Department For Work & Pensions

Development of a MVP event notification service for use by digital services across DWP.

Incomplete applications

16
Incomplete applications
10 SME, 6 large

Completed applications

18
Completed applications
7 SME, 11 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 22 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 29 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 5 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work The Partner will work with DWP to develop an MVP for a service that enables changes to citizen information to be published as events.

The team is required to provide thought leadership and technical expertise through the following suggested roles:

-Technical Architect;
- Developers, Senior/Lead Developers;
- Test Automation Engineer.
Latest start date Monday 14 October 2019
Expected contract length Anticipated duration for this phase is four months.
Location North East England
Organisation the work is for Department For Work & Pensions
Budget range Delivering an MVP is expected to take four months. The indicative budget for this phase is £400,000. Estimates do not include T&S.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done DWP wants to move towards more event driven architecture to enable near real time data sharing. This will benefit delivery teams building digital services for our citizens through quicker, easier and more intelligent re-use of data. This in turn can also contribute towards speeding up decision making for agents and reducing the number of times a citizen has to contact us.

This is a four month engagement during which we are aiming to deliver an MVP with a focus on various types of change (e.g. death) with at least one publishing service and one subscribing service.
Problem to be solved Data is currently often collected, and then held in silos. This can result in data being held inconsistently across our estate.

Services in DWP have difficulties finding out about and sharing changes to citizen data. The data which exists within DWP and how to reuse it can be unclear. The only mechanism to share data is through multiple point to point integrations, or through legacy batch updates.

Services often request the same data from citizens many times which results in frustration and data which is duplicated / out of date.
Who the users are and what they need to do The primary users of the service are members of digital service teams. These are typically DWP and/or supplier staff deliverying digital services for citizens.

High level user needs:

As a member of a digital service team I want to:
- Understand what data the government already has so that I can use it within our service.
- Understand how to access data sets and integrate them successfully so that I can build the right solution for our service.
- Understand the provenance and semantics around information so that I can ensure that the information is suitable for service use.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done Following a wider discovery piece, we worked with domain architects to define some design principles and a Conceptual Architecture that introduces an event-driven architecture and an approach for decoupling new digital services from the legacy IT estate, and also among themselves.

We have done Proof of Concepts for key components within that Conceptual Architecture:

- Event Notification Service;
- Legacy Bridge, which allows updates to data to be shared between newer digital services and legacy estate.

We have also done some initial investigation into different messaging services (e.g. SNS/SQS, Kafka, Kinesis).
Existing team We need a supplier to provide a number of specialists to supplement our existing delivery team which consists of a Product Owner, Delivery Manager, 2 Business Analysts, 2 Developers, and a Test Automation Engineer. We will form two teams working from the same backlog. Each team will be a mixture of supplier staff and DWP staff.

A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist DWP in growing its own capability and we will expect a level of support for our staff with a view to contributing and sharing knowledge.
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The Supplier will be expected to be primarily located with the Customer on DWP site at Benton Park View, Longbenton, Newcastle Upon Tyne. There is the potential for occasional travel to other sites.
Working arrangements Be on site 5 days (37.5 hours) per week co-locating, collaborating and working flexibly with DWP teams. We believe in the value of face-to-face communication and that teams work together best when they are are co-located.

Be responsible for travel and expenses to main workplace. Any travel required in addition to/or outside of the location specified, will only be paid if agreed in advance and in line with the DWP Travel and Subsistence Policy.
Security clearance All resources must be BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) compliant or equivalent (or prepared to undergo clearance process prior to commencement of work). DWP would support an application however costs are to be met by the supplier.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Experience (2>5years) of delivering design and development capability of event driven architecture in an Agile environment.
  • Immediate capacity to supply experienced technical skills in Solution and Technical Architecture supported by references of deliveries they have either led or had significant involvement utilising AWS.
  • Immediate capacity to supply experienced (2>5years) technical skills in delivering microservices in Java.
  • Immediate capacity to supply experienced (2>5years) technical skills in delivering microservices in NodeJS.
  • Immediate capacity to supply experienced technical skills in Dev Ops supported by references of deliveries they have either led or had significant involvement utilising Ansible and Terraform for AWS.
  • Immediate capacity to supply experienced technical skills in delivering containerised solutions utilising Docker.
  • Have experience (2>5years) in functional, non-functional and automated testing of microservices in a Continuous Integration pipeline.
  • Have experience (2>5years) in automated integration testing of APIs.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience in functional, non-functional and automated testing of event driven architecture applications in a Continuous Integration pipeline.
  • Have experience (2>5years) in automated Security and Performance testing of microservices applications.
  • Capacity to supply experienced technical skills in Dev Ops supported by references of deliveries they have either led or had significant involvement utilising Kubernetes.
  • Have experience of working within DWP or a comparable organisation within the last 3 years.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution.
  • Approach and methodology.
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs.
  • How the approach or solution meets DWP policy or goals.
  • Estimated timeframes for the work.
  • Approach to identifying risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them.
  • Team structure.
  • Value for money.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Ability to work as a blended team with our organisation and able to take direction within a DWP team.
  • Experience of successful collaboration working as part of a blended delivery team, building capabiltiy and sharing knowledge within the team.
  • Evidence of a culture of continuous improvement where individuals learn from past mistakes and offer improvement opportunities.
  • Experience of working with a partner to deliver tangible outcomes.
Payment approach Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. This question is duplicated – "Have experience (2>5years) in functional, non-functional and automated testing of microservices in a Continuous Integration pipeline." Can we provide the same answer. This question does not appear to be duplicated.
2. Which Test Automation tools are planned to be used? Our Continuous Integration tool of choice is GitlabCI. We will be looking to use the likes of pact.io and artillery but clear experience of using any automated tools to aid with testing and checking applications and infrastructure will be beneficial.
3. Will the Test Automation Engineer also require DevOps capabilities? No, but will provide some benefit when developing testing frameworks and understanding the solution.
4. In relation to question 11, are you looking for examples for Kubernetes Native or Kubernetes Managed Service e.g. AWS is EKS? We are currently implementing kubernetes using EKS.
5. For the Discovery piece that has already taken place, was this carried out by internal personnel from the DWP, or was an external supplier involved? If there is an incumbent supplier, are you able to advise who this is please? Thanks. Discovery was undertaken by DWP personnel.
6. Are there any incumbent suppliers involved in this specific project or the wider programme of work? A supplier previously aided in the Proof of Concept work. There are no suppliers currently in place to aid in this piece of work.
7. Have any suppliers been involved with the work building up to this opportunity to date? A supplier previously aided in the Proof of Concept work. There are no suppliers currently in place to aid in this piece of work.
8. Are DWP open to receiving proposals that include delivery management? No - DWP is not open to receiving proposals that include delivery management.
9. Are the scores from the first round (evidence) expected to be taken through to the final scores or solely used for the purpose of shortlisting? Shortlisting only.
10. How is this programme of work related to the departments Tell Us Once program? This work is unrelated to Tell Us Once.
11. Is there an opportunity for this MVP or subsequent phases to propose fixed price based outcome proposals and pricing? This work is intended as a Time and Materials piece, subsequent phases will be set depending on the best approach to meet DWP needs at the time.
12. Is the department open to a level of flexible working with regards to delivery location? (whilst we appreciate the majority of the delivery is required onsite for good reasons). There is some flexibility to allow for travel and personal requirements, but delivery should predominantly be onsite.
13. According to the GDS service manual there are various measures of performance against services, that can be improved by better use of data (i.e. cost per transaction, user satisfaction, completion rate, digital take-up). Which of these is a priority for this work? Is there a target measure we should aim for in MVP or full implementation? The service is intended to be an enabler for other services that may impact on  all of these metrics.
14. As this piece of work is focused on an MVP, does the department have a roadmap outlined for applying this framework to all data. An initial roadmap is in place, however part of this work is supporting and influencing the wider roadmap for applying this across the department.
15. How many services across DWP have been identified that could benefit from the provision of this service? Which are the primary set of DWP services that stand to benefit? There are many services that could benefit. This can be discussed further with the successful supplier.
16. Could you provide the timetable of procurement events leading to the project start of 15th October. The last day suppliers can apply is 6th September 19.
W/C 9th September 19 - DWP will shortlist & issue RFP. Responses to RFP will be 23rd September 19. Supplier selection and contract drafting will be W/C
23rd September. Contract start date is anticipated to be 14th October 19.
All of the dates mentioned are indicative and subject to change.
17. Could you please publish the procurement calendar up to the call-off contract award? The last day suppliers can apply is 6th September 19.
W/C 9th September 19 - DWP will shortlist & issue RFP. Responses to RFP will be 23rd September 19. Supplier selection and contract drafting will be W/C
23rd September. Contract start date is anticipated to be 14th October 19.
All of the dates mentioned are indicative and subject to change.
18. Are there overarching standards relating to the data that is currently stored that we need to adhere to as part of this work? There will be overarching standards that need adhering to. We are also in the position that we will be pivotal in helping to set some of those standards.
19. The ad states that you intend to form 2 blended teams with your existing resources and those from the new supplier. Obviously with only high-level detail suppliers cannot determine an exact number of resources that will be required so can it be assumed for Stage 2 pricing that you will require multiple of the "suggested roles" so that at least one of each role type can join the two teams, or do you envisage for example that you would want only a single supplier TA working across both teams? We only expect a single Technical Architect will be required, suppliers are invited to discuss the most effective blend of resources during Stage 2.
20. Who has provided Discovery services? Discovery has been undertaken by DWP.
21. For question 2, 5 & 11 where it states "supported by references of deliveries they have either led or had significant involvement in...", are you expecting that we include more than one reference to previous experience? The response guidelines states that we should only include one example unless otherwise specified and thus this requires clarification. For the avoidance of doubt suppliers should provide one reference to a delivery they have led or had significant involvement in.
22. Are you expecting that the supplier provide one example only per essential and nice-to-have requirement? Yes
23. 1. Current phase is "Alpha" – does this mean this new phase being procured is Alpha?

2. Do the evidence points requiring "references" mean CV style examples of projects those resources have worked on, or formal contactable references who can vouch for the work of the individuals?

3. Do we have to name the Immediately Available individuals at this stage?
1) No this is just the current stage that the product development is at.

2) For the avoidance of doubt suppliers should provide one reference to a delivery they have led or had significant involvement in, rather than an actual CV or a contactable reference.

3) No.
24. Could you please share the Discovery Report for the service? Further details regarding the discovery will be provided to the suppliers taken forward to the next stage of the process.
25. How many resources are required for the 4 roles specified? A specific resource profile has not been set - suppliers are invited to propose what would be most effective.
26. The ad states that you require a number of specialists to supplement your existing delivery team and that a Discovery and various PoCs have already been completed. The stage 2 proposal criteria includes details of a "Technical Solution". Will you be expecting suppliers to provide significant technical detail for stage 2, and if so, will you be able to share all discovery & PoC findings with shortlisted bidders to allow a technical solution to be created? A high-level technical solution is in place, however support is sought to work alongside the DWP team to define and build a specific solution. Further details regarding the discovery etc. will be provided to the suppliers taken forward to the next stage of the process.
27. What would DWP expect to see from suppliers in order to be scored a 3 (exceeding)? A robust and fully comprehensive response.
28. Are you able to provide further details of the Conceptual Architecture used for the Proof of Concepts, and any lessons learnt to take forward to the next steps of the project? Further details of the conceptual architecture, proof of concepts and the lessons learnt will be shared with the successful supplier.
29. Can you confirm the IR35 status? DWP is seeking to procure an outcome based managed service and as such this is deemed to be out of scope.