NHS Business Services Authority

Digital Capability

27 Incomplete applications

20 SME, 7 large

37 Completed applications

23 SME, 14 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 24 July 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 31 July 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 7 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
The NHSBSA needs access to short notice capability and capacity to deliver digital services on behalf of our sponsors (e.g. DHSC) and stakeholders.

NHSBSA is looking to place individuals/teams within 5-10 working days to be able to deliver these digital services and implement changes to services in short timelines.
Latest start date
Wednesday 30 September 2020
Expected contract length
2 years (with a further 6 month extension option)
Location
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
NHS Business Services Authority
Budget range
There is no minimum committed spend over the term of this contract.

There is no maximum spend, it is anticipated that approximate spend will be £6 million over the duration of the contract.

To clarify the NHSBSA makes no commitment to any particular level of spend (actual spend agreed in SOWs) nor does it grant exclusivity to the selected supplier in respect of the services described in this opportunity.

We will publish a price template for completion by shortlisted suppliers.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The NHSBSA provide a varied range of services and are a delivery partner of choice for DHSC on Digital Services, this can lead to urgent requirements for delivery or change across those services.

We require access to the market for support where capability is required within 5-10 working days.

We expect this contract to fulfil two types of need:

● Capability to supplement teams on urgent deliverables
● Agile Multidisciplinary Teams

Core capabilities for the proposed contract would be:

● user experience and design
● performance analysis and data
● service delivery
● Solution Design
● software development
● user research

This contract will allow time-critical work to commence while alternative arrangements are made.
Problem to be solved
The NHSBSA needs access to short notice capability and capacity to deliver digital services on behalf of our sponsors and stakeholders. We would be looking to place individuals and teams within 5-10 working days. These teams would very much be placed to deliver short outcomes, either to conclusion or whilst a longer term arrangement was put in place.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a sponsor of the NHSBSA, I need the NHSBSA to be able to deliver digital services and implement changes to services in short timelines, this may be as a result of ministerial commitment or legislative change. To do this i need the NHSBSA to have access to the required capabilities and capacity to surge resources at short notice.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Deliverables will be at a variety of stages, suppliers will be briefed for each specific deliverable and a Statement of Work will be produced which details the stage/status and if any previous work has been done.
Existing team
The supplier will work with NHSBSA teams and may also work with existing NHSBSA suppliers.

This will include roles from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management.

Knowledge transfer back into NHSBSA will be required to enable NHSBSA to improve internal capability to build and support the services.

Where required collaboration with other suppliers may be necessary. This contract will not prevent us from using other commercial arrangements, including using capability contracts, to pull together a team from a range of suppliers.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
It is expected that the majority of work will take place from NHSBSA sites and in the main Newcastle Upon Tyne. Regular engagement with the NHSBSA Digital teams will be necessary. However the NHSBSA are open and welcoming of remote based delivery and offshore delivery where appropriate.

The primary base will be detailed in each Statement of Work (SoW) and expenses will not form part of the cost.

There will be a requirement to co-locate particularly for the discovery and alpha stages of any projects, however in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, initial working arrangements will be remote.
Working arrangements
The Supplier will work as a part of the team they are assigned to, and they will be viewed as part of the overall NHSBSA Digital Delivery Directorate with a one team ethos. The NHSBSA follow Agile and GDS principles. It is expected that the successful supplier's people will work in this way.

Suppliers will deploy capability at short notice working with teams to deliver discovery or development outcomes. The majority of work will be based at NHSBSA sites - the sites and working arrangements for a particular project will be specified in a Statement of Work.
Security clearance
Specific security requirements will be outlined in each Statement of Work, in the main no specific security clearance will be necessary however some roles and projects may require BPSS and a small number may require Security Clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with the NHSBSA Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy.

All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects. For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website:https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

For the avoidance of doubt, all intellectual property rights in any data or deliverable shall be retained by, or transferred to, the NHSBSA, as appropriate.

Presentation - Dates TBC.

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
  • Illustrate your process for understanding client-requirements and deploying multi-disciplinary team(s) into established or blended teams for a digital project within 10 working days of engagement.(3%)
  • Ability to deploy min 4 teams to different services & locations in the UK. How many teams could you field concurrently and how will you manage onboarding and add value?(3%)
  • Show how you have successfully embedded multi-disciplinary teams (full or partial), with the right cultural fit, into established project teams to deliver outcomes.(3%)
  • Show how you have formed and deployed a complete project team, with the right cultural fit, to deliver outcomes within a constrained timeframe.(3%)
  • Show how you have worked with organisations to provide additional value from an original engagement, where you have influenced strategic direction or supported change in approach for the better.(3%)
  • NHSBSA will oversee a variety of SoW's-running across numerous teams/projects. How will you manage DDaT resources to meet demands of concurrent SoW's from this contract alongside your existing contractual obligations?(3%)
  • Tell us about an engagement with an organisation which had not gone well, challenges faced and how were these overcome. Detail the lessons learned and what would you do differently.(3%)
  • How will you help the NHSBSA ensure affordability and value for money whilst delivering outcomes on time sensitive DDaT projects?(3%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • How would you ensure that, within 10-days of an SOW , people will have up-to-date, suitable knowledge to 'hit the ground running'. What onboarding process will you implement?(2%)
  • Tell us how one of your teams has developed a piece of work that has successfully passed GDS Service assessment or equivalent. How did you ensure delivery against organisational standards?(2%)
  • How do you manage the wellbeing of deployed resources and ensure they are aligned with the culture and practices of the delivery team, the department, and the wider NHS?(2%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Your approach to rapidly deploying a team (3%)
  • Your approach to deploying multiple teams at once (3%)
  • Your ability to deploy teams to different areas of the country (3%)
  • Your approach to recruiting and onboarding teams (3%)
  • Your approach to building multi-disciplinary teams (3%)
  • Your approach to ensuring that teams or people placed work collaboratively with other suppliers and the organisation (3%)
  • Your understanding of the Digital Service Standard and Government Design Principles (3%)
  • Your approach to deploying blended resource across established DDaT teams (3%)
  • Your ability to evidence where value has been added to projects you have worked on (3%)
  • Your approach to managing conflict resolution (resources, stakeholders) (2%)
  • Your approach to managing Departmental expectations regards key skills/experience (2%)
  • Your approach to dealing with multiple stakeholders (skill and seniority) and managing expectations (2%)
  • Your approach to dealing with cross-department projects with collective outputs and blended delivery teams (2%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Please answer the next two questions in reference to working to NHSBSA's values: Collaborative-work together; Adventurous-try new things; Reliable-do what we say we will; Energetic-give everything do our best.
  • Demonstrate how you work as a team, manage collaboration, share know-how and best practice, motivate&maintain high levels of engagement within delivery teams and how this links to our values(5%)
  • Demonstrate an empowered ‘can do’ team culture, encouraging constructive feedback and learning. (5%)
  • Demonstrate how your organisation works cohesively in meeting clients needs and how this would be reflect the NHSBSA values.(5%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

65%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. What kinds of roles are you expecting suppliers to provide? Which roles are higher priority to begin with and why?
The roles are (in no particular order):
● Delivery Manager
● Business Analyst
● Front End Development
● Back End Development
● Automation Tester
● User Experience Designer
● User Researcher
● Technical (Solution) Architecture
● Dev Ops Engineer
2. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. deadlines for the written proposal/if there will be an interview and when?
The deadline for the written proposal to be submitted by shortlisted suppliers is currently expected to be 28/08/2020. There will be a presentation required from shortlisted suppliers at a date to yet be confirmed. The presentation will consist of shortlisted suppliers answering the Cultural Fit criteria.
3. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold at NHS Business Services Authority?
The evaluation panel will be made up of representatives from the NHSBSA Leadership Team, Digital Directorate Cloud Architecture and Delivery roles.
4. For the below essentation question, does the Authority require an example/experience or our capability and process?
"Ability to deploy min 4 teams to different services & locations in the UK. How many teams could you field concurrently and how will you manage onboarding and add value?(3%)"
There is a need to demonstrate the ability to deploy a minimum of 4 teams to different services and locations in the UK. The NHSBSA has multiple services and locations that may need this type of capability and capacity.
5. Can you confirm the rate cards published for completion by shortlisted suppliers, will these rates be capped and are you able to share at this stage?
The rate cards will not be capped.
6. 1. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
2. Who's on the panel?
3. Can you confirm the technology stack?
1. We have a current transformation partner called Mastek and they have been since May 2018. The requirements under this opportunity are different to those we have sought previously therefore there is not an incumbent.
2. The evaluation panel will be made up of representatives from the NHSBSA Leadership Team, Digital Directorate Cloud Architecture and Delivery roles.
3. https://radar.thoughtworks.com/?sheetId=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fspreadsheets%2Fd%2F1ZAUC5OfW3_Tu_1MZ-AXRZa8KF6u0jtG6a791WV0Q2GA%2Fedit%3Fusp%3Dsharing
7. Hi what technology are you looking to deploy please? Microsoft. Net, PowerApps, SharePoint, M365? Java?
https://radar.thoughtworks.com/?sheetId=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fspreadsheets%2Fd%2F1ZAUC5OfW3_Tu_1MZ-AXRZa8KF6u0jtG6a791WV0Q2GA%2Fedit%3Fusp%3Dsharing
8. Hi – is the role in or outside IR35 scope? Many thanks
This contract is about capability to deliver outcomes. We do not anticipate this being in scope of IR35.
9. Is there an incumbent involved in this bid?
We have a current transformation partner called Mastek and they have been since May 2018. The requirements under this opportunity are different to those we have sought previously therefore there is not an incumbent. Any supplier will have the same right to apply as all other suppliers that are on the DOS 4 Framework.
10. The advised standard format of the 'preferred evidence structure' in answering the questions (what the situation was, the work the team did and what the results were) is not aligned or possible with how the questions in this particular bid are worded. Please can you clarify what format or structure should be used in answering the questions?
In accordance with the guidance 'How to shortlist Digital Outcomes and Specialist suppliers', suppliers are required to provide one example for each ‘skills and experience’ requirement. This should be applied to the questions posed by the NHSBSA.
11. The requirement shows 8 Essential Questions and 3 Nice to Have Questions.
It then goes on to Cultural Fit Criteria, requesting answers to 2 more questions, when 3 questions are listed.
Are the 3 Cultural Fit questions to be answered at this first stage?
The Cultural Fit questions will be answered in the form of a presentation by the shortlisted suppliers.
12. What kinds of software development are you expecting to be picked up as part of this work?
We have a number of programmes, we have provided the tech stack and we expect outcomes delivered within that tech stack.
13. What contract method will be used to support engagement of teams? E.g Statement of Works, outcome based, fixed price activities etc.
The NHSBSA and awarded supplier will agree a Statement of Works under capped time and materials for every new engagement under this contract.
14. Where you refer to “NHSBSA will oversee a variety of SoW's-running across numerous teams/projects”, are these SoW’s with other third party providers or between NHSBSA and sponsors?
These SOWs refer to the ones the NHSBSA will have with the successful supplier.
15. How will you score the commercial element of the tender?
The commercial element will be evaluated through the use of a rate card and will be issued to shortlisted suppliers upon completion of the shortlisting process.
16. Will there be an indicative number of staff and work required so we can provide project specific pricing?
There is not a specific number of staff or work required as the NHSBSA needs access to short notice capability and capacity to deliver digital services on behalf of our sponsors (e.g. DHSC) and stakeholders. There is an anticipated spend of approximately £6m over the duration of the contract.
17. Do you know what the mix between individuals and supplier teams are for this work?
There is not a specific number of staff or work required as the NHSBSA needs access to short notice capability and capacity to deliver digital services on behalf of our sponsors (e.g. DHSC) and stakeholders. There is an anticipated spend of approximately £6m over the duration of the contract.
18. Can successful suppliers sub-contract required resources to other third party suppliers?
Yes.
19. "Tell us about an engagement with an organisation which had not gone well, challenges faced and how were these overcome. Detail the lessons learned and what would you do differently." – This is broad in scope. What sorts of failures and challenges do you want to know about in particular?
This is broad to allow potential bidders the opportunity to demonstrate how their organisation deals with challenges faced, their approach, how they overcome them and that they do learn from these situations.
20. "Ability to deploy min 4 teams" – why are you highlighting a minimum of 4 teams?
We need to ensure that an awarded supplier has not only the capability, but also the capacity to meet the needs of the NHSBSA and this contract.
21. Regarding BSA'a question 5 – Show you have worked with organisations to provide additional value from an original engagement, where you have influenced strategic direction or supported change in approach for the better.

Please can you be clear what you are looking to see and mark in this question. Do you want a supplier to show where they took over from a failing project of another supplier, where a supplier changed a project approach, where a supplier guided a client to change the stakeholder approach, etc. We have many examples, but please show what you want to see?
It is not for us to be specific and limit suppliers in their response to this question. Equally it is fair to say that the examples cited in your question would be acceptable (this is not an exclusive list of examples we would accept however).
22. Under essential skills and experience, you mentioned the ability to deploy a minimum of four teams to difference services and locations in the UK. This appears to be at variance with the statement that you would be open to remote-based delivery and offshore delivery. Could you clarify this for us. Thanks.
It is expected that the contract will allow for a mixed economy of delivery. There will be requirements the NHSBSA have that better suit a UK team that offshore delivery for example. We need to ensure that a supplier can deploy a minimum of four teams to different service and locations in the UK based on previous requirements we have had.
23. Hello,
A supplier has asked a question about ‘Digital Capability’.
They asked:
You mention that the core capabilities would be:
● Capability to supplement teams on urgent deliverables
● Agile Multidisciplinary Teams
Core capabilities for the proposed contract would be:
● user experience and design
● performance analysis and data
● service delivery
● Solution Design
● software development
● user research
Could you clarify which technologies these would need to cover?
https://radar.thoughtworks.com/?sheetId=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fspreadsheets%2Fd%2F1ZAUC5OfW3_Tu_1MZ-AXRZa8KF6u0jtG6a791WV0Q2GA%2Fedit%3Fusp%3Dsharing
24. Please could the Authority provide further clarification on question 2; "Ability to deploy min 4 teams to different services & locations in the UK. How many teams could you field concurrently and how will you manage onboarding and add value?"
We understand Suppliers are encouraged to provide evidence based on teams supplied concurrently.We seek further guidance regarding how Suppliers answer this part of the question: "How many teams could you field concurrently and how will you manage onboarding and add value?" would the Authority like this answered with a number? If so, is there a desired team number in mind?
Provide a number of how many teams can be deployed concurrently. We are keen to understand the capacity of suppliers when bidding for this opportunity and we do not want to limit the number of teams that could be fielded.
25. Re your question 2 – Ability to deploy min 4 teams to different services & locations in the UK. How many teams could you field concurrently and how will you manage onboarding and add value?

This is a 3 part question, that must be answered in 100 words?

Do you want to see evidence of deploying at least 4 teams
What evidence do you want to show that we can deploy over 40 teams or just a number
Yes the question must be answered in 100 words.

Evidence of deploying 4 teams concurrently is required.

Provide a number of how many teams can be deployed concurrently.
26. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated: will you be evaluating by the total price for the first SOW, rate card or both?
The commercial element will be evaluated through the use of a rate card and will be issued to shortlisted suppliers upon completion of the shortlisting process.
27. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
Yes the technical competency scores will be taken through the second stage of the evaluation for the shortlisted suppliers.
28. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research?
Yes the NHSBSA can recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research, this may also be part of the remit of User Researchers utilised under this contract.
29. Has a first work package been defined, bounded and prioritised?
No.
30. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would you expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
We would expect to see suppliers providing evidence that they add value to the requirement, improving on the requirement more than just meeting it.
31. Do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question?
There is no preference as long as the example is relevant to the question.
32. Please can you share a procurement timeline outlining steps (which would typically include evidence response evaluation from 7th August, shortlisting of suppliers for next stage, preparation of supplier proposals, evaluation of supplier proposals, announcement of successful supplier, contract completion, contract signatures, commence work on 30th September)?
We are working towards the following timeline (we reserve the right to change the timings set out below):
Bidder question Clarification Deadline (noon) - 31/07/2020
Deadline for Receipt of long list responses (noon) - 07/08/2020
Invite shortlist into Bravo and issue ITT - 14/08/2020
Bidder Tender Clarification  Deadline - 21/08/2020
Deadline for Receipt of longlist responses - 28/08/2020
Presentation (dates tbc) - by 04/09/2020
Contract award - post 10/09/2020
Contract signature - by 16/09/2020
33. Do you require one example per question to be cited, or is it acceptable to include multiple examples for a single question? Some of the questions, for example “Ability to deploy min 4 teams to different services & locations in the UK. How many teams could you field concurrently and how will you manage onboarding and add value.”, would likely need more than one example to demonstrate breadth.
As the requirement cites the need for the teams to be fielded concurrently the detailing of 4 teams can be acceptable and included as one example in your response.
34. Question “Illustrate your process for understanding client-requirements and deploying multi-disciplinary team(s) into established or blended teams for a digital project within 10 working days of engagement” appears to be asking for a process overview rather than an example project. How would you like suppliers to respond to this, would you like a process overview, an example project or a combination of both?
Please follow the DOS Framework guidance to answer this question.

The following URL will take you to the DOS Framework guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-sell-your-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-services#writing-evidence
35. Question “How would you ensure that, within 10-days of an SOW, people will have up-to-date, suitable knowledge to 'hit the ground running'. What onboarding process will you implement?” appears to be asking for a process overview rather than an example project. How would you like suppliers to respond to this, would you like a process overview, an example project or a combination of both?
Please follow the DOS Framework guidance to answer this question.

The following URL will take you to the DOS Framework guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-sell-your-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-services#writing-evidence
36. Is NHSBSA currently using other suppliers to deliver this capability at present?
We have a current transformation partner called Mastek and they have been since May 2018. The requirements under this opportunity are different to those we have sought previously therefore there is not an incumbent.
37. My question relates to to the following Stage One question:
"How will you help the NHSBSA ensure affordability and value for money whilst delivering outcomes on time sensitive DDaT projects?(3%)".
Are you looking for a "classic" 3 part example of where we have delivered affordability/VfM to a real life client – or do you want our methodology for delivering affordability and VfM to NHSBSA?
We are looking for suppliers to provide an example that can demonstrate their ability to help the NHSBSA ensure affordability and value for money whilst delivering outcomes on time sensitive DDaT projects.
38. How are we to interpret the %ages given to both Stage 1 and Stage 2 questions?
The technical competency scores from stage 1 will be taken through to the second stage of the evaluation for the shortlisted suppliers. The written proposal, price and cultural fit will be evaluated in stage 2.
39. Do you want single project examples in response to the essentials and nice-to-haves or are there some responses where you want to see more than one example?
Please follow the DOS Framework guidance to answer this question.

The following URL will take you to the DOS Framework guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-sell-your-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-services#writing-evidence
40. Is there an existing technology strategy in place or is there also greenfield opportunities to implement new technologies?
https://radar.thoughtworks.com/?sheetId=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fspreadsheets%2Fd%2F1ZAUC5OfW3_Tu_1MZ-AXRZa8KF6u0jtG6a791WV0Q2GA%2Fedit%3Fusp%3Dsharing
42. You mention deploying teams to different locations in the UK, however you also state that you would consider remote and offshore delivery. Would a mix of onshore and nearshore (For example, Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria) be considered?

If so, what would be the anticipated split of onshore and offshore resources?
A mix of onshore and offshore would be considered.

Unfortunately we are unable to anticipate the split of onshore and offshore resources as they would need to be agreed within each SOW.
43. 65% of the evaluation weighting is technology competency – please elaborate, is there a common technology stack that will be required? Are there any specific skills and expertise needed?
The technology can be found using the following link:
https://radar.thoughtworks.com/?sheetId=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fspreadsheets%2Fd%2F1ZAUC5OfW3_Tu_1MZ-AXRZa8KF6u0jtG6a791WV0Q2GA%2Fedit%3Fusp%3Dsharing

The technology competency refers to the essential and nice-to-have criteria and the written proposal (It is important to note only those suppliers that are shortlisted will be required to complete a written proposal).
44. In Question 1: What do you understand by 10 working days of engament? Is this period the discovery period prior to effective delivery process? Is this a standard time for NHS?
This is the period within which we expect capability to be stood-up ready to meet the NHSBSA requirement / outcome (agreed by SOW).
45. In Question 6: "NHSBSA will oversee a variety of SoW's-running across numerous teams/projects. How will you manage DDaT resources to meet demands of concurrent SoW's from this contract alongside your existing contractual obligations" – Do you mean the fact that a resource can have an allocation on 2 SoWs in the same time (for example, 50% allocation to each SOW)?
This question is seeking to understand how suppliers will manage concurrent SOWs being ran under this contract with the NHSBSA whilst also meeting your existing contractual obligations with other customers.
46. Can you please provide a view as to the expected minimum duration of engagement for any individual resources that might be required during the contract?
For example is likely to be measured in weeks or months and what stand down notice period would you be prepared to consider for these individual resource deployments?
It is difficult for us offer a view as to the minimum expected duration of engagement as there will be potentially many different SOWs agreed and as a result they will likely be different in their requirements, desired outcomes and duration.

The NHSBSA needs access to short notice capability and capacity to deliver digital services on behalf of our sponsors and stakeholders. We would be looking to place individuals and teams within 5-10 working days. These teams would very much be placed to deliver short outcomes, either to conclusion or whilst a longer term arrangement was put in place.
The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Friday 31 July 2020.