Case City of Helsinki - Asti-project

Digital Solutions to Support Families

Case City of Helsinki - Asti-project

Digital Solutions to Support Families

Building the foundation of tomorrow

Cities are responsible for providing their inhabitants with high quality, well-functioning services. To ensure quality and ease, it is crucial to offer services at the right time, with the right measures and reacting to changes quickly, anticipating inhabitants’ needs. Digitalisation plays a big role in meeting citizen needs and demands for quality of services.

One of the largest users of city services are families with children. The City of Helsinki, Finland, wanted to develop the services offered in manner which not only responds to current demands of families but also anticipates and adapts to future demands in an agile way. The ASTI-project aims to develop families’ use of services, as well as planning of services with the help of a digital tool solution. The digital tool will ensure that communication between people remains at the core of education services, while digital solutions work in the background.

Building the solution

The userbase for education and early services is immense, and the wishes similarly so. The City of Helsinki decided that the best result is achieved through an agile co-operation with multiple suppliers, teaming up city planners with end-product users to jointly design services that meet their demands. As the demands were complex, all aspects of the project couldn’t be defined at the start. Because new opportunities arise throughout the project, it was considered most useful to form agile development units, led by the product owners of the city.

A new concept was born from the challenging, resource-heavy starting point involving multiple systems and manual paper operations. This new concept includes a common solution, which integrates an interface for both administrative and residential users of city services and unifies both to a single system. This allows city officials to do all administrative tasks on one platform, while offering a smooth digital experience for residential users, with the end goal of offering citizens a time saving everyday solution, and a better service experience. The ASTI-project will not only serve as a replacement to the previous systems, but also provide a base for anticipatory city-services, utilising data and artificial intelligence.

Gofore has been partnering with the City of Helsinki from day one of the project. After first identifying goals and best practices, the multidisciplinary teams at Gofore have been building the software, listening to customer needs every step of the process. Gofore is involved in the development of all educational and family-supporting services, with tens of specialists offering holistic know-how to solve the complex and challenging entity.

“It has been a great joy to work with Gofore on this project! The experts have great talent and work with great energy. The communication has been clear and open, proactivity in all operations has been immense. There’s a strong ‘let’s solve this’ mindset”, says project manager Teemu Toivokka, City of Helsinki.

Benefits and value of creating digital city services

Cities do not have to be the bystanders in development of digital services. End-users offer the biggest insights into the needs of the service development, and their involvement in the development work ensures high functionality. Participation in the development work also results in higher standards, which further aids continuous progress. The use of digital tools in city services is already very common, and they are only gaining popularity.

“This trend sets new requirements for the city officials. Users want transparent and anticipatory information, rapidly. To meet these ever-changing demands, we must incorporate deeper agile development in city planning”, says Simo Turunen, Head of Business in city sector at Gofore.

City services are often compared to commercial services by customers, which puts high expectations on cities. The digital maturity of cities is at different levels, even within different functions of the city. With the ASTI-project, a brave step towards the city planning of the future is taken, involving digital services and tools as part of daily city planning. The tools are shaped to support everyday city planning activities, making sure work is not done at the conditions of their functions. The previous lays requirements for city employees to adopt new tasks and roles throughout the development process, and later adaptability to offer services in this new, data-driven manner. This shift taking place in city planning is one significant and tangible demonstration of information management taking a strong role in building the future.

“This project has been a true partnership with the City of Helsinki. The ambition levels have been high on both sides, city services play a significant role in all our lives making this project even more meaningful. I see this project as a great example of what city planning will be like in the future: digital, agile, and continuously adapting to changing environments”, says Simo Turunen.

The project was launched during 2019 and has since moved forward on schedule nearing its planned completion in 2024. The project continues its development with joint efforts by Gofore and the City of Helsinki.

Project Highlights

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Challenge

City of Helsinki wants to ensure quality and ease of services, offer them at the right time, measure them and react to changes quickly, anticipating inhabitants’ needs.
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Solution

Agile development units were formed where suppliers teamed up with the city’s own experts and end users.
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Outcome

A new concept was born from the challenging, resource-heavy starting point involving multiple systems and manual paper operations. This new concept includes a common solution, which integrates an interface for both administrative and residential users of city services and unifies both to a single system.

"It has been a great joy to work with Gofore on this project! The experts have great talent and work with great energy. The communication has been clear and open, proactivity in all operations has been immense. There’s a strong ‘let’s solve this’ mindset."

Teemu Toivakka

Project manager

City of Helsinki

Interested? We would be happy to talk more!

Simo Turunen

Head of Business, Cities