Start date: Wednesday 4 September 2019
Value: £47,790
Company size: SME
Trafford Council

Modernising Trafford's Public Services

15 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 6 large

19 Completed applications

13 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Tuesday 16 July 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 23 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 30 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Trafford Council require a supplier with specialist capability and experience in transforming a large range of complex services into efficient, modern and customer-centric solutions based on GDS Principles. To provide a team for a 10 week Discovery phase to design and launch the long-term modernisation programme.
Latest start date
Wednesday 4 September 2019
Expected contract length
8 to 10 weeks
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Trafford Council
Budget range
Maximum of £50,000 plus VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
Trafford Council aims to modernise its operations and services to ensure that they meet customer's needs and expectations; are efficient and sustainable; maximise partnership opportunities within the borough and across Greater Manchester; and support a place and asset based approach. There is also a need to meet savings requirements and deliver the Council’s corporate priorities. It is expected that in many instances digital approaches can help deliver these outcomes but the overarching ambition is to ensure that the Council is better placed to meet the needs of customers and the borough.
Problem to be solved
Trafford are looking for a partner to work with a small internal team to help shape the modernisation programme. This will include: defining the methodology, approach and tools (aligned to GDS principles). Work with stakeholders to produce a prioritised phasing for transforming Council’s services which reflects improvement opportunities and savings requirements. Detail the necessary resource requirements and where external help would be beneficial. Provide tools for managing throughput and velocity. Build in knowledge transfer approaches. Develop approaches for identifying, delivering and measuring benefits and outcomes. Engage with internal/external stakeholders and once agreed, launch the approach to the wider organisation.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users of Council services are Trafford’s residents, partners, businesses, visitors and other organisations. Within the council the users are those who commission, lead and manage services; plus other key stakeholders such as Councillors. Trafford Council provides a range of services to users including adult and children health and social care, advice and benefits, housing, community and living, environment and planning, education and learning, jobs and careers, leisure and culture, transport and streets.
Early market engagement
Pre-procurement discussions have been conducted with a couple of Digital Transformation organisations to sense-check this specification and budget.
Any work that’s already been done
Discussions have taken place with the Council’s senior leadership team and executive councillors to gain support for the proposed long term modernisation approach and to help define the specification. Running in parallel is yearly activity to meet savings targets through service optimisation, albeit through more traditional approaches.
Existing team
A small internal virtual team has been formed to support the development of the modernisation approach consisting of leaders from Digital, Policy, Transformation and Finance. Other colleagues and professions will be identified should the need arise. There are no other suppliers working on this outcome.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Rd, Stretford, Manchester, M32 0TH
Working arrangements
A standard business working day, hours and working pattern as needed to deliver the service in an efficient way. Monday to Friday predominantly based on site (80% of time) to facilitate knowledge transfer.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of designing the methodology, approach and tool set for delivering transformational change in a complex service delivery organisation (9%).
  • Experience of designing approaches to prioritising service areas in a large organisation and working with stakeholders to produce a prioritised phasing for transforming services to deliver improvements and savings (9%).
  • Experience of developing approaches and methodologies for identifying, delivering and monitoring benefits/outcomes/savings (9%).
  • Experience of providing detailed resource plans for large transformation programmes covering the required roles, skills and capacity. Including tools for managing throughput and an exit plan from procured partners (5%).
  • Experience of engaging with stakeholders to socialise emerging proposals and seek feedback/assurance as proposals are developed. Also, working with users and stakeholders at all levels in complex political environments (5%).
  • Experience of aligning transformation programmes to related strategies and plans within an organisation (3%).
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of supporting and delivering public sector transformation (2%).
  • Experience of using data to enable the delivery of digital services (2%).
  • Experience of delivering projects in line with the Government Digital Service’s Design Principles and the Digital Service Standard (2%).

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology (5%).
  • Work History (3%).
  • Approach to risk and dependencies and how they will be managed (3%).
  • Ability to deploy an effective/experienced team ready to start no later than 4 September 2019 and for the work to be completed within a maximum of 10 weeks (5%).
  • Team structure (3%).
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary team with our organisation and other suppliers (4%).
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members and commitment to building Council employees capability and skills (4%).
  • Ability to challenge and question existing behaviour or perspectives while maintaining good working relationships (4%).
  • Ability to effectively engage with staff and stakeholders at all levels to progress outcomes while understanding other demands on their time and other priorities (3%).
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated?
Price will be evaluated inline with the guidance on the Digital Marketplace :, section 6.
2. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
The scores from the evidencing round will only be used for shortlisting.
3. Are you expecting to delivery this project in an agile way?
We are open to a range of delivery approaches.
4. Are you looking for an organisation with previous GDS experience or just individuals within the bid to have GDS experience?
We are looking for experience of delivering projects in line with GDS Principles, this may be at an organisational level or individuals that would be working on this project.
5. Is there any expectation this service is to be accessed through
It's not a service in that respect, so no. It's the design of a programme that may contain services that potentially might be accessed through
6. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would TC expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
This will differ for each question but in broad terms we will award a 3 where we believe the answer to the criterion evidences additional experience/skills/competence from our core requirement and the complexity of the context in which it was achieved.
7. In the essential skill 'experience of delivering projects in line with the Government Digital Service’s Design Principles and the Digital Service Standard', does this mean passing the GDS Service Standard assessment across Alpha, Beta and Live?
A range of factors will be considered when scoring that essential skill. It is not a pre-requisite that you have passed the GDS Service Standard assessment across Alpha, Beta and Live.
8. As per DOS guidelines 'You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement', are TC only requesting one example per skills and experience question?
We will review the evidence you provide for each criteria and give each criteria a score using the scoring scheme for the Digital Outcomes framework. Please refer to , section 1.
9. Are TC able to provide access to users for the purpose of User Research throughout the Discovery phase?
Access to internal users will be arranged as part of the discovery. If access to external users is deemed an important part of the discovery this will be arranged too.
10. Is there a roadmap and budget to continue into Alpha and Beta phases for this project?
The purpose of the discovery is to develop the roadmap and budget for the future phases of the programme.
11. Can we ask what supplier team profile the budget has been based on?
We are looking for suppliers to provide the team profile they would propose for the specification and budget which has been set.
12. What is the expected timeline and steps for procurement after the first stage?
Shortlisting will be undertaken by 2 August and suppliers that make it through the shortlisting round will be evaluated on 13 August. The successful supplier will be notified shortly after that and will be expected to start no later than 4 September.
13. You mention 'Experience of using data to enable the delivery of digital services' in the skills and experience, can we ask what data this skill is referring to?
We possess a large range of data regarding our citizens, i.e. financial, address, family context, planning applications, etc.; but departments often work in silos and don't share data. If we were to better share data across services we could provide improved services, subject to appropriate data sharing being in place. As an example - we may be advised of a death in one service but other services continue to progress requests as they are not aware that the citizen has passed away. This is very insensitive and also inefficient. We are looking for experience of solving these types of challenges.
14. Would it be desirable for the supplier to have experience moving forward to deliver Alpha and Beta phases on previous projects?
Yes, there are a number of questions where experience in delivering Alpha and Beta phases would enhance your response.
15. You mention Digital Transformation organisations have been engaged in discussion. Can we please ask who these were and how the engagements were organised?
In order to develop a full specification, Trafford Council carried out a brief soft market engagement with two contacts experienced in Digital Transformation who had not previously done any work for Trafford Council. The soft market engagement was a sense checking excercise and reviewed for feasibility to confirm to Trafford Council that the work can be achieved in an identified budget. After the engagement had ended, Trafford Council proceeded to develop and finalise the full specification for this tender exercise.
16. In the 'why is the work being done' section, you mention a place and asset based approach – are you able to elaborate on what this is please?
In terms of place - Trafford is a diverse borough so the Council is focussing on delivering solutions and services at a neighbourhood level, to reflect what each community needs and prioritises. We are also looking to work with partners who also have responsibilities or an interest in providing public or community services within Trafford. The Asset based approach places focus on peoples strengths and what they can do, providing support where we can; rather than focussing on what people can't do. Further information on the Council and the borough can be found here
17. You mention a small internal team will be provided by TC. Can we ask what roles are expected to be provided in this team and how much of their time is dedicated to this project?
The modernising Trafford programme is currently being led by senior leaders from policy, transformation, digital and finance on a part time basis. It is expected that this will be bolstered once the discovery work begins and we would be looking to agree what internal resources are required with the successful supplier as the statement of works is finalised.
18. Are TC providing a full time Product Owner to this project?
The modernising Trafford programme is currently being led by senior leaders from policy, transformation, digital and finance on a part time basis. It is expected that this will be bolstered once the discovery work begins and we would be looking to agree what internal resources are required with the successful supplier as the statement of works is finalised.
19. Can you please provide examples of the sort of partnership opportunities you mention in the 'why is the work being done' section?
With a focus on Trafford as a place we are looking to work more closely with other partners who deliver public or community services within the borough. We are already working very closely with some, particular in Health and Care, such as NHS Trafford CCG, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust who provide hospital services in Trafford, along with the Police, Fire, VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) sector. As part of the GM Region, we are also working closely with the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and other regional partners.
20. Can TC organise access to the internal/external stakeholders mentioned in the 'problem to be solved' section of the DOS opportunity?
21. It is stated that the current phase is 'Discovery'. Can you please confirm that that the Discovery phase hasn't started yet?
The discovery phase hasn't started, other than developing the specification for this procurement and some early discussions with the Council's Senior Leaders to gain support for the discovery phase.
22. Can we ask if there is anything driving the start date of the 4th September?
The Council's Senior Leaders have set the timescale as they want to make a quick start with the discovery work so that we can quickly move into the next phase. They want the service prioritisation work to be available by October and expect the stakeholder engagement undertaken during this discovery to assist with other on-going activity.
23. Would TC accept proposals offering alternative commercial models such as Fixed Price or Time and Materials?
24. Under the following Essential skills and experience entry could you please clarify : ‘an exit plan from procured partners’ Question: Experience of providing detailed resource plans for large transformation programmes covering the required roles, skills and capacity. Including tools for managing throughput and an exit plan from procured partners (5%).
It is expected that the resource plan for the modernisation programme will include a number of roles and skills to be sourced externally. These may be provided via procured delivery partners for future stages of the programme. Trafford's ambition is to be self-reliant and would therefore expect the external resources and expertise to ramp down during the course of the programme.
25. Is remote work permissible?
Some remote working is permissible but we would expect that the majority of the time and resource spent working on this discovery to be based at Trafford's offices to facilitate knowledge sharing and to help build the team approach. We'd be looking for 80% of time, 4 out 5 days to be on-site.
26. Raised and discussed during the Q&A session on 19/7 - What is the size and shape of the Council Team?
A team of 4 is providing support to the project – Paul James - Chief Digital Officer, Dianne Geary – Assistant Director Corporate Strategy and Policy, Graeme Bentley – Head of Financial Management and Sharon Winn – Transformation Programme Lead. This is on a part-time basis. Other resource will be allocated to the project as the programme develops. There is also a Strategic Delivery Group, made up of senior leaders in the organisation, that will provide insight.
27. Raised and discussed during the Q&A session on 19/7 - Is there a published Digital strategy?
A strategy exists in draft, but not currently published. It comprises of three elements: 1. designing the Target Operating Model for the organisation/borough; 2. Modernising Services (this discovery is designing the approach); 3. The IT Strategy comprising of 11 building blocks to deliver flexible solutions and approaches to meet the organisations business requirements and meet citizen needs. Examples are: workforce and citizen Digital skills, Digital principles based on GDS, designing the future systems and data architecture, overcoming integration challenges, providing a development capability (potentially including low code options).
28. Raised and discussed during the Q&A session on 19/7 - Are you working to a corporate strategy?
There is a corporate strategy and new values which outline the ambition of the council. It is worth noting that Trafford have a new leadership team, new political leadership and a workforce with an appetite for change. We want to adopt a long term sustainable approach; the borough has a broad demographic; we want to be Entrepreneurial as evidenced by working with partners to develop a new university for Trafford (UA92). We take a place based approach, built around 4 neighbourhoods and working with residents to co-produce improve outcomes. Austerity has meant we have had to innovate.
29. Raised and discussed during the Q&A session on 19/7 - Has this been attempted before in Trafford?
No, currently the Councils transformation team supports innovation and change through a number of projects. Individual subject matter experts have been brought in for specific projects. There is a small IT ops team. No wide scale programme like this has been attempted to develop an organisational approach.