Better architecting with – value viewpoint

This blogpost is an example view based on the value viewpoint described in the series https://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/search/label/%23BAW also it illustrates the blogpost http://egov-tm.blogspot.com/2018/07/blog-post.html

The IEC System Committee (SyC) “Electrotechnical aspects of Smart Cities” has the following scope.

To foster the development of standards in the field of electrotechnology to help with the integration, interoperability and effectiveness of city systems.

Note 1 This will be done:
  • by promoting the collaboration and systems thinking between IEC/TCs, the SyCs and other SDOs in relation to city system standards; 
  • by undertaking systems analysis to understand the needs for standards and assess new work item proposals (NWIPs) related to city systems; 
  • by developing systems standards where needed and by providing recommendations to existing SyCs, TCs/SCs and other SDOs. 

Note 2: Overall common city goals include, for example, sustainable development, efficiency, resilience, safety and support for citizens' engagement and participation. However, individual city will follow its own approach.

Note 3: “Cities” refers to any geographically located population.


Staring from this scope, the SyC Smart Cities have derived the following governance details.


Problem space specifics which are derived from the general knowledge of Smart Cities domain are the following. 

All Smart City programmes and projects pursue many common goals including sustainable development, better efficiency, resilience, safety and wider support for citizen’s engagement and participation. However, each individual city tends to follow its own approach in Smart Cities programmes and projects. It is not surprising that the numerous technology activists are very vocal on various Smart Cities forums even though city systems cannot be reduced to just big data and IoT (see https://www.forbes.com/sites/federicoguerrini/2016/09/19/engaging-citizens-or-just-managing-them-smart-city-lessons-from-china/#52b675c2dab0 ). 

It seems that around Smart Cities there are many wonderful information and communication technologies, high levels of enthusiasm from software vendors, strong support from top leadership, obvious benefits for a significant amount of the planet’s population and no shortage of funding. But, there is a huge demand for a common understanding. 

The current implementation practices of Smart Cities are rather disjointed, namely: 
  • Smart Cities programmes and projects are, primarily, local initiatives; 
  • Smart Cities programmes and projects are considered as technology projects; 
  • numerous Smart Cities interest groups are, primarily, clubs; 
  • efforts for the development of a common vision are insufficient, and 
  • typical financing patterns do not promote a common vision, namely the government is funding (to some extent) some cities, which engage technological companies, and the government is funding some technological companies, which engage cities. 
As a result, there is no agreed basis for efficient and effective cooperation and coordination between different Smart Cities programmes and projects. There is a lot of duplication of work, developed solutions are not reusable, and the same mistakes are repeated. 

A look on the number of cities with in different population categories indicates the imperative of bringing standardization in this complex paradigm of cities which are systems of systems leveraging networks of networks to bring operational efficiency, sustainability & resilience in the city infrastructure to improve its citizens’ quality of life. 

City systems are multi-disciplinary and multi-technologies thus city systems must be carefully architected allow all technologies working together. 

Mission statement which outlines what the SyC Smart Cities is doing (see scope) for whom (see cope and problem space specifics) and how is the following: 

Systemically develop together with IEC/TCs, SyCs, other SDOs a coherent and highly useful set of city system standards for implementing any city system. 

Here is clarification of what is meant by the words of this mission statement: 
  • “systemically develop” – use the IEC Systems Approach; 
  • “set of city system standards” – a comprehensive collection of 
  • “together with” – organisations which have to use this set of city system standards can easily understand it and master it; 
  • “coherent” – all standards for city systems must be compatible and developed under the same guidance; 
  • “highly useful” – organisations which are working and using city systems must be included as stakeholders; 
  • “any city system” – the set of city system standards must flexible and extensible to be useful for all types of city. 
A correspondence table T1


Stakeholders and their estimated concerns are the following. 

Citizens are primary beneficiaries however they will profit this “set of city system standards”” indirectly. It will be for smart city architecture teams to collect the citizens’ concerns and treat them systematically in accordance with the “set of city system standards””. Below is an example of citizens’ concerns (which will be referred further as “Full city system functionality”): 
  1. Adequate water supply. 
  2. Assured electricity supply. 
  3. Sanitation, including solid waste management. 
  4. Efficient urban mobility and public transport. 
  5. Affordable housing, especially for the poor. 
  6. Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation. 
  7. Good governance and citizen participation. 
  8. Sustainable environment. 
  9. Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly. 
  10. Affordable healthcare for everyone. 
  11. Modern education for children and adults. 
  12. Attractive for business. 

City governance organs are responsible for prioritisation of city systems improvement activities. 

City governance organs’ expected concerns are the following: 
  1. Methods to understand needs of city systems stakeholders. 
  2. Methods to estimate complexity and cost for implementation of Smart Cities programmes and projects. 
  3. Good business practices and world-class knowledge in Smart Cities to properly manage and execute Smart Cities programmes and projects. 
  4. Enabling collaboration and coordination with other Smart Cities programmes and projects to improve the quality, share cost, reduce time-to-value and manage associated risks. 

Smart City architecture teams are responsible for adoption and tailoring this “set of standards” to the unique needs of the particular city. 

Smart City architecture teams’ expected concerns are the following: 
  1. Quickly understandable “set of city system standards”. 
  2. Quickly mastered “set of city system standards””. 
  3. Easy to use supporting tools. 
  4. Wide usage of this “set of city system standards””.
Standards development groups (IEC/TCs, SyCs and other SDOs) are responsible for formal definition of some functional elements and their interfaces which are outlined by this “set of city system standards”. Also, this “set of instruments” provides enough information on how define interfaces as APIs and how to describe functional elements. 

Standards development groups expected concerns are the following: 
  1. Quickly understandable “set of city system standards”. 
  2. Easy to use supporting tools. 
  3. Wide usage of this “set of city system standards”. 
Vendors are responsible for implementing some functional elements and their interfaces. 

Vendors’ expected concerns are the following: 
  1. Quickly understandable “set of city system standards”. 
  2. Easy to use supporting tools. 
  3. Wide usage of this “set of city system standards”. 
Investors are responsible for taking informed decisions about their investments in city systems infrastructure. At the moment cities are missing out on significant investments that should be available to them because of: a) the potential to mitigate huge potential economic losses from disasters, b) the growing popularity of sustainable investments which pushes many investment and pension funds to leave the fossil-fuel industry and to look for another investment-safe industry and c) the high risks of existing city bonds. 

This “set of city system standards” can be used to benchmark various Smart Cities related works. Also, applying this “set of instruments” brings good business practices and world-class knowledge in Smart Cities programmes and projects. 

Investors’ expected concerns are the following: 
  1. Quickly understandable “set of city system standards”. 
  2. Easy to use supporting tools. 
  3. Wide usage of this “set of city system standards”. 
Stakeholders’ requirements (except citizens’ ones) as a systematised set of all concerns of all stakeholders are the following: 
  1. Full city system functionality. 
  2. Quickly understandable “set of city system standards”. 
  3. Quickly mastered “set of city system standards”. 
  4. Easy to use supporting tools. 
  5. This “set of instruments” must help stakeholders to estimate, plan, manage and execute Smart Cities programmes and projects. 
  6. Ability to share experience, collaborate and coordinate among Smart Cities programmes and projects which use this “set of city system standards”. 
  7. Wide usage of this “set of city system standards”. 
Additional requirements are the following: 
  1. Addressing city system quality characteristics such as: interoperability, safety, security (including confidentiality, integrity and availability), privacy, resilience, simplicity, low cost of operation, short time-to-value, combining diversity and uniformity, s-referential 
  2. Covering the whole life cycle of city systems. 
  3. Widespread and transformative use of data and technology. 
Vision statement which outlines a solution space in accordance with the mission statement and satisfies the citizens’ requirements, other stakeholders’ requirements and additional requirements is the following. 

Transparently developed a set of city system instruments including a detailed Smart Cities Reference Architecture which are easily adaptable for unique needs of any city system. 

Here is clarification of what is meant by the words of this vision statement: 
  • “transparently developed” – thus everyone can understand the logic of our work, validate our work and bend or reply some parts of our work if necessary. 
  • “set of city system instruments” – a coherent collection of various types of tool such as methodological, domain-specific, informational, software-intensive, standard and informative 
  • “Smart Cities Reference Architecture” – commonly-agreed architecture which all smart cities can use as a template for solution architecture of their city systems because the key decisions taken in the Smart Cities Reference Architecture will guarantee that future city systems (built in accordance with this Smart Cities Reference Architecture) will possess the required essential characteristics, e.g. security and privacy, by design. 
  • “detailed” – it is necessary to provide enough scope and enough decomposition of Smart Cities Reference Architecture to reach a level of details which is suitable for effective standardisation of city systems – functional blocks may be implementable as black-boxes and interfaces between them must be not too complex. 
  • “easy adaptable” – although there are a lot of communalities between cities, each city always has its own unique features. Thus city systems may use many of common system elements and easily intermix them with their own system elements. 
  • “unique needs of any city system” – the set of instruments must flexible and extensible to be useful for all types of city. 
A correspondence table T2


Strategic goals which are mandatory to achieve the vision statement are the following:
  1. Commonly-agreed multidisciplinary concept system to enable all the stakeholders use the same “language”; 
  2. Commonly-agreed Smart Cities Reference Architecture Methodology (SCRAM) to make transparent and understandable how the Smart Cities Reference Architecture (SCRA) has been developed and can be used; 
  3. Commonly-agreed SCRA to serve as a tailorable template for implementing any city systems; 
  4. Guiding materials on how to tailor the SCRAM and SCRA to easily address unique needs of any city system; 
  5. Mapping of existing and potential standards to the SCRA to quickly navigate in standards pertinent for city systems; 
  6. Additional instruments to simplify adoption of the SCRAM and SCRA, and 
  7. Achieve that practically all Smart Cities programmes and projects use the SCRAM and SCRA. 

A correspondence table T3


Solution space constraints which limit potential solutions to reflect some nuances of the mission statement, the strategic goals and take into account the problem space specifics are the following:
  1. Adopting and adapting the IEC Systems Approach (see Annex A); 
  2. Although the IEC SyC Smart Cities responsibility is only about electrotechnical aspects of Smart Cities, the SCRA cover city systems as the whole. Then the extracted system elements will be sorted among various SDOs depending of the nature of those system elements. 
  3. Working together with the pertinent stakeholders, including IEC/TCs, SyCs, other SDOs, cities, and various bodies of knowledge implies that alignment of existing knowledge must be enforced; 
  4. Digital presentation of everything (applying the digital “twins” concept) because of digital transformation necessity, and 
  5. Making some digital models explicit, formal, machine-readable and machine executable thus creating some system elements which are good for description and execution (see “Towards software-defined organisations” https://www.slideshare.net/samarin/towards-softwaredefined-organisations ). 
Emergent characteristics of the solution space which address the strategic goals and the solution space constraints are the following:
  1. Friendliness: The set of instruments must explain to any stakeholder how future implementations (which are based on the reference architecture) can address his/her concerns and change his/her personal, professional and social life for the better 
  2. Systematic: The set of instruments provides a common approach for architecting city systems, so different people in similar situations find similar solutions or propose innovations. 
  3. Efficient: The set of instruments help stakeholders, programmes and projects to collaborate and coordinate their efforts via common agreements (i.e. standards) on various system elements (e.g. services, interfaces, data, etc.), common vision, common tools, common products, etc. 
  4. Flows handling: Cities are self-referential systems of flows ( see http://www.academia.edu/15717758/Conceptualising_the_Urban_System_as_a_System_of_Flows ) and, those flows are flows of entities of various types: digital, physical, living, social, political, legal, etc. If no flows then a city is dead. 
  5. Multidimensionality: Those flows co-exist and interrelate in the several dimensions: spatial, temporal, cybernetical, technological, etc. 
  6. Unpredictability of growth: Smart Cities are organically-grown and must be scalable. (What do you see in 70 million people moving to cities every year?) 
  7. Technology absorption: Because of the technology progress, many various (and unknown right now) intellectual devices (or “Things” from the IoT) and digital technologies will progressively automate, improve and drastically change various aspects of Smart Cities functioning including planning, execution, monitoring, prediction, optimisation of flows. 
  8. Synergetic: Intellectual devices, digital applications and digital services must work synergistically in several dimensions. 
  9. Holistic: Various aspects of the Smart Cities functioning (e.g. level of security, environmental impact, etc.) must be integrally (i.e. including all the available data, information and knowledge) anticipated, monitored, analysed, controlled, alerted and acted on. 
  10. Trustworthiness: High level of trustworthiness (includes security, privacy, safety, reliability, and resilience) is mandatory by design and by default. 
  11. Digital: For a man-made object, a digital twin comes first. For a nature-made object, a digital twin comes second. 
  12. Sufficient granularity: The SCRAM and SCRA must provide the level of granularity low enough for efficient implementation of city systems and high enough for standardisation purposes.

A correspondence table T5


Architectural principles of solution space which shape the proposed solutions to deliver the emergent characteristics of the solution space are the following:
  1. Explicit systems architecting and engineering is only a way to achieve essential characteristics of Smart City implementations. 
  2. Smart City as a System of Digital Interrelated Flows (SoDIF) which implies total digitalisation and intensive use of intellectual devices from the IoT. 
  3. Separation of concerns is very critical to reduce the complexity of Smart City implementations. 
  4. SoDIF is an assembly to be very adaptive and flexible. 
  5. SoDIF is constructed and operating on the basis of explicit and machine-executable digital contracts ( see “Digital-contract-as-a-process enables business in the digital world” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ) between people, services, applications, devices and organisations. 
  6. Time and place must be integrated to handle flows properly. 
  7. Ontology is a must because the Smart Cities domain covers many, historically, disjoint subject fields. 
  8. Architecture description is based on the ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010; thus the SCRAM comprises a coherent set of viewpoints, model-types and artefact-types; the SCRA comprises a similar set of views, models and artefacts. 
  9. Alignment of views and models must be carried out systematically to preserve the conceptual integrity of the SCRA and tailored architecture. 
  10. Digital models must be used whenever is possible (see “Better architecting with – digital models” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2018/04/better-architecting-with-digital-model.html ). 
  11. Methods of the SCRAM are based on the following considerations: a) There is an extensible set of formal and semi-formal methods for creating some model-types from other model-types. b) Those methods are defined to facilitate their usage without high-level of creativity. c) Those methods are based on existing bodies of knowledge. 
  12. Processes of the SCRAM, if applicable, are borrowed from ISO/IEC 15288. And the SCRAM have three levels of coordination: a) between viewpoints; b) between model-types, and c) within some model-types. 
  13. Tailoring flow of the SCRA to unique needs of city systems (to be carried out by Smart Cities architecture teams) is the following: a) Copy the SCRA to the city Solution Architecture (SA). b) Select part of this SA to be tailored. c) Tailor this part of this SA by applying the SCRAM. d) Validate that all parts of this SA are aligned. e) Proceed to the item b) if necessary. 
  14. Derived reference architectures Potentially, a Smart Cities architecture team can use the SRCAM and SCRA to create their own reference architecture, for example, for a particular country. However, it is recommended to follow the SCRA and SCRAM to be able to use all benefits of the standardisation. 
  15. Maximum flexibility allows a reasonable variety of tools and techniques to be potentially selected for Smart Cities implementation. 
  16. Everything may be changed by design and by default thus imposing less limitations for Smart Cities implementation. 
  17. Governance & Management practices of the SCRAM are borrowed, if applicable, from existing bodies of knowledge, including, Quality management, CoBIT and IT4IT. An architecture group must provide the following four groups of service: a) Architecture Delivery services. b) Architecture Guidance services. c) Innovation & Optimisation services. d) Maintenance services. 

A correspondence table T6

Dynamic analysis of relationships

The graphical presentation mentioned above can be used for analysis of relationships between various artefacts. Selection of an artefact (it is in red) highlights all upstream artefacts in green and all downstream artefacts in blue.