The London Borough of Brent

Discovery, UX and design for a new digital platform to better serve the residents of Brent

Incomplete applications

41
Incomplete applications
38 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

17
Completed applications
15 SME, 2 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 6 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions Monday 13 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 20 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Brent council is seeking quotations from an independent organisation to support the discovery, UX and design phase of the council’s new web platform that will deliver an end-to-end digital customer experience, taking the user on a seamless journey between the presentational website and the transactional customer portal.
Latest start date Monday 2 March 2020
Expected contract length Three months
Location London
Organisation the work is for The London Borough of Brent
Budget range £50,000 - £60,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The redevelopment of the website is part of a wider digital transformation programme aimed at modernising Brent’s online services to enable Brent’s citizens to independently complete transactions when and where it is most convenient for them. The current website was developed more than five years ago on a CMS that is no longer fit for purpose. As such, it has failed to keep pace with latest developments and best practice in user and digital design. The site needs to be more streamlined, responsive, accessible and intuitive so our citizens can find what they need and more effectively serve their needs.
Problem to be solved The first phase of this project will focus on researching, analysing and designing a user experience for a digital platform that will:
- put citizens more in control of the relationship they have with the Council by giving them quick and easy access to the information they need
- enable users to self-serve more efficiently, directing them to core services that they can transact with online
- provide a communications channel that informs, educates and inspires residents about the work and impact of the Council
- lay the foundations for the development of a new CMS upon which the website will be built.
Who the users are and what they need to do Brent Council serves 324,000 residents that live and work within the Borough, along with 14,700 businesses and the thousands of day, overnight and international visitors.
Our users are all seeking to find information or to transact with one or more of the council’s services 300+ services, including:
- Report a missed refuse collection
- Find out what parking restrictions apply during a Wembley event
- Register a birth
- Comment on a planning application
- Notify the council of a change in circumstance
- Pay their council tax
- Find out about the local library
- Apply for a school place
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done Customer experience survey of more than 2,000 users.
Content audit for website.
Existing team The internal project team would consist of Product Owner,
Digital Customer Experience Manager, Website Content designers,
Project Manager, Digital Transformation Project Lead and Communications.

The successful supplier will be expected to engage with local residents and a broad range of internal stakeholders including, Cabinet members, Senior Council Management, Heads of Service, Service Managers and the Digital Transformation team.
Current phase Discovery

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The majority of this work should take place at the London Borough of Brent Civic Centre office in Wembley (HA9 0FJ).
Working arrangements We would expect a mix of on-site and off-site working with most of the project work taking place largely off-site at supplier's location. Regular meetings and workshops should be held at LBB's offices and the chosen agency would need to fully integrate with our team, share their knowledge and insight; work in an open and transparent way and demonstrate good agile product delivery practice.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions As London Living Wage accredited organisations, the authorities will require a contractual commitment to the payment of this.

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
  • Have experience of redesigning and relaunching large, information-rich websites, which are platform agnostic
  • Have experience working with internal and external stakeholders to gain solid, actionable insights, alongside data analytics expertise
  • Have experience of mapping business requirements based on user needs, and developing user journeys, stories, personas and wireframes for key content pages/types
  • Have experience of conducting user testing at all levels of the design process
  • Have digital design expertise and be able to provide evidence of visually engaging, customer-first websites that have transformed the online experience for users
  • Have experience of developing sites which comply with WCAG 2.0 and GDPR regulations, together with knowledge of WCAG 2.1 AA and EU regulations for public sector websites
  • Have experience of working on digital projects within a local government environment
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of engagement as a full service digital agency with a full range of roles including IA, UX, technical, content strategy, project management, analytics, SEO
  • Have experience of supporting complex, large organisations through programmes of digital change
  • Have excellent knowledge of the content management system market with a client-centred approach to CMS selection
  • Have experience of designing websites which support digital inclusion
  • Have experience of developing long-term (3+ years) relationships with satisfied clients

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
  • Approach to working with Brent Council to design and deliver this project as set out in this specification (20%)
  • Experience of delivering this type of work, in relation to local government or public sector (15%)
  • Managing the project to ensure it is delivered within the timescales set out in the specification (8%)
  • Capability and experience that will enable the required outputs (8%)
  • Smooth and effective handover of the project output to a development partner (4%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Co-working with internal staff and external suppliers (3%)
  • Approach to solving problems as they occur (2%)
Payment approach Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

55%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. In addition to the 2,000 people already surveyed.
Is it expected that the supplier will source end users for research purposes during this discovery phase?
Will the supplier be expected to cover these costs in their proposal.
Brent Council has a number of resident panels and networks that can be accessed in order to recruit research participants during the discovery phase. Venues across Brent can be made available to the supplier to run various research activities. Reasonable costs relating to the recruitment, venue hire and logistical costs of any research activities will be covered by the council, if utilising the council's existing channels. If the supplier anticipates any additional costs from the research activities they are proposing, then please state the costs clearly in the proposal as expenses.
2. Your implementation of a new web platform to deliver a seamless journey between the presentational website and the transactional customer portal. Does this mean you have a customer portal that you absolutely intend to keep and that this Discovery phase is principally about a new CMS that integrates with it? A new customer portal is being built in parallel on a Dynamics CRM and the new CMS will eventually integrate with it. However this project should include the end-to-end customer journey. The output of this phase in terms of the UX will be applied to the portal as well as the website to ensure that there is a smooth and seamless handover between the website and portal and back again. It is important that the user experience is positive from the moment they arrive on the site to the moment they leave.
3. Does “independent” mean that you are seeking advice from a consultancy, not a company that may bid for the new CMS? We are looking for a partner who can work with us to deliver this first phase of work. If, once a decision has been made on the CMS platform, the same partner is in a position to support us on the development of the CMS, they will be able to bid for the that tender also.
4. We can satisfy all of your essential skills and experience except for working with local government. We have many public sector clients but not specifically local giovernemnt ones. Does this disqaulify us? One of the essential skills and experience criteria is "Have experience of working on digital projects within a local government environment". If this criterion is not met, the score will be less than 2, which leads to disqualification according to the framework rules. We are however prepared to amend this criterion to: "Have experience of working on digital projects within a local government or relevant similar environment".
5. Do you have a budget for this piece of work? The budget is stated in the advertised opportunity.
6. Will you have a second tender for the build? Yes.
7. Can you let us know what the current CMS is and why it's deemed no longer fit for purpose? The current Brent website was developed more than five years ago on the Umbraco content management system (CMS). Despite some upgrades, it is some way off the latest version and there is no clear upgrade path.
8. Are Brent Council open to working with the same agency for both the Discovery phase and then the rest of the project in full? Yes
9. What are the next steps and timings for awarding the rest of the project? These are still to be determined at this stage, but we aim to be in a position to start the CMS phase of work in the summer of 2020.
10. Can Brent Council facilitate the recruitment of people for the audience consultations required? (For example, the local residents.) Yes
11. Is there an existing CRM system currently in place? Yes
12. What third party systems are underpinning the transactional elements of the current Brent Council site, and is there a plan to either replace or consolidate any of these? There are currently a number of third party systems in place which are used for form completion, payments, consultations. These will be upgraded, consolidated and replaced over time in accordance with our wider Digital Transformation programme.
13. What CMS platform is the current site built on? Umbraco
14. Aside from the project team listed in the brief, how many wider stakeholders are likely to be involved/consulted during the Discovery phase? The successful supplier will be expected to engage with local residents and a broad range of internal stakeholders including, Cabinet members, Senior Council Management, Heads of Service, Service Managers and the Digital Transformation team. The detail in relation to numbers is not available at this stage.
15. The latest start date provided is 2nd March, though do Brent Council have a preferred start date in mind for the project? As soon as it is possible to get the necessary people together after the supplier selection, award and contracting process are completed.
16. What's driving the deadline and the request for a 3 month project duration? Time required for the completion of this phase of work will greatly depend on the availability of your stakeholders who we will be engaging with during this phase of work. The council believes this is a reasonable period of time within which to complete this phase. However, we are pragmatic with regards to the duration. If it is not possible to engage with the necessary stakeholders or secure sign off within the required timeframes, then we will work with the appointed supplier to revise and agree a realistic extension.
17. Do you have a timeline for the shortlisting and choosing supplier process? Will there be an opportunity to meet face-to-face to explore this project in more detail with you? The shortlisting will be completed within a week of the closing date and the shortlisted suppliers will be invited to tender at the end of this period. It is anticipated that the tender process including clarifications will not require face to face interaction, although we are not ruling this out entirely.
18. For this phase of work where you mention 'designing a user experience for a digital platform', we would typically craft a full new user experience and design concept around some key templates and components with a supporting style guide. The full UI production design of the site would then be implemented in a separate, future phase of the website redevelopment project. Can you please confirm this is also your intention and that you're happy with this proposed approach? At the end of this phase, we would expect to receive a set of high fidelity wireframes and a full set of design assets which will provide a specific guide to the development team to take into production in the next phase.
19. To confirm, the scope of this work is discovery/research phase, followed by the creation of front-end design & UX for both your incoming new website, and Dynamics customer portal? So the output of this work informs the following development phase for both website and portal? Yes, the output from this phase will inform the future structure, design and development of our website and customer portal.
20. How do you currently communicate with your stakeholders? Are you and the stakeholders open to new methods to communicate research findings? The council has a number of channels available to engage with internal and external stakeholders. If there are other methods, over and above what is currently available, that a supplier wishes to pursue then we are open to exploring new options that may be effective in sharing findings, if achievable within the confines of the project scope.
21. Please can you advise what you anticipate the final output of the project to be? At the end of this project, it is expected that we will receive a set of user personas, high fidelity wireframes and a full set of design assets, which will provide a specific guide to the development team that will be brought on board for the next phase. These will be based on a solid set of research into our key stakeholders and their needs.
22. Please can you advise if the budget is inclusive or exclusive of VAT? Exclusive
23. Within Discovery will suppliers be required to review the current CMS and explore options for replatforming? No
24. "The site needs to be more streamlined, responsive, accessible and intuitive so our citizens can find what they need and more effectively serve their needs."

Q) Is there historic data available to understand in more depth why the current UX is poor (e.g. analytics)?
Yes, we have a range of analytics tools available that the supplier will be able to access during the discovery phase.
25. Will all digital services (300+) be delivered through this new website or will other applications be part of delivering these services? There are currently a number of third party systems in place for delivering a range of the services offered by the council. These will be upgraded, consolidated and replaced over time in accordance with our wider Digital Transformation programme. So while these sites and applications are out of scope of the project, it is hoped that we can use some outputs from this phase to improve the user experience as they move between the new website and the third party service.
26. Is payment cards processing part of requirements? While the payment processing is out of scope, there are a number of services that require an online payment to be made. As such, it is important to consider this journey and how it can be made easier for the user, while meeting our obligations as a council to provide secure processing.
27. How are payments currently processed? We take payments through a secure gateway and do not store any payment card details.
28. What is the current CMS? Umbraco
29. Are there any technology constraints or preferences for the new CMS solution? At this stage a decision has not been made on the CMS that the site will eventually be built on however, we are currently considering options including Drupal and Sitecore.
30. Are there existing or future integrations that new solution will need to integrate with? Azure and Dynamics, are the main solutions that the new CMS will need to integrate with.
31. Will multi-language functionality be required? Brent is a diverse community, with 62% of residents speaking English. The site currently uses a third party translation service to translate content. We would expect this project to identify whether the need for translation services or multi-language functionality is identified as a priority requirement for users on the new site.
32. What is the expected outcome of this engagement? Should the deliverables be in a state to point a cross functional scrum team in the right direction (ie a product backlog and design concepts) or are full product specifications and design assets expected so that no further design is required? At the end of this project, it is expected that we will receive a set of high fidelity wireframes, a full set of design assets which will provide a specific guide to the development team that will be brought on board for the next phase.
33. What is the driver for the timeline? The new website forms the foundation of our new 3-year digital strategy and is essential to the rolling out of other digital services and solutions that will support our residents.
34. Are there any challenges that you have already identified that could derail successful delivery of the project? The council website touches all all aspects of council life. As a busy council delivering many customer services, one of the biggest challenges will be ensuring that timescales are well communicated and understood among internal stakeholders to secure the necessary sign off.
35. Have you identified success factors and measures of success for the website? Metrics of success for the overall project have been identified.
36. Does Platform Agnostic mean just varying browsers or do they mean all platforms including tablets/mobile devices? Platform agnostic refers to the CMS. At this stage a decision has not been made on the CMS that the site will eventually be built on.
The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Monday 13 January 2020.