Awarded to Digi2al Limited

Start date: Monday 5 October 2020
Value: £300,000
Company size: SME
London Borough of Hackney

Supporting and quality assuring our digital front end whilst teaching front end design skills

6 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 2 large

8 Completed applications

7 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 22 June 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 29 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 6 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To support and continually improve Hackney's new services by:
Providing support and continuous improvement of the front end of new applications
Providing additional front end development capacity for specific in house projects where needed
Providing teaching and support for our emerging front end developers
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 September 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Organisation the work is for
London Borough of Hackney
Budget range
Up to £300k

About the work

Why the work is being done
Hackney Council ICT has built a number of new, innovative and successful user focussed services in-house using React, GDS design patterns and our growing front end component library. To support and continually improve these new services we need help to upskill our existing teams to:
Reduce the complexity of design, build and deployment.
Provide support and continuous improvement of the front end of new applications
Provide additional front end development capacity for specific in house projects
Provide teaching and support for our emerging front end developers
We plan to gradually reduce the amount of external support we need as the skills and confidence of the internal team grows.
Problem to be solved
Hackney ICT has adopted agile and a continuous improvement approach for its digital services. We’re not resourced or sufficiently skilled to manage the need for front end development skills in house. As a short-term work-around we currently bring in these skills via each agency that works with us to develop an application.
Over the next 18 months our focus is on internal capability building (learning by doing) as well as provision of day to day support and maintenance. We are looking to improve our current set up in:
Developing our component library
Quality assuring the design and build of our front ends for our digital services
Reusing components and patterns wherever possible
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a member of Hackney ICT I need to learn how to approach continuous improvement so that I can effectively monitor support, maintain and improve the services I am responsible for.
As a Hackney trainee front end developer I need to learn how to build services so that they are accessible and can be easily maintained and continuously developed by myself and others
As a Hackney trainee front end developer I need to be able to identify, build and deploy reusable front end components so that I can help build digital services more efficiently
As a product owner I need to understand how we will maintain support and continuously improve my service so that it is supported in a live environment to give my users the best possible experience
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We currently have a range of agencies who work with us on specific projects and who have contributed to our growing pattern library. More information is here:
Existing team
We have existing members of the HackIT team who we are looking to upskill through this work.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Initially at Hackney Council offices, 1 Hillman Street, E8 1DY (due to Covid restrictions we are currently working remotely but we plan to have some office based working over the next few months)
Working arrangements
We would prefer co-location onsite for 3 days a week (as soon as Covid-19 allows), most weeks in order to engage with the current ICT team, building broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells), and capability building activity through activities such as pair programming/design review. However we also know that remote working is both possible and will also be necessary over the next few months.
Security clearance

Additional information

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.

Essential skills and experience
  • Provide a skilled team predominantly of front-end developers, with experience of working in agile, multidisciplinary teams
  • Knowledge of React, GDS patterns and design system, and Ruby on Rails
  • Demonstrate a track-record of user-centred design and Agile approaches to delivery
  • Have experience designing services for a wide range of digital skills and confidence
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Hackney’s pattern library
  • Understand how to meet the needs of a diverse range of users, and a demonstrable commitment to accessibility
  • Demonstrate a track record of successful capability building with internal teams
  • Have delivered a service that’s been assessed against a government service standard
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs from the service
  • Clarity of the approach
  • Experience from a similar project
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Hackney Council is a diverse organisation, reflecting the diversity of our borough. Describe how you would successfully work as a team with Hackney and other suppliers in a diverse environment.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. How many Front End Developers do you foresee being supplied by the chosen supplier?
It’s hard to predict exactly - but so far we’ve needed up to three at a time on various projects, so a reasonable estimate would be Max 3-5 at any one time, erring towards fewer as the contract goes on and we’ve uPskilled more of our team, What’s important to us is the ability to role model good practice on GDS design patterns and accessibility, and a willingness and desire to share knowledge with others.
2. What are the joining instruction for the Q&A session?
Contact if you\d like to join and we’ll send you the meeting code
3. Q: Is there anything further you’d like to share about the user needs? (asked at the Q&A session)
No, we think the ones we’ve provided are sufficient but we continue to update our broader understanding on our user research library.
4. Regarding coronavirus - what practical plans do you have for reopening your offices. Realistically will you require people to be co located?
We are currently working on plans to reopen our offices, for a reduced number of staff. Realistically we will be mainly working remotely for the remainder of the year, but our preference is to be co-located when we can, so we’d like this to be a viable option in the future, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
5. You mentioned front end development and design - what’s the balance of requirements between these two? (asked at the Q&A)
We expect to use the GDS design patterns and Hackney pattern library wherever possible. So we will need a development team that’s confident in re-using existing patterns to better meet user needs. This will require skills and knowledge about usability and accessibility as well as an understanding of interaction design so that the patterns are deployed in a way to better meet user needs.