Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

City-wide forums to gather requirements from drivers about what CapMetro must change for them to become riders.

Half-day "ideation" sessions of auto lovers to collect the service features they would need from CapMetro to switch to the bus.

Photo of Bill Kleinebecker
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The ideation sessions would start with a presentation of the hard problems that I've identified from 6 months plus of being a CapMetro rider exclusively because I have had to give up ever being a driver again. Other contributions from Cap Metro’s thinkers would be added to the list. This design thinking process gathers information/insights/ideas based on the principals of avoiding the "idea bully", encouraging collaboration, and levering diversity. It identifies ideas ranging from incremental, breakthrough, and disruptive and grades their desirability, feasibility, and viability. It would ascertain the value of such features in added revenue terms so that business cases can be written to assure CapMetro’s sustainability, scalability, and survivability of CapMetro as a cost-effective, ever innovating, strategic asset for a more mobile Austin. Geo-clustered panels would be formed from current non-riders from middle-class neighborhoods known for their insights into their neighbors, their out-of-the-box thinking, and being clear thinkers. Each session would start with a short presentation on the hard problems facing mass transportation in Austin. The group would generate ideas and then score them with personal, societal, and business potential metrics. Discussion of implementation aspects, such as value in their terms, would follow. Besides chartering a new market - the car owners - this methodology is a cost-effective one for hard problems in other Smart City sectors.

Unique Challenge Code

Where do I get this code? I need the $10. It equals 8 days of bus fare.


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Photo of Bill Kleinebecker

This process should be considered a design thinking methodology where the hard problem has been identified but the key requirements and value propositions are still unknown. Such information is needed before building a business case as well as going deeper to prove the business case.

It is aimed at involving people who are a mix of current users of the current solution to the hard problem (assumed to be suffering from the implementation or don’t know there can be something better) and not users of the current solution on a team to determine what a solution would need to do.

Unlike traditional design engagements, like Design Sprints, this methodology can be performed in a ½ to full day for a session. Since the team is not employees of the organization, this matches their attention span, time availability, and knowledge of the organization-related issues.

In this case, it enables the investigators to stand-up multiple teams to improve market coverage, the diversity/ range of ideas, and a more objective forum to arrive at priorities and value.

In using this methodology, we focus on silent brainstorming and silent voting to avoid the bully that one encounters in more discussion-oriented techniques. We use probative questions in the debrief section of each step to promote group discussion that keeps each member of the team engaged (versus the overtalk and argumentativeness of a methodology like focus groups.) Each member of the team is kept focused and busy. We find that many become champions of the resulting solution because they were so heavily involved, they got heard, and come to accept the group’s decisions.

This methodology is not intended to be the design stage of the solution, but the team members who’ve participated during idea generation, requirement prioritization, and functional valuation can be used as a sounding board for the design.

Photo of Bill Kleinebecker

I'd like to try this idea out during the proposal stage of the Challenge which starts on Sep 10 and ends November 5. The tryout would take place early in this period and the results included in the proposal as a proof of concept. All of this leads to an announcement on January 23 of one or two winners to pilot their proposal.

Please help me with your comments on this process and on its proposed target (proposed in the link below). My first pick for a being in the tryout group will come from those of you who comment.

About the link. Earlier today I entered an idea in the CityOne Austin Challenge. It will the one that this process would be designing.

Should the proposal win, Austin gets many benefits:

1. A proven process for designing a major strategic asset (like the Easy Environment and associated Tripper App, a Community, enabled, extensible Technology, and an improved CapMetro),

2. A plan for standing up that asset that has undergone vetting by the community - the citizens and the first market with City of Austin involvement,

3. and an organization for creating this asset and others. It is something that Austin (or any growing medium-sized city needs to do as a stratagem for slowing the city's sprawl and become a Smart City.

The plan that will be proposed is something that grows the CapMetro market, addresses the prospects of an important segment of Austin - the small-business person - faced with a growing opportunity because of Austin's growth, and is based on my own experience with geographic dispersed daily itineraries in mastering CapMetro.

The initial version of the Easy Environment will show value quickly and can be the platform for introducing new services and exploiting new technologies - particularly 5G networks - as they arise.

Again, please check this idea out as well as the targetted Easy Environment and Tripper app. Then enter your comments for both. Your input and input during the proposal stage will assure that the proposal will leave the proposal phase as a semi-finalist.

Photo of Bill Kleinebecker

Folks, please comment on this idea.

1. I'd like to clarify any points I've made, improve its impact/value, and get more support.
For those of you who have contributed your own idea, would this methodology be useful for you? Perhaps we could collaborate.

2. I will be available at this site over the next 8 days to respond.

3. Soon I will be posting a new idea using a Personal Virtual Intelligence Agent that in numerous ways would improve the bus ride for a newbie, specifically a "high value" new money stream for CapMetro. That market is business people. They are heavy users of Austin roads, would become a heavy user of CapMetro, and be great people to "spread the word" around Austin about this new CapMetro servant.

Photo of Mahmoud  Shreidi

Bill Kleinebecker , you bring up some really interesting ideas. Facilitating here, would like to thank you for your participation. As the journey to the propose phase continues, we would like to invite you to engage with other participants to continue this conversation.