Awarded to MASS Consultants Ltd

Start date: Thursday 17 December 2020
Value: £26,250
Company size: SME
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Software requirements capture and consultancy for a new capability to link CBR software components

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

15 Completed applications

10 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Thursday 1 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 8 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 15 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The CBR division with Dstl has developed, and gained access to a number of CBR models and tools. We wish to link multiple, diverse models and tools together. A comprehensive requirements capture is required to allow a suitable
software solution to be defined.
Latest start date
Monday 25 January 2021
Expected contract length
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Budget range
£15K to £35K

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) division with Dstl have, over the last 20 years, developed, or gained access to a set of CBR models and tools. It is often necessary to link multiple, diverse models and tools together to perform analysis. This is not always practical or desirable to do manually. A comprehensive requirements capture is required to allow a suitable software solution to be defined.
Problem to be solved
The mathematical modellers need to be able to link together software models and tools, but are not sure exactly what is required.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The "users" of the output of this project will be the software developers building the system. The end customers are the mathematical modellers at Dstl. The end customers need a system to be able to link together software models and tools. The users need a document that clearly and unambiguously describes the requirements of this system in order to design and implement it.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
An initial set of high-level statements of requirements have been captured internally. These will need to be explored further by the supplier, to distinguish framework requirements from the modelling requirements.
Existing team
The supplier will have access to the in-house statistical, mathematical, software and wider expertise within the CBR division at Dstl. Suppliers may have to work with other suppliers in the future if the work is progressed to a design and development phase.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Development anywhere in UK. Final delivery / acceptance meeting either at Porton Down, or via video conferencing.
Working arrangements
There should be a kick-off meeting to agree the approach. A teleconference each weeks should be scheduled to discuss progress and issues (although different timescales can be decided if both sides are in agreement for a task). The delivery should be provided as a documented set of requirements with priority and any measurement metrics or proposed test cases.
Security clearance
It is desirable that staff be SC cleared. DV clearance is not required.

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
  • Experience of eliciting clear and unambiguous prioritised software requirements
  • Experience of working with non-software technical staff to elicit requirements
  • Experience of clearly documenting software requirements
  • Experience of producing measurable software requirements
  • Experience of working in complex scientific domains
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of identifying test cases for software requirements
  • Knowledge of Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) systems

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Suitability of the provided outline work-plan, identifying relevant tasks, staffing, and technical and management approaches.
  • Evidence that the proposed staff have the requisite expertise and work experience to undertake their identified tasks.
  • How well risks and dependencies have been identified and whether offered approaches to manage them are appropriate.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a fail-fast and no-blame culture that encourages people to learn from their mistakes.
  • Used to providing "government-source" software, with sufficient documentation such that others can enhance/maintain it.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will DSTL sponsor the desirable SC?
Yes, this will be sponsored.
2. Will the company selected for this opportunity be precluded from bidding for any future solution to the requirements captured?
The winning supplier will be included in the future competition.
3. W.r.t. providing experience of producing measurable software requirements; is the intent to understand the suppliers experience of: (A) defining measures of performance for software requirements, e.g. the <feature> must respond within <timeframe>; (B) defining requirements that have clear and testable acceptance criteria; or (C) both A and B? We ask because we are unsure whether to take measurable literally to mean measures of performance, or figuratively to mean testable
The answer is C, we would like both.

Thank you.
4. Whats the estimated length of time you expect the project to take/does the project have a deadline from commencement?
We would like to have had this work completed by end of January 2021.