We’re delighted to have just been officially unveiled as one of the magnificent seven Bristol agencies working on the new Bristol City Council web project.
We’re even more delighted that this has come about because BCC actually did something many councils talk about but rarely do in such a meaningful way – consulting with industry.
Last year, BCC announced that it was going to take opinion from Bristol’s digital community on the re-development of the council’s website.
Naturally, we were interested and attended a round-table discussion on the project, after which I wrote a blog piece picking up on the fact that I felt the engagement was missing a trick.
I was delighted – and the cynic in me a little surprised – when I received a reply from the council’s communications and marketing director Peter Holt opening up a dialogue about the subject we’d raised.
The discussions that followed led to our engaging with the procurement process for approved suppliers to work on the project – at the end of which we’re extremely pleased to have been selected.
It’s been a refreshing process to go through – and a rare one in procurement – where a public sector body has gone to industry happy to say it doesn’t have all the answers and asking them to contribute ideas to a project rather than presenting them with tender documentation for a fait accompli.
Having gone through the process with BCC, I’m convinced this approach has led to a much more carefully thought out and strategised web project than would have been the case if consultation had not occurred on the same level.
It’s a very exciting project to be involved in, and hopefully one that will set the benchmark for similar projects across the UK.