Awarded to Unboxed Consulting Ltd

Start date: Monday 7 December 2020
Value: £1,500,000
Company size: SME
Hackney Council

Help us manage housing repairs data in the cloud

8 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 2 large

23 Completed applications

19 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 25 September 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 2 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 9 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
To add capacity and knowledge to an in-house team developing modern and flexible cloud based applications; migrating data and decommissioning our legacy housing application. This brief will relate specifically to our property and repairs processes.
Latest start date
Monday 9 November 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Hackney Council
Budget range
This procurement is to the total value of £1.5m over the period 2020/21 - 2022/23 in order to provide maximum possible flexibility. However, we expect to spend £750,000 this financial year, decreasing to £300,000 in 2021/22 and £200,000 in 2022/23. We cannot guarantee investing this amount.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Council is developing a suite of user-centred cloud-native applications to drive more resident self-service and to simplify the business processes and technology used to support its tenants and leaseholders in the Council’s housing stock.We believe that no off-the-shelf housing management solution meets the full range of user needs; is sufficiently open to support reliable integration with other applications or is sufficiently flexible to adapt to the changing expectations of users.

The programme is now focused on decommissioning the legacy system (Universal Housing) in the next 18 months. Our objectives are to: migrate from UH quickly, safely and with the least possible disruption to essential business activities; Deliver a sustainable set of technology services with the skills in-house to support them; use open source software frameworks and hyper-scale cloud platforms to avoid supplier dependency; Conduct the programme in a manner consistent with Hackney’s values; Complete the programme with a clear roadmap for further improvements and the budget and skills to achieve this.

This procurement is designed initially to provide a team to accelerate our work and then transitioning the role of the consultancy to provide technical expertise on a call-off basis to support the team with specific challenges.
Problem to be solved
We have been working in partnership with a number of agencies through discrete phases of work. To date these phases have developed applications to support our main functions: Repairs Hub, Manage Arrears, Manage a Tenancy and a single view. These applications have reduced our use of Universal Housing through simple and elegant web based user interfaces powered by APIs, and are delivered significant benefits to residents and users.

Through this work we have also developed some reusable components including a form builder, work tray, document upload and evidence store, a component library and single sign-on. In addition a set of platform APIs provide access to core data from across different business applications. These components facilitate more agile service delivery models across the Council. As well as delivering direct benefits for residents and users, the work has given us clarity about our preferred technical approach and standards.

Continuing to manage the work in discrete phases could add cost and delay to the programme. But working with a single agency risks lock-in.

This procurement is designed to continue a multi-vendor approach (based on use of open standards and open source code), whilst providing consistency in the data domain and flexibility.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are the tenants and leaseholders of Hackney; the staff that support them and the contractors that add capacity to our repairs and maintenance functions.

They are supported by the technology and data professionals who will maintain and continue to improve the applications.

Individual user needs would be identified at the start of each phase of work, in collaboration with the agency.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
The primary reference points are:
The high-level plan for decommissioning UH (https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1l589dBIvEfW5sftuqdiYlOWE3z7mPhUdEkPgR3yF2cg/edit#slide=id.g1eecd5ea291ddc9b_0)
The data mapping of UH
The API playbook https://github.com/LBHackney-IT/API-Playbook-v2-beta
The HACT data standard https://www.hact.org.uk/DataStandard
The GitHub repository (https://github.com/LBHackney-IT)
Existing team
We are currently recruiting to the key roles that will support this work. In the first phase, we expect to provide .NET developers, user research, service design, applications management, data engineer and delivery manager input to the project.
Current phase
Live

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Hackney Council offices in Mare Street, E8
Working arrangements
This work can be done remotely but will require fortnightly reporting (eg via show & tells) to involve key stakeholders and regular engagement with practitioners through video conferences. We will provide access to key systems to project team members where required.
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
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the user needs associated with the management of social housing
  • Demonstrate a track-record of user-centred design and Agile approaches to delivery
  • Experience of developing applications to meet a government Service Standard
  • Experience of working collaboratively with an in-house team, building skills and capabilities to support a smooth handover
  • Have experience of working with .NET core, Docker, AWS and Terraform
  • Have experience of developing ‘in the open’ - using tools such as Github
  • Have experience of designing and developing minimum viable solutions
  • Have experience of designing to meet the public sector accessibility guidelines
  • Demonstrate how they have worked collaboratively in a multi-vendor environment
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Hackney’s approach to technology and data
  • Demonstrate how they provide opportunities for apprentices

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of the brief
  • 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
  • Blended day rates of the team
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 team members and the wider service
  • 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
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

35%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Demonstrate an understanding of Hackney’s approach to technology and data"? What sort of evidence are you looking for?
A good answer will use the information that’s in the public domain, show how the agency has taken a similar approach on other projects and explain the business impact of this for the client.
2. Hi, I would like to confirm, you are looking to add capacity to your multi supplier teams and you would like applicants to field a whole team? Or just certain individuals to add to the team?
We're expecting suppliers initially to make available a whole team (principally comprising developers, user research, service design) but this to reduce over time as we onboard more in-house staff into the teams.

In the first instance, we expect to provide platform APIs (from the developer team) and delivery managers to support the project.
3. A set of questions have been submitted that relate to all three tenders.
The responses to these questions can be found at: https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/buyers/frameworks/digital-outcomes-and-specialists-4/requirements/digital-outcomes/13194