Smart Operations Centre - Perform Green
Inside Bristol Council Smart Operations Centre

As part of its Smart City agenda, Bristol City Council committed to create an integrated city-wide management, service delivery and collaborative centre for Bristol in October 2015. Focussed on the needs of citizens, and aided by an open information platform to encourage innovation on the safety needs of citizens.  The £8.3million Programme brings together:

  • Traffic Management
  • Bus Lane Enforcement
  • Public Space Monitoring
  • Out of hours, Concierge and Telecare Services for 13,000 people across the UK


The Challenge

The Programme was scheduled to cost £8.3 million over 2 years and deliver direct financial benefit to estates (closure of an office saving £2m pa, and sale of another for £750K) and an additional £800k pa in business efficiencies and commercial revenue.

Perform Green were appointed by the Council’s CEO in March 2016 to review progress with the programme and build delivery assurance in order to align the budget and deliverable outcomes.

Bringing together and integrating teams and capabilities from multiple sectors across the organisation presented a variety of complex challenges as it spanned moving staff and functions from across all 4 Strategic Directorates.

What did Perform Green Deliver?

Barney Smith was established as the Programme Director reporting to the CEO, and undertook a root and branch review of the programme deliverables. The review discovered that the programme would deliver late, overspend (by at least £1.5m) and under-deliver (by at least £750K pa).

This resulted in a re-planning exercise and major restructuring to protect critical milestones that would have significant beneficial impacts on spend. This involved decoupling several sub-projects to run in parallel and building a new mixed team of Perform Green, Council and contract team to deliver with separate workstream leads and full PMO.

We ensured the the Programme delivered against its original business case: on time, under budget and exceeding benefits expected.

Objectives met

  • An Operations Centre environment to meet agreed accreditation standards
  • Up to date, integrated and resilient technology
  • Co-located and joined up operations, within, and supporting, the functions of the Operations Centre
  • A safe, secure, performing operating centre that sells itself to partners
  • Development of the commercial model to achieve additional benefit of £8.4m over 10 years

“BCC had launched The Bristol Smart Operations Centre project but changes in leadership meant the project wasn’t moving anywhere fast. Perform Green came in and provided the leadership, strategy and pace we needed. We have just completed phase 1 – which was the build and implementation , Phase 1 of the project has finished on time under budget and exceeding all expectations. Our first multi-agency partner has moved in and our World Class Smart City Operations centre is moving into Phase 2 – I would recommend the team , Barney, Jim, David and Nikki to anyone wanting to make big differences – their expertise advice and leadership has ensured we have exceeded our own ambitious expectations.”

Patsy Mellor, Service Director – Bristol City Council

Why Perform Green?

Perform Green were able to supply expertise and strategic leadership from those with direct experience working in Local Authorities and with a prior history of delivering programmes to budget and on time. Alongside Programme leadership, Perform Green have played a critical role in:

  • Staff Engagement & Change Management
  • Commercial Engagement– securing multi-agency, paying users of the service
  • Ownership of the Service Design
  • Designing transformation of service outcomes utilising ‘Smart Society’ expertise
  • Embedding and operationalising Innovation

Smart Operations Centre - Perform Green

Key Successes

The Programme delivered and exceeded all key outcomes from the original business case:

  • It delivered on time
  • It delivered below budget
  • It exceeded original scope
  • The benefits case within 6 months of go live was already 50% ahead of year 1 commercial revenue target profile
  • Phase 2 for investment in further transformation through Smart Society Services prepared and sponsored by Perform Green received Cabinet approval.

In October 2017, Bristol was identified is the UK’s number 1 Smart City, over taking London in the Huawei Smart City Index. The Operations Centre was cited along with Bristol Is Open.  Bristol is Open is a Joint Venture Company between Bristol City Council and The University of Bristol which was also restructured and run over the same period by Perform Green.

In March 2018, Bristol also picked up the Smart City award from Mobile World Congress, citing just 2 initiatives: Bristol Operations Centre and Bristol Is Open.

“Nikki has a wonderful ability of getting to the heart of any problem or issue, and then help resolve it in a caring yet straightforward way. The way in which Nikki takes a collaborative approach to her work results in a supportive team environment. One of the things that has been helpful over the last few months is Nikki not only caring about the big stuff and supporting the team through it but also making the time to listen, support and assist with the more individual concerns that people have. This has resulted in a smooth transition for the team. Nikki not only has excellent people skills but has also made a difference to the way in which our customers can now access our services which should result in more business and a better quality of customer service.”

Gareth Mills, Operations Centre Team Manager, Bristol City Council