Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)

T Level Service agile development- BA, user-centred design and delivery management services

Incomplete applications

10
Incomplete applications
8 SME, 2 large

Completed applications

25
Completed applications
17 SME, 8 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Wednesday 21 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions Wednesday 28 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Wednesday 4 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work We require project delivery services to support the development of GDS compliant digital services for T Levels users, ahead of Sept 2020.
Latest start date Tuesday 1 October 2019
Expected contract length To 31/03/2020
Location West Midlands
Organisation the work is for Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)
Budget range The budget could range up to a maximum of £4m consisting of multiple SoWs, but that scope could expand or contract. DfE does not commit to any minimum spend at this point. A pricing template will be given at the proposal stage to those suppliers we shortlist.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Government’s plan to reform technical education, includes moving to a simplified system based on routes to employment, with T Levels as a flagship qualification. The new T Levels will be delivered in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science, with the first T Levels being introduced in September 2020. A T Level digital service will help to support the roll-out of the qualifications, achieving a number of objectives including raising awareness and understanding; facilitating enrolment on the qualifications; enabling providers to source suitable employer placements; and providing timely results and certification to students
Problem to be solved A new service is required to ensure we actively support our range of stakeholders and users in the delivery of T Levels. An initial discovery for a T Level Service identified potential service areas and user touchpoints. We have identified three priority service areas for the T Level Service in the first instance: Marketing and Communications; matching providers and employers to facilitate industry placements for students; and issuing results and certification.

To address these needs, a range of GDS agile roles are required to either support existing teams or potentially form discrete delivery teams.
Who the users are and what they need to do Our users are both external & internal
As a student I need to easily access impartial information to understand and access T Levels.
As an employer I need to understand T Levels and link with providers and students to offer industry placements
As a provider I need to maintain relationships with students, employers and ESFA in the delivery of T Levels
As an awarding organisation, I need to ensure that I can provide accurate and timely data on students' progress
As ESFA I need to oversee effective delivery of T Levels, including directly managing the issue of certificates to students.
Early market engagement N/A
Any work that’s already been done A discovery of the end to end T Level Service was completed in early 2019, with a further discovery focussed specifically on a Results and Certification Service completed in June 2019. Development of an initial campaign site to support marketing and communications is now underway to launch in September 2019; the alpha phase for our results and certification service commenced in July 2019.
Existing team The existing teams are comprised of multi-disciplinary agile delivery skills. These teams are involved in service development for providing brand new digital services, going through the standard GDS phases. Typical team size is up to 8 with a skills mix such as product/service managers, delivery managers, business analysts, user research and design professionals. Teams are made up of managed service suppliers, supported by a small number of permanent staff
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Primary location will be ESFA Office, Cheylesmore House, Coventry, CV1 2WT
Occasional travel to DfE/ESFA site in London may be required
Working arrangements This will be a 5 day per week (Monday to Friday) commitment and detailed working arrangements, including team location, size and make-up, will be contained within each statement of work. Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques. These could be either a Kanban or a scrum approach (depending on the work) but the standard agile ceremonies appropriate to those will be undertaken. These will be monitored by the Delivery Manager and the Product Owner will be responsible for prioritising backlogs in refinement sessions.
Security clearance Personnel from the Service provider need to have a BPSS check.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. No parking is available on site.

Skills and experience

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

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Within the last two years have experience in end to end deign, development and delivery of digital products/services to GDS standards within the Public Sector
  • Within the last two years have demonstrable experience in User Centred Design Services (User Research, Content Design and Interaction Design, Business Analysis)
  • Evidence of demonstrable experience within the last two years in working complex, multi-stakeholder programmes
  • Proven experience of using a range of agile tools and techniques, working in multi-team agile programmes
  • Evidence of strong verbal, written and visual communication skills with the ability to proactively influence and manage stakeholders and tailor to the needs of audience by collaborating on decisions
  • Evidence within the last two years of experience in architecture services and ensuring new and updated platforms, products, transactions and system architectures are robust, scalable, open and secure
  • Experience within the last two years in scalable server-side cloud-based web applications (preferably Microsoft Azure) detailed knowledge of the C#,.NET,ASP.NET MVC programming languages
  • Experience within the last two years in building front-end web applications (HTML/CSS/JS)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Within the last two years experience of end-to-end design, development and delivery of multi-strand digital programmes in the Education sector, within the public sector
  • Experience of passing GDS service assessments
  • Understanding of DevOps services including running production applications and optimising existing applications

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate working experience in delivering digital products/services within Public Sector
  • Demonstrate understanding/ability to deliver digital products/services to government Digital Service standards
  • Experience and methodology in approach to agile project using both Kanban and scrum
  • Demonstrable experience of working alongside clients in co-located, integrated teams, together with representative CVs of key roles
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer
  • Technical competence in a wide range of relevant technologies and agile practices
  • Ability to scale up team and flex resource when needed on-site
  • Value for money
  • Demonstrate understanding of the challenges of implementing user centred design in a government agile environment
Cultural fit criteria
  • ork as a team – Collaborate, establish good working relationships, generate team spirit
  • Innovate – Act on initiative, drive improvements, balance risks
  • Build capability – Encourage learning, share knowledge, address capability gaps, act on feedback
  • Focus on delivery – Focus on goals, set stretching targets, take responsibility for delivery
  • Approach to developing a "One Team" approach
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Why has the DfE reissued this requirement? Unfortunately there was a technical hitch with the original advert and so to ensure fair and transparent competition we have re-advertised.
2. Is this advert the same as the original one advertised on the 1st Aug 2019? DfE took the opportunity to tweak some of the questions to make the requirements clearer. Please do check carefully to ensure your responses reflect these changes.
3. Will the Authority be awarding the contract to more than one supplier? No
4. What types and numbers of roles do you envisage for this work and what is the total budget and timescale for this to be delivered under? The budget could range up to a maximum of £4m consisting of multiple SoWs, but that scope could expand or contract. DfE does not commit to any minimum spend. From October we expect to initially appoint two typical agile teams of c.6 per team, including delivery manager, user research and design, and development roles.
5. Who delivered Discovery phase and who is currently delivering the Alpha phase? The initial T Level Service discovery was undertaken by Methods. We are currently using a range of suppliers across all three strands.
6. Is there further information that you will share with the down-selected suppliers to inform how to approach delivery? We propose to share the initial discovery report with shortlisted providers as background to the service.
7. What timescales are you working to for informing down-selected suppliers, submission of proposals and scheduling of presentations? We aim to notify shortlisted suppliers w/c 9 September, with presentations w/c 16th September.
8. What is the expected profile and schedule for the onboarding of teams/roles over the initial months of the contract? We expect to initially onboard two Agile delivery teams including research, design and development roles in October/November. Longer-term requirements will be subject to ongoing service design.
9. You state teams typically include “a skills mix such as product/service managers, delivery managers, business analysts, user research and design professionals”. Will developers and technical architects also be required under this contract, or are you only seeking BAs, Designers and Delivery Managers, as indicated in the opportunity title? We anticipate a need for developer services but not architecture resource at this initial stage.
10. Can we access the Discovery report that was produced for better understanding of the requirement? We propose to share the initial discovery report with shortlisted providers as background to the service.
11. Given that the start date remains as the 1st October 2019, can you please confirm which week in September you plan to hold the additional Presentation stage compared to the 10284 requirement? w/c 16th September.
12. Can you please explain the reasons for the significant changes to the number and content of the questions compared to the original 10284 requirement? Has the scope and nature of the work changed that you are looking to procure? The scope and nature of the work is unchanged. The questions have been reviewed to provide greater clarity on the requirements, and remove duplication in the original requirement.
13. Do you require an entirely new team to develop the service or are you seeking specialists to support an existing team currently in place? We have some existing resources in place and are looking to expand and extend specialist resource.
14. Is there a current incumbent? No, we are currently using multiple contracts/suppliers to support the service.
15. Is there further information that you will share with the down-selected suppliers to inform how to approach delivery? We propose to share the initial discovery report with shortlisted providers as background to the service.
16. What timescales are you working to for informing down-selected suppliers, submission of proposals and scheduling of presentations? We aim to notify shortlisted suppliers w/c 9 September, with presentations w/c 16th September.
17. The assessment methods mention only "Written proposal". Will you be inviting the down-selected suppliers to present? Yes, we expect to invite shortlisted suppliers to presentations w/c 16th September.
18. What is the expected schedule and profile for the onboarding of teams/roles over the initial months of the contract? We expect to initially onboard delivery teams including research, design and development roles in October/November. Longer-term requirements will be subject to ongoing service design.
19. In addition to the roles you have specifically mentioned, will developers and technical architects also be required? We anticipate a need for developer services but not architecture resource at this initial stage.
20. With development of the campaign site and alpha phase for the results and certification service already underway, is there an incumbent supplier for whom this is an option to extend? If so, who is the supplier? No, we are currently using multiple contracts/suppliers to support the service across all strands and there is no option to extend.
21. You ask for "Proven experience of using a range of agile and lean practices, tools and techniques, working in multi-team agile programmes" could you let us know where you'd like the priority to lie, when answering the question? i.e agile or lean? tools or techniques? 100 words is not a lot to work with. This has been reworded in the latest advert to emphasise Agile.
22. Can you let us know if there is an incumbent for this piece of work please? No, we are currently using multiple contracts/suppliers to support the service across all strands.
23. Hi there – are you running a supplier Q&A teleconference for this one? No