The good old days

In the not-too-distant past, roads and highways were pretty simple to design given that we simply needed to get from point A to point B. Unfortunately, those simple days are gone, and they are gone for good. Today, disruptive innovators are leveraging connection architecture, user communities and new business practices to deliver significant user value across virtually all industry categories. Highway construction however in many cases is struggling to catch up to developing the best practices necessary to design and build futureproof highways and roads.

The good old days are back… they’re just different

Given the complex nature of emerging highway users and new technologies, organizations need to leverage a wide range of new business practices to take advantage of ways to increase efficiencies, improve project management, highway longevity and many other factors to remain competitive and relevant. Here is a short list of some of the key future drivers that will impact highway and road construction over the next decade and beyond.

New Enterprise Models (NEM)

Futureproof organizations will leverage proven enterprise strategy models, that significantly increase insights about the future trajectory of the use of highways and roads. This will deliver final products that are of high quality and have a better than expected longevity. Additionally, these organizations will need to increase their returns on strategy and assets by leveraging new models such as Innovation Best Practice, Modern Enterprise Strategy Models, Connection Architecture Strategies and Future Casting Activities. The demands for these new business practices will be driven by increased cost pressure, decentralization and other factors. In fact, some of the best organizations are starting to leverage Customer Experience (CX) design as a way to significantly improve the way in which highway users engage their products through digital platforms and mobile devices.

Highway Future Casting (HFC)

The rate of technological change and the depth of technological change have accelerated at a breakneck speed. Correspondingly, organizations that are operating using conventional usage insights will likely be designing and developing roads and highways that fall short of meeting future demands. There are many factors that will affect the future including the adoption of autonomous vehicles, decentralization of manufacturing, connection architecture and emerging disruptive innovations that impact usage and many other factors. The best organizations will hardwire Future Casting as part of their overall enterprise strategy.

Highway User Experience Design (HUX)

Often times organizations that live within highway and road construction tend to have an internal view that focuses on project management, risk management, regulatory compliance and finance. Obviously these factors are extremely important to the success of any enterprise. However, the new mandate of the highway of the future is that organizations begin to develop deeper insights as to user trends and how they will leverage those insights to design futureproof experiences that are relevant across a range of user touch points. This will require the development of new core competencies, training and new strategies that are hardwired into your global enterprise strategies.

Highway User Typing (HUT)

In order to deliver exceptional and future ready designs, organizations will need to get far more granular in understanding the range of users they serve. These insights will provide unique and special value across a range of users throughout each and every touch point as they engage roads and highways. These practices have been used with great success in other industries for years. For an example, Apple has identified a wide range of personas (customers) that it serves in order to deliver the best possible customer experience. Needless to say, this pays off as Apple is one of the most profitable companies and one of the most profitable retailers in the world. Know your road and highway users and you will develop far better solutions.

The bottom line

It’s easy to ignore this new and sometimes complicated body of work that is required to run a successful enterprise today. It requires learning new things and making changes to businesses that seem to be working just fine. The research and for that matter, reality proves that the best organizations in the world need to continue to evolve to be relevant to a rapidly changing highway and road user landscape and they need to leverage new business best practices to drive efficiencies, speed and quality.

Nicholas J. Webb is an enterprise strategist, top-selling author and successful innovator with over 45 US Patents. He works with some of the top brands to help them drive efficiencies and to build future ready organizations. You can download a free chapter of his upcoming book “What Customers Crave” at