Awarded to Create/Change

Start date: Monday 8 June 2020
Value: £231,000
Company size: SME
Home Office

C18575 Playbook Senior Product Manager

21 Incomplete applications

19 SME, 2 large

43 Completed applications

42 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Thursday 14 May 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 18 May 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 21 May 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Product manager
Summary of the work
Development of a playbook that will define how new product teams will work and act as a reference for already established teams to follow, supporting them to become product-centric.
Our aim for the alpha is to have content designed, tested and iterated during a 4-week sprint.
Latest start date
Monday 8 June 2020
Expected contract length
4 weeks initially, with the option to extend to a maximum of 24 months if the project continues
Organisation the work is for
Home Office
Maximum day rate

About the work

Early market engagement
Who the specialist will work with
Substantive Home Office Delivery Manager
Senior Content Designer
Senior User Researcher
Developer role handled on an ad hoc basis utilising substantive Home Office resource
What the specialist will work on
Developing playbook content to ascertain whether the playbook will be a viable tool which will add value to its users, be value for money and support Optimus Workstream 11 (Ways of Working) and the DDaT strategy.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote, home working due to Covid-19.
Afterwards (if applicable): Remote (anywhere in the UK), Sheffield, Manchester, London or Croydon. Possible frequent travel required to Westminster and Manchester.
Working arrangements
Full time.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Travel and subsistence is not payable.
The specialist can start with SC clearance pending. However, up until clearance is obtained, the specialist will need to use their own device and will not have access to any Home Office device, access Home Office Microsoft Office 365, Poise, Home Office email and other such things and will not be able to enter Home Office buildings. The specialist must have access to their own device and the facility to connect this device to the internet. They will use their own device, email, telephone and be given access to external tools such as Trello.

Skills and experience

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

Essential skills and experience
  • Have recent experience investigating patterns and trends to identify and resolve problems
  • Have experience working in the delivery of technology-based projects (as a product manager)
  • Have budgeting and financial control skills as well as commercial awareness
  • Communicating using a variety of methods (written reports, verbal feedback, presentations etc.), applying the appropriate method to each scenario/audience, which at this level, will usually be large groups
  • Leading in promoting the needs of the team, and of the product; understanding how these may vary between the different phases of a product lifecycle.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Recent and strong interpersonal skills with the ability to understand, empathise, negotiate and influence individuals and groups
  • Identifying and engaging with users and stakeholders to collate evidence and understand and define research which fits user needs
  • Promoting the use of quantitative and qualitative data about users to turn user focus into outcomes
  • Previous experience as a product manager for user-facing products or product

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (5%)
  • Take responsibility for their work (5%)
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Hi, is there a current incumbent in this role and if so will they be applying too?
This is a new role and there is no incumbent.
2. Do you intend to have this role remotely in light of COVID or are they site based full time?
The specialist can work remotely.
3. Can you confirm that an approved business case and budget has been signed off for the full 24 month period or will this be done after the 4 week period is successful?
We have budget approved for the initial 4 weeks. Additional budget will be requested on a SOW by SOW basis, up to a maximum term of 24 months.
4. Good evening – Can you confirm if this role is inside or outside of IR35? Kind regards.
Inline with the requirements of this framework, this requirement is considered outside of IR35.
5. Is this role in or outside of IR35? Approximately, by when will the decision be made on the candidates?
See Q 4 above. We expect to make a decision as soon as interviews for short-listed specialists can be arranged and completed.
6. How will you score the price element of supplier bids?
Price will be evaluated using the methodology described in the DOS guidance found here (see section 6, "Scoring price for digital specialists") :
7. Are you looking for any specific technical knowledge for this role, depending on the stack? or is this role for a generic playbook that evolves with direct experience on the product build?
By playbook we mean standards, tools and approaches for how to build products and services for the department. There is no specific technology stack.
8. Can you say more about why "Have budgeting and financial control skills as well as commercial awareness" is an essential criteria? Are you looking for the specialist to manage these aspects of the project or are they relevant for the playbook content?
These are expectations with regards to the project and are not relevant for the content of the playbook.
9. Do you have a technical platform in mind for the playbook? – Intranet, Content Management System, Website or similar?
At present, no. If the project continues past the initial 4-week sprint this will be identified.
10. Do you have a (contract) specialist working in a similar role at present?
11. Hi, would you consider sponsoring a person for SC clearance if the person doesn't have the clearance in hand?
Yes - please see the comments in the 'Additional Terms and Conditions' section above.
12. You list a number of roles under "Who the specialist will work with" – can you advise whether these individuals are all in-post, whether they will be available full or part-time and what the mix of civil servants and contractors is in those roles?
Other members of the team will work on a full-time basis and be a mix of contractor and substantive.
13. Please could you advise what the interview process will be?
A Skype interview covering suitability against essential criteria and cultural fit.
14. Your aim is to have playbook content designed, tested and iterated during a 4-week sprint.
Is the specialist at an advantage if they have prior knowledge of the Home Office, Optimus Workstream 11 (Ways of Working), and/or DDaT strategy?
If a specialist has no prior knowledge of the above, how much time do you expect it will take for the specialist to become familiar enough to start authoring the playbook? Has this time been factored into the 4-week timescale?
All prior experience will be considered against the essential criteria. It is expected the successful candidate has the experience, skills and adaptability to contribute once brought up to speed.
15. “Substantive Home Office Delivery Manager
Senior Content Designer
Senior User Researcher
Developer role handled on an ad hoc basis utilising substantive Home Office resource"
Are these specialists Home Office staff or are they specialist brought in from other organisations?
They are a mixture of civil servants and contractors.
16. Will agile methodology be used?
17. Would travel and subsistence be paid for visits from base location to Westminster/Manchester?
If not, how often will these visits be and how long will they likely take? E.g. if specialist works from Manchester base and has to travel to Westminster frequently e.g. 2 days per week, will travel be expensed for this?
One of the Home Office locations mentioned will be the base location (as agreed with the specialist) and travel expenses will be payable from that base location to other Home Office buildings (when pre-approved and in line with the Home Office travel and expenses policy). If a Greater London office is selected as the base location then travel expenses will not be payable within the M25. Travel will not be required during the initial 4 week SOW.