Five engagement strategies for infrastructure projects
Timing is everything; whether it be perfecting the timing of your morning commute, a critical project kick-off or ripe avocados (especially concerning the timing of avocados!).
Something else that always rings true… The timing of roading and infrastructure projects is never ideal for the public.
Just as the perfect working window opens up and roading and construction work begins to ramp up, the public hit the roads and begin to make heavy and often unpredictable use of our main transit roads and highways - with their frustration at this unpredictable disruption often voiced in the public domain.
Digital and social media amplify the voice of the public
Ever seen traffic or roading concerns escalate very quickly on a Facebook community page or Nextdoor thread? The voice and speed of public feedback is amazingly fast, and when congestion builds, digital and social media amplifies the voice of the public. Our understanding of facts and truth is far more contested and diffused.
A proactive approach can be taken to overcoming these challenges and quickly gaining access to a reliable evidence base. Arming roading and infrastructure teams and stakeholders with easy access to transparent information can speed up the feedback loop and positively impact public perception.
The end result? When media or community groups scrutinise projects, teams can respond in a timely way with real-time data… but more importantly, with evidenced-based information as to the real impact your project is (or isn't at all!) having on the public.
Engagement trends for major infrastructure projects
An article by Aurecon states that 'Community is now the key project risk', in fact, it's at the top of their list of seven important engagement trends for major infrastructure projects.
"Community can de-rail projects, de-rail ministers, topple premiers, cancel projects, and cause huge job losses. This is just the start of the impact that community outrage can have with ire pointed in a certain direction. The community are experts in their local area, they understand their local area and they know what works for them"
"Community and stakeholder engagement is now an essential and mandatory part of project delivery. To ensure a successful output, facilitating impacted communities to understand the reason for the project, along with its accompanying risks and benefits, is essential"
Mooven’s Five engagement strategies
Approaching community perception with focus and goal clarity is important to success. What strategy will you take with high-profile programs of work?
The customer experience spectrum is broad and the focus of your project or program of work can be depicted below.
Mooven's five engagement strategies for major infrastructure projects:
Traditional - 'Monitor the volume of complaints' - Non-targeted public outreach, e.g. town hall, flyer drops, ad campaigns.
Informed - 'Customer Experience Monitoring' -Journey times monitored and reported on in real-time.
Integrated - 'Complaint Management': De-escalate complaints with transparency. Notify and inform the right stakeholders.
Strategic - 'Expectation Management': Proactively manage customer expectations during disruptions.
Transformative - 'Experience Protection': Actively nudging the public to help them avoid disruption and deliver first-class customer experience.
Where are your goals and focus areas on this engagement spectrum?
'Nudging' the public with automated detours - a practice case of managing community engagement
Mooven partners with customers who are working all along this spectrum of focus areas.
One case study example where a company was 'nudging' actively to help protect the community experience was WBHO Australia, a civil engineering company, and Mooven, a data insights platform, have provided tailored journey advice for motorists, spreading the impact across a range of detour routes. With reduced impact on the community, WBHO could streamline and accelerate project delivery.
Read the full article here: https://www.intelligentcio.com/apac/2021/08/25/wbho-australia-implements-automated-detours-with-mooven/
Switching complaints that are anecdotal and subjective to conversations using evidence and context…
The immediacy of digital communication, the expectations of the public and the sheer volume of team members involved in a single program of work make managing stakeholder engagement more important than ever.
Arming teams and stakeholders with easy access to transparent information, can speed up the feedback loop and positively impact public perception. When media or community groups scrutinise projects, the fact that information is available and open to all is important and it means everyone can respond.
The result? Responding in a timely way but also with evidenced-based information as to the real impact your project is (or isn't at all) having on the public.
Check out how Mooven allows you to control which routes and information you share with others, giving them the ability to receive alerts on aspects such as traffic impact delay, queue length, speed through site, noise, rainfall, dust or incidents and other unplanned events via annotations.
De-escalating complaints concerning roading and infrastructure projects is challenging. However, a proactive approach can indeed be taken to overcome these challenges. Switching this on its head to turn complaints that are anecdotal and subjective to conversations using evidence and context is so important to de-escalating complaints.
Quantify the actual impact, share what happened and articulate whether the impact was caused by the project or external forces - building confidence.
Find out more about how Mooven uses community engagement as a strategic advantage here: https://www.mooven.com/community-engagement
Five engagement strategies for infrastructure projects
Four ways to optimize roading infrastructure projects for emissions reduction
Paving the way to construction productivity