Business Solutions Department, Department for International Development

DFID Aid Management Service Team

Incomplete applications

8
Incomplete applications
7 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

4
Completed applications
1 SME, 3 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 7 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 14 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 21 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Develop capability of existing AMP/MI platforms and knowledge/skills across team for maintenance/continual improvement covering;

Developing core business features (1 developer)

Developing/implementing technical application architecture improving modularity and separation of services. (1 architect).

Implementing tools/practices supporting continuous integration/deployment.

Building assets in Microsoft Azure supporting data pipelining and management for portfolio reporting.
Latest start date Monday 3 February 2020
Expected contract length Start immediately after award. Initial 3 months, potential extension up to 3 months pending budget
Location Scotland
Organisation the work is for Business Solutions Department, Department for International Development
Budget range

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done DFID’s in-house development team are developing a range of applications to support international development activities, particularly programme management and management information. DFID seeks specialist input to support the team in delivering to an ambitious agenda using modern methods and cloud tools.
Problem to be solved DFID wishes to improve the capability of DFID’s existing aid management and management information platforms through:

Developing and implementing an evolution of the technical application architecture for the Aid Management Platform (AMP) to improve modularity and separation of services. The current architecture is a monolithic ASP.NET MVC implementation, but we have defined a new architecture based upon SOLID and Clean Architecture principles – the new architecture now requires strong technical leadership.

Developing core business features in the existing Aid Management Platform solution, in line with the objectives defined in the AMP Business Case.

Implementing a set of practices and tools to embed quality, support continuous integration and continuous deployment using Microsoft Azure DevOps.

Building data pipelines within Microsoft Azure to support data warehousing, relational and dimensional querying, supporting end user data needs through APIs, datasets or Power BI.

Design and development of MI/data reporting layer that meets high end self service reporting user needs and ensures integrity of underlying datasets.
Who the users are and what they need to do End users are DFID staff who manage planning, delivery and monitoring of UK development programmes.
AMP architecture team need to implement a modular architecture in .NET Core, based on SOLID and Clean Architecture principles, with a clear migration path to Azure hosting. Appropriate elements of Microservice architecture must be considered now to ensure easy integration at a later stage. Additionally, development resource is required to compensate for a reduction in team capacity. responsible for delivering core business as usual features using latest Microsoft web technology stack and C#.
Continuous deployment team needs to migrate code repositories from SubVersion to GitHub, then define Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment pipelines running on Azure Dev Ops. They must integrate unit, integration and UI level tests with the CI/CD pipeline and control deployments to test/live environments. This includes improving the current live environment set up to accommodate staging and live “switch-over” deployment or something similarly robust.
Data engineering team need to build data pipelines on Azure to replace existing SQL Server ETL routines. This includes using appropriate services within the Azure Data Factory (ADF) on a DFID live tenant environment to accommodate data lake storage into staging tables on Microsoft Azure SQL Database as appropriate
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done AMP architecture future state has been defined, a full-stack slice is developed. The model has been communicated.

The AMP team’s capacity will reduce starting Jan 2020 during a period of planned rapid delivery of core business features.

Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2017 (precursor to Azure DevOps Server) has been implemented and is used for Boards functionality. Two smaller codebases have moved to Git repositories on to TFS. Testing has been carried out on build and pipeline creation, but is not currently operational.

An Azure development instance has been created for data pipelines and current ETL processes are very well understood.
Existing team AMP and DevOps:
The team consists of seven developers, 2 testers, 3 business analysts, a product owner and a programme delivery specialist. The test manager has taken many release and TFS duties.

Data Engineering:
The team has 5 data engineers, 3 data scientists and a business analyst.

Both teams operate an agile methodology based on Scrum, and wish to release value early to end users.
Current phase Live

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Department for International Development, Abercrombie House, Eaglesham Road, East Kilbride G75 8EA
Working arrangements The team should be co-located with the DFID team at Abercrombie House for at least 3 days per week, with scope to work offsite for 2 days per week. DFID operate flexible working including the extensive use of Microsoft Teams for collaboration.
Security clearance All staff should have Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) clearance, involving identity checks, criminal record checks and references.

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
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills.
  • Agile methodologies and delivery experience.
  • Modelling and visualising data and solution concepts
  • Designing and implementing .NET framework and .NET Core systems that conform to SOLID and Clean Architecture principles
  • A clear understanding of how such an implementation should be designed to be deployable and scalable on Azure and / or AWS is essential. (with regards point 4.)
  • Proficiency at delivering web solutions using Microsoft web technologies, employing appropriate design patterns and delivering within an Agile team.
  • Implementation of DevOps practices to support continuous integration and deployment using Microsoft Azure WebOps.
  • Experience of building assets in Microsoft Azure specifically for accessing data storage from an existing corporate tenant database and data lake.
  • Experience of processing of data using Azure Data Factory tools into Microsoft Azure SQL Database.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Knowledge of Microservices architectures, their key components, the pros and cons of these, and how they could be applied where appropriate to the AMP system.
  • Azure Data Factory , DataBricks or Jupyter Notebooks for Spark XML file parsing.

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 10
Proposal criteria
  • Client case studies of similar work
  • Technical capability – essential and desirable skills and experience
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets our user needs, policy or goal
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
  • Availability for the period required
  • Up to 5 suppliers invited to Telephone interview
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation
  • Evidence of managing delivery in an agile environment
  • Evidence of knowledge and skills transfer, equipping DFID’s internal team
  • Take responsibility for their work
Payment approach Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. What is the budget for this assignment per day? We do not have a daily fee rate, the opportunity is for service. We are expecting suppliers to provide an suitable approach within their response with options to meet our service requirement including optimal team set up, which will determine budget. DFID have an indicative funding ring fenced for the service, however will not be releasing budget information as this is could limit the incentive to quote competitively or influence innovation in approach.
2. Does this assignment sit inside of IR35? Our requirement is for a supplier to provide a service to DFID, expertise to provide advice/support to deliver an outcome. As we are expecting a supplier to provide the service, IR35 is not applicable, It would be the successful supplier’s responsibility to deliver the work, not the responsible of an individual(s). Any person(s) involved in delivering the service would be on the supplier (company) payroll, the company are fully responsible for ensuring all NI and associated taxes are paid.
3. What is the job title for this assignment? It appears the successful candidate will need to have many skills to deliver this project successfully, therefore, a clear indication of their title will assist us in finding the right person for the job? We are seeking services, this opportunity does not relate to a Job Position with a specific role or title. We are not requesting the services of a contractor or interim staff.
4. Please can you confirm that the buyer is just looking for 1 x Dev and 1 x TA for this piece of work? DFID are seeking a supplier who can deliver defined outcomes. The supplier is to define the team required to deliver this within their response. DFID have published specialists who we think should be included in this team.

The outcomes we are looking for a supplier to deliver are:

1. Improved and implemented new architecture for AMP – requiring .NET skills
2. Working data pipeline tools on Azure – requiring Azure data skills
3. Implemented continuous integration/continuous deployment environment for AMP using Azure DevOps – requiring DevOps skills.
5. What's the budget? DFID will not be releasing budget information on this occasion, as this is would limit the incentive to quote competitively
6. It appears you need 1xdev, 1xarchitect and 1xdevops? DFID are seeking a supplier who can deliver defined outcomes. The supplier is to define the team required to deliver this within their response. DFID have published specialists who we think should be included in this team.

The outcomes we are looking for a supplier to deliver are:

1. Improved and implemented new architecture for AMP – requiring .NET skills
2. Working data pipeline tools on Azure – requiring Azure data skills
3. Implemented continuous integration/continuous deployment environment for AMP using Azure DevOps – requiring DevOps skills.