Start date: Monday 4 November 2019
Value: £87,600
Company size: SME
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Discovery into Corporate Services (HR and Finance)

11 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 5 large

23 Completed applications

17 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Monday 5 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 12 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 19 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
MHCLG wants to better meet employee user needs (as well as HR and finance colleagues) and bring the department in line with the Government Shared Services Strategy. We want to make informed, user centred decisions to create better ways of working and increase the efficiency of the department.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 October 2019
Expected contract length
10 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
Budget range
A budget range of between £75,000 to £90,000 (exclusive of VAT) has been allocated for this requirement.

About the work

Why the work is being done
At present the department uses SAP to manage its finance and HR processes as well as some areas of the procurement process (contract management is handled elsewhere).  The current version of SAP ends in March 2025 at which point the department will be required to move to the Cloud version of SAP if it does not have any alternative.  A discovery is therefore needed now to understand what corporate systems MHCLG needs going forward.
Problem to be solved
MHCLG would like to better understand how they might make decisions about the corporate systems used within the organisation so as to better meet user needs and bring the department in line with the Government Shared Services Strategy. We understand the importance of these decisions and would like to make informed, user centred decisions so as to create better ways of working for the future and invest in systems that increase the efficiency of the department and improve the user experience.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The hypotheses we would like to test are:

As an employee

I need to be able to access HR services

SO THAT I can manage my leave

AS an employee

I need to be able to access my personal information

So that I can update my details

AS a member of the finance team

I NEED to be able to use the reporting system

SO THAT I can provide accurate and timely figures

AS A member of the HR team

I NEED to be able to manage holiday and sickness data

SO THAT I can ensure employees are paid correctly
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
User Research has been conducted by the SAP team to help them make a number of improvements to the existing employee service to better meet user needs.
Existing team
Service Owner and a team working on the existing service and user centred improvements to it.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
We expect the successful supplier to work regularly with MHCLG in 2 Marsham Street, London. The supplier may work 1-2 days off site.

MHCLG will not fund travel within London, but will fund necessary travel outside of London.
Working arrangements
The supplier is expected to work onsite alongside existing teams for at least 3 days a week. We would prefer the team to be co-located in 2 Marsham Street but expect travel for user research and other activities.

We expect the supplier to work using agile methodology.

The supplier will also be expected to work openly.
Security clearance
CTC or above is desirable as staff won’t need escorting on site. There is no requirement for supplier personnel to be security cleared.

BPSS clearance will be required to access MHCLG's ICT systems.

Please make it clear whether staff have CTC security clearance or not when submitting responses.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All materials/outputs derived from the contract shall be the property of MHCLG. GDPR requirements shall be discussed and agreed with the preferred supplier at the appropriate time.

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
  • Using examples, experience of delivering discoveries in line within the Government Service Manual.
  • Using examples, experience of recruiting users for research.
  • Using examples, experience of delivering user-centred solutions to problems.
  • Using examples, experience of conducting business analysis on an existing service.
  • Using examples, evidence of meeting skill requirements based on the anticipated composition of the team
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs
  • Approach and methodology
  • Team structure
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Care deeply about users
  • Share knowledge and experience with other organisations
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please clarify exactly what is meant by – "using examples, evidence of meeting skill requirements based on the anticipated composition of the team"?
We would like you to:

a) propose a team to meet the requirements; and

b) provide evidence that your team has the skills needed to deliver the outcomes we’re seeking. Your evidence should include examples or case studies of previous work where the same skills were needed.
2. When suppliers are asked to submit evidence, the following advice is given: "You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise)." Do you want suppliers to provide one example for each evidence answer?
With a word limit of 100 words for suppliers to provide their evidence, it is better if they provide one good example to each question. However, if they decide to provide more examples then that would also be considered.
3. What is the make up of the MHCLG team?
There will be a core team, which will include the Product Owner, Digital representative, and some of the SMEs for current functions. The team will identify and call on SMEs for various functional areas e.g. HR, financial forecasting etc. as required during the discovery.
4. Linked to Question 3, will there be a Subject Matter Expert or Product Owner included as part of the MHCLG team?
Please see our response to Question 3.
5. What is the make up of your evaluation panel?
This has not been decided as yet.
6. SAP contract ends in 2025. Are MHCLG considering options to renew or will this be considered as part of the Discovery?
SAP software is in use at present. The published date for end of life support for the current version of SAP (EEC6) is 2025. To maintain support of SAP customers need to upgrade to the next version of SAP, S4Hana. MHCLG are exploring options around this upgrade outside this Discovery.
7. Please can you confirm if users that will be recruited for research will be employees who will be impacted by this piece of work?
Yes, the users are largely employees who will be impacted by the work. Supporting services, other government bodies and business partners who may be impacted may also be invited.
8. Is there any more detailed service description documentation available?
This piece of work is not looking at a current service therefore there is not any service documentation available.
9. Could you explain further what the question "experience of recruiting users for research" is regarding? Would this be regarding speaking…
This relates to how you might give examples of recruiting users for user research in previous work as per the Government Service Manual.

The users of this service will be internal users so it might be helpful to focus on how you have previously recruited internal users for research.
10. Can you outline how many users and different bodies the current systems currently cover?
MHCLG’s SAP system is provided on a shared service basis to MHCLG, the Planning Inspectorate and the Valuation Tribunal Service. SAP provides users with core HR, Employee and Manager Self-service, central and end user Finance and Procurement processes, together with reporting and Management Information across the corporate, end user and functional base. There are 3730 users overall, of which 2856 are in MHCLG. This Discovery will focus on MHCLG.
11. Is the output of this work to be used to support the development of a Strategic Outline Case?
12. If yes, is the supplier expected to take any responsibility / draft / support MHCLG in the production of any of the SOC cases i.e. Strategic and Management Cases?
Yes. The supplier will be expected to help articulate the business and technology requirements at a level that can easily feed into the development of the Strategic Outline Case.
13. Is 10 weeks the expected duration of the Discovery or the maximum time allowed?
It is the expected duration of the discovery and the maximum time available for the work.
14. Would the scope of this phase include planning and mobilisation for the alpha phase?
If the work indicates that an alpha is required then it would include planning for the alpha but not mobilisation.
15. What capacity exists within the existing SAP team to support the Discovery?
The SAP team incorporates a number of different specialists representing Finance, HR, UX, Business Intelligence, SAP Technical, Procurement etc. Resources will be made available from this team as required to support the Discovery.