Department for Education

User Experience & Design Capability

Incomplete applications

23
Incomplete applications
17 SME, 6 large

Completed applications

25
Completed applications
16 SME, 9 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 19 November 2019
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 26 November 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 3 December 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work We are looking for UX and Design capabilities to drive user centered design of: communication, content, IA, interactions, products, policy, operation and services.
Latest start date Monday 3 February 2020
Expected contract length 2 years
Location North West England
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range Budget approval is subject to Cabinet Office spending controls, service assessments and DfE governance.
A pipeline of activity is foreseen over the next 24 months, with an indicative budget against the requirements for this capability being £1.5m, but that scope could expand or contract.
Each SOW will outline the work required and suppliers will need to provide a cost to enable tracking
DfE does not commit to any minimum or maximum spend at this point.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done We need a supplier who will work with blended teams to improve the user experience of services designed for and delivered to Teachers, Schools, parents & children. Specifically focusing on designing, developing end-to-end services that fit together as a coherent, consistent offer for users.
Problem to be solved To address unmet needs, disjointed and confusing user journeys, and enabling users to make better informed choices going through available services.
Digital requires capabilities which are able to deliver outcomes based on user needs and government service standards and capable of supporting a range of projects from inception through to live. 
This approach will provide continuity through the lifecycle of projects, ensuring no break in support and expertise built up in the team leading to improved opportunities for shadowing and knowledge transfer. We anticipate 5-8 projects at any time.
Who the users are and what they need to do - Teachers
- Parents
- Students
- Education advisors
- School administrators
- People that deliver children’s services
- Our own staff
For example:
I need to train to be a teacher so that I can be employed as a qualified teacher”
As a person or body wanting to establish an academy I/we need to establish an academy as simply as possible
As a school leader I need to know about funding opportunities so that my school can apply for relevant grants
As a parent I need to know how to apply for financial support for my child
Early market engagement N/A
Any work that’s already been done Some digital education services are live via the GOV.UK website. For example: https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance. Some service discovery, alpha and private beta activity has been completed and a prioritised roadmap of other services continues growing.
Existing team You will work with internal DfE staff from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management.

You may collaborate or work with other suppliers who are providing capabilities as part of a team, for example, Delivery Management, Business Analysis, User Research and Software Development
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place For any given Statement of Work (SoW) the work is likely to be based in Manchester, some work may be required UK wide and travel may be required to DfE offices in these locations.

The primary base will be detailed in each SoW and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location instead during the execution of the work relating to the SoW. e.g. If SoW primary base is in Coventry then no expenses will be paid for Coventry.
Working arrangements A Statement of Work will be completed to outline the working arrangements, outcomes and deliverables expected for each engagement.

Existing DfE digital teams comprise of lead roles in Product Management, User Research and Delivery Management, as well as stakeholders from our finance, commercial, HR and legal services teams.

To improve DfE internal capability, build and support the applications/services, knowledge transfer back into DfE will be a requirement for each work package.

We anticipate a maximum of 5-8 concurrent engagements.
Security clearance DfE requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS). There may be a requirement for some of the work to require a higher level of security clearance. Where this is needed it will be detailed in the Statement of Work.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE standard Travel and Subsistence policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance and suppliers will be expected to co-operate in a manner that fosters healthy working relationships and quality delivery.

Suppliers must provide sufficient guarantees to meet the requirements of GDPR in line with Procurement Policy Note 03/17 Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation

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
  • Designing hybrid end-to-end services across a range channels
  • Designing for complex operations
  • Designing in complex supply and delivery chains
  • Prioritises understanding needs and behaviour and uses insight to underpin and drive design decisions when designing content, product and services
  • Communicate service concepts and ideas using methods that allow others to see all the different parts of a service
  • Pulling together aspects such as user research, org design, business analysis, data science, policy intent
  • Analysing failure within a service and identifying root causes
  • Designs and develops services through iteration, research and testing
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Able to work with design systems
  • Able to prototype in code
  • Experience with the GOV.UK design system

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Examples of passing the Government’s Service Standards Assessment
  • Designing a service that has passed a government accessibility audits and accessibility beyond standard (e.g. design for neurodivergence)
  • Working with users to understand their work, their operating context and constraints & identify and implement adaptations/improvements
  • Able to communicate effectively across organisational, technical and political boundaries, understanding the context
  • Makes complex and technical information and language simple and accessible for non-technical audiences
  • Is able to make informed decisions based on user needs, available technology and value for money.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Reinforce a culture of service and continuous improvement in all teams
  • Establish a strong User Experience and Design based culture
  • Experience of working with an organisation at the beginning of an agile culture change
  • Experience of working with an organisation at the beginning of an agile culture change
  • Experience of working with multi-vendor teams across multiple projects
  • Experience of collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders with the aim to achieve a single objective.
  • Experience of transferring knowledge to permanent staff within client organisation
  • Understands how to be part of a multidisciplinary, agile service team
  • Able to explain technical things to non-technical people, and non-technical things to technical people
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. For this requirement, do you require all team members are UK based? or simply have to pass BPSS criteria? A number of the digital projects will require the capability that is co-located, so team member being UK based would be preferable
2. For this requirement, do you require all team members are UK based? or simply have to pass BPSS criteria? BPSS clearance will be needed as a minimum for all capability team members
3. If advanced SC clearance is required would the authority sponsor this? Unfortunately, DfE will not sponsor suppliers who require SC clearance
4. Is there an existing incumbent for this work? If so, are you able to please share who? There is no incumbent as we do not currently have a supplier for this capability
5. “We need a supplier who will work with blended teams” and “You will work with internal DfE staff from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management. You may collaborate or work with other suppliers who are providing capabilities as part of a team, for example, Delivery Management, Business Analysis, User Research and Software Development” Understand the concept of blended teams and so will there be any indication of the number of staff currently in place in each of these roles prior to submitting costs? Each statement of work will provide further detail on the number of staff and the roles they are carrying out prior to the supplier providing a response on how they will be able to deliver the work package.
6. “Some service discovery, alpha and private beta activity has been completed and a prioritised roadmap of other services continues growing”. Will this be made available prior to submission? The department has a high-level roadmap of digital projects, which are iterated on the basis of insight and departmental priorities. This will be shared with the successful supplier once a contract has been awarded.
7. How many people do you envisage deploying from the successful supplier on a typical engagement, and how long are these engagements likely to last? We would work with the supplier on the response for each statement of work, how each work package would be delivered and the capability that would be needed. Each piece of work would have different durations, which would be included in the statement of work.
8. Are you expecting the individuals embedded within the projects to be solely responsible for the knowledge transfer to DfE, or will there be a broader package of work supporting knowledge transfer? We would expect all team members to share their experience and knowledge during delivery of the work packages in order to transfer knowledge, build capability and deliver successful outcomes.
We are open to discussions with our supplier on options of how knowledge transfer could be carried out.
9. Are you only seeking to secure specialist skills and knowledge transfer are part of this procurement, or are you also hoping teams will be able to bring/leverage broader experiences? We would be hoping that the varied experience which comes along with team members would be part of the knowledge transferred to DfE staff.
10. Will this procurement cover delivery in London? No. This capability contract is for delivery in the North West of England and will predominately have teams based in Manchester. There may be some requirement for travel to other DfE sites. The statement of work will include the base location and if there will be a need for travel during delivery
11. Blended teams – does this imply a need for teams that are a blend of employees from different suppliers; a blend of DfE and supplier employees; or a blend of different specialisms from the same supplier; or all three? DfE digital delivery teams are made up of a blended mix of capabilities. The skills would be from civil servants or suppliers. This contract is for User Experience and Design and we would like the successful supplier to supply those skills.
12. The roles currently within DfE digital teams are clearly listed, are there plans in place to expand the number and variety of roles – for example, Interaction Designer, Business Designer, Service Designer? DfE continue to recruit a significant cadre of civil service digital specialists
13. Is it possible to set up a monthly milestone and be paid at each delivery? A SoW will set out the work package for each piece of work this capability contract will support. We encourage the business area and suppliers to have a discussion on the outcomes required. Payment can be included in this discussion with payment against delivery of outcomes being encouraged
14. What does the department consider the biggest challenges in developing agile culture change at DfE? Any organisation can experience a number of challenges to embedding an agile culture. Our current focus is on raising awareness of the agile approach and developing individual capabilities
15. In Essential Skills and Experience item 1 "Designing hybrid end-to-end services across a range of channels" please explain whether the term "hybrid" relates to the digital/ non-digital nature of the channels covered by the services or has another meaning? 'Hybrid' relates to the digital nature of the channels. For example designing the screens and call centre scripts, letters to candidates, face-to-face training, TV and radio marketing etc…
16. You refer to 'hybrid end-to-end services'. Are these multi-channel service that have both digital and physical touchpoints? 'Hybrid' relates to the digital nature of the channels. For example designing the screens and call centre scripts, letters to candidates, face-to-face training, TV and radio marketing etc…
17. You refer to 'complex supply and delivery chains'. Are these internal in that you have multiple suppliers involved in the delivery process or does it refer to external complexity? Mainly about the external complexity. It is less about the digital teams themselves and more about call centres, or social workers, or schools, or publishers etc
18. What context do you mean supply and delivery chains? Our reference to supply and delivery chains, is about the external complexity. It is less about the digital teams themselves and more about call centres, or social workers, or schools, or publishers etc
19. What does ‘hybrid’ mean in relation to the question of designing services across a range of channels? The focus would be on the digital nature of the channels, i.e.designing the screens - and call centre scripts, letters to candidates, face-to-face training, TV and radio marketing etc
20. Can you give more context what ‘design systems’ mean? For example GDS or other government design systems.