimulate the development of the market for intelligent and breakthrough technologies and to attract talents necessary for the digital transformation of businesses and cities.


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