This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 2 December 2020
Greater London Authority

GLA Digital Estate Rebuild (Drupal 7 to Drupal 8/9)

15 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 2 large

17 Completed applications

14 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 18 November 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 25 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 2 December 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
This work is primarily aimed at upgrading our infrastructure and ensuring the architecture will support the long-term development plans for the Digital Estate. This involves architecting open source solutions, designing and developing secure, robust, scalable and resilient solutions to support the long-term development plans and growth of the digital estate.
Latest start date
Friday 12 February 2021
Expected contract length
Initial 12months + Further 12 month extension option
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Greater London Authority
Budget range
The GLA has a budget range of c.£1million for this work.

About the work

Why the work is being done
GLA current digital estate is built using Open Source Technology which will not be supported post November 2022. Alongside that, the digital landscape for users and our administration has changed significantly since our last major site update six years ago. So this needs to be either upgraded/replaced before then.
Problem to be solved
The challenge is the current digital estate is built using an Open Source Technology which will not be supported after November 2022.

We want to develop a shared vision, strategy and roadmap to create and deliver a new digital presence for the GLA on Drupal 8/9, which will engage citizens, allow us to reach our diverse audiences more effectively and clearly reflect our leadership role in London.

We also want to reduce the complexity of our digital estate by reviewing and ensuring the most appropriate technology is applied for building new digital products to meet user needs. The Focus is to be on our D7 sites, with a potential to use alternative technology such as Java when appropriate. In particular, we need to look at breaking our monolithic architecture, streamlining our microsites and third party integrations and reducing technical debt.

We expect the outputs of the rebuild to include:

Implementation of Discovery recommendations for new designs, information architecture and estate structure

Technical rebuild and recommendations for an improved infrastructure, including software platforms and hosting environments, considering a range of reusable components and automated processes to ensure it is efficient, affordable and scalable to grow, develop and improve our digital services.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users/personas of our digital estate:
- Residents (adults/kids)
- Media
- Professional Audience (Informational Seekers)
- Partners and Local Councils
- Businesses
- GLA Staff

Further details can be provided upon request.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have been working with an agency on the discovery phase for this project and we are now looking to work with a digital agency to help us implement the recommendations, come up with solutions to address the pain points of users and stakeholder raised during the discovery and rebuild our digital estate from Drupal 7 into Drupal 8/9.
Existing team
Existing team:

Technical Lead
Cloud System Engineer
DevOps
Delivery Managers
Lead Delivery Manager
Testers
Content Managers
BA
Performance Analyst
Product Owners
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
We expect the work to be carried out from both the GLA’s location at City Hall as well as from the supplier location remotely. Regular meetings, workshops, show and tells should be held at City Hall or if not applicable, remotely and the chosen agency would need to fully integrate with our team, share their knowledge and insight; work in an open and transparent way and demonstrate good agile product delivery practice.
Working arrangements
-Carry out the work using Agile methodology (GLA works in accordance with the GDS Service Manual whenever possible).
-Ensuring all development work delivered is accessible. It must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 AA standard.
-Working within the customers standard terms &conditions for software delivery, including compliance with standards and regulation applicable to security and data protection (with the Supplier being the data processor).
-Be able to act as part of the GLA team, in an adaptable &agile way aiming to meet the outcomes we are working towards, testing, gaining learnings and adding value to the process.
Security clearance
Compliance with HMG Baseline Personnel
Security Standard BPSS

Further details can be provided upon request.

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
  • Delivering large-scale content sites built with Drupal 8/9, using cloud technologies to deliver scalable, secure, reliable and performance optimisation for web applications.
  • Using 3rd party modules to accelerate development and reduce costs.
  • Using reusable/robust estate wide features and shared code to build a maintainable system.
  • Developing custom modules to deliver bespoke functionality.
  • Delivering a content editing experience that is both flexible and friendly to content editors.
  • Using digital pattern libraries to deliver a consistent & responsive website front-end.
  • Minimizing technical debt and ensuring that a site remains maintainable as it grows in scale and feature-set.
  • Implementing content personalization.
  • Integrating Drupal with other services and technologies.
  • Experience in Java and when it’s a more suitable tech to use than Drupal.
  • Optimising user experience in response to data and user testing.
  • Optimising code for search.
  • Using Infrastructure as code technologies to quickly provision idempotent environments
  • Experience using Test Driven Development model for delivery.
  • Experience of migrating content/data from a multi-platform web estate.
  • Experience in meeting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 to AA standard.
  • Experience in working within the customers standard terms and conditions for software delivery, including compliance with regulation applicable to security and data protection (with the Supplier being the data processor).
  • Experience in automating workflow tasks such as testing and deployment with CI/CD processes.
  • Experience in using agile methodologies for delivering time sensitive and complex digital services to deadline and budget.
  • Creating and maintaining technical documentation.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience working with local or national government
  • Demonstrable experience of risk assessment and future-proofing of legacy systems
  • Experience in supporting complex, large organisations through programmes of digital change
  • Experience of migrating content/data from a multi-platform web estate

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • Value for money
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Team structure
Cultural fit criteria
  • work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • take responsibility for their work
  • share knowledge and experience with GLA team members
  • challenge the status quo
  • be comfortable standing up for their discipline
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you please supply a list, some info & URLs of all sites across your digital estate that are in the scope of this project?
Please see link below:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/16WnU7TEmgHUll8wpohYW_y2VJ9mNCd1Q/view?usp=sharing
2. Has there been a discovery project to understand and define your user personas and needs?
Yes, please check out link below for more details: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1n4BZ_GlkheLSk3rD9-uN5q7Z_ZIDhlvsLMbG9lfZ2Yc/edit?usp=sharing
3. Can you share a list of any Technical Standards employed at the GLA?
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q-RGI7JHmW3el2eFA9Dk-AgB4GfjU02p/view?usp=sharing
4. Hi there – the standard format within Digital Marketplace is to present one piece of referenced work per question/answer to show capability. Will you accept more than one reference per question to demonstrate wide experience or do you prefer one reference and deeper exploration?
As per the DOS5 guidelines - more than 1 example would not attain a higher scoring as more than 1 example has not been requested in the RFP. Our preference would be to provide one reference/example per question with deeper exploration to demonstrate evidence for meeting the criteria in the question. To demonstrate wider experience, alternative examples could be used in answers to other questions.
5. "Experience in Java and when it’s a more suitable tech to use than Drupal."
It’s not common to use Drupal and Java alongside each other, please could you clarify whether this should have been JavaScript instead of Java?
We do not (and do not expect) to use Java and Drupal within the same platform, however our current estate does have a number of standalone Java systems. Experience has shown us that sometimes Drupal is not very preferment with large data systems (e.g. NRMM: https://github.com/GreaterLondonAuthority/NonRoadMobileMachinery) and for these (historically) Java has been our language of choice. So we are looking for partners with experience of more than just Drupal (with java being our preferred choice).
6. In terms of hosting, are you wanting to use your AWS environment? Or are you open to other other hosting solutions?
We currently have a cloud first policy for all new digital services and have well established platforms build on AWS and Azure which are maintained by in house engineers. We do not feel the need to move current sites to another hosting solutions, but will consider other hosts on a case by case basis.
7. Across the estate, are there any key milestones which need consideration versus the migration program, i.e. planned events?
We intend to have the core templates/content types of London.gov.uk and the Intranet live for November 2021. This would require the bulk of the automated migration effort to happen ahead of that milestone.
8. How many vendors have worked across these sites / approaches?
During the discovery only one vendor who was awarded the discovery phase contract.
9. How many users are there, of each type? The Tech Doc mentions SAML; is there SSO, and does this cover the full estate?
We do not currently have an SSO solution. This will be required as part of the rebuild. Across the entire estate we have over 120000+ users. Most are members of either talk London or team London. Only staff or partners will have elevated permissions to add content (this should be around 1000 users)
10. You refer to the GLA culture in your bid request, how does the GLA culture manifest in your daily working? how would you describe the GLA's culture and core values?
Our teams are flexible, collaborative, agile, user focused and open to challenge. As an organisation we are transparent, strive for value for money and have a core aim of improving Londoner's lives.
11. You mention the existing team (Technical Lead, Cloud System Engineer, DevOps, Delivery Managers, Lead Delivery Manager, Testers, Content Managers, BA, Performance Analyst, Product Owners): how will this team engage with the selected vendor? Will they be deployed to the migration program, i.e. could the Testers be resourced and augmented with our Test resource as required?
Yes, the recourses will work with the successful bidder on the rebuild programme. Additional and complimentary resources of the same or similar roles may be required from the supplier as well.
12. Are you able to confirm if your sites are GDPR and AA compliant?
Yes, they are.
13. Are you able to confirm how many sites have used Drupal paragraph?
8 of our Drupal services currently use paragraph
14. Are we able to have visibility of the volume of custom code? We'd need to define how much is custom and how much is standard Drupal code in order to manage migration effectively
we can provide access to the source code to the successful partner, however you can already view select projects that are open source: https://github.com/GreaterLondonAuthority/
15. Can you please detail what you mean by a Re-build? We've seen your work on Personas, but this is top level and we'd need to understand more about your ambitions to improve the user experience and content delivery?
Rebuild means moving those sites that are using Drupal 7 technology to D8/9. The UX/UI, content and design will be reworked at the same time. Giving new technology, look and feel and content to our core site.
16. The DERP Product Audit details Re-skins and Rebuilds but as when migrating through the vastly different component modules of Drupal 7-9 then you'll find they don't map and what you've called a Re-skin is in fact a re-build, can you detail what you mean by a Re-skin please?
Re-skin mostly applies where the technology is not going out of support, ie not Drupal 7. In this case the technology is more robust and the initial action would be to ensure the look and feel ties in with the estate, hence likely just updating the design.
17. We've noticed the term 'Done' on the DERP sheet, what does this mean?
The spreadsheet has been updated now with more details, please check it again.
18. We're making many assumptions on code base, which sites are operating on which code bases? Are you able to confirm which ones have been upgraded and which ones have not?
Please check column C “Platform” in the "Audit Matrix For In-scope sites for DERP project" spreadsheet highlighted in our answer to question 2 above to clarify which are separate instances and which ones are the same instance / installation of Drupal.
Every line in the DERP audit matrix is a separate code base, except for those that have a platform (column C) of 'Lon.gov Drupal 7' - these share the same code base but may be folded into the core or separated as part of the rebuild.
19. Do you have a common platform that you roll out all your sites with?
we use a combination of github, jenkins, ansible, packer and terraform to build/deploy all our digital products
20. With regards to working from home and onsite can I ask that the vendor team is actually expected to be 100% remote until government advice re: Covid-19 dictates otherwise; or is this classed as key working and would we be expected to be onsite ?
Yes, the assumptions are correct here. The appointed vendor will be expected to be 100% remote until government advice re: Covid-19 dictates otherwise.
21. Can you share the Discovery recommendations around design, information architecture and estate structure?
The discovery phase is due to be completed by Dec 7, so we are in the final stage of reviewing the deliverables and finalising the recommendations. The final and signed off recommendations will be shared with the appointed vendor.
22. Can you share the user/stakeholder pain points reviewed as part of the Discovery phase?
The discovery phase is due to be completed by Dec 7, so we are in the final stage of reviewing the deliverables and finalising the recommendations. The final and signed off recommendations will be shared with the appointed vendor.
23. Aside from the Discovery recommendations, is there a backlog of requirements you can share?
Further details will be provided to the shortlisted bidders who will be provided the full RFP
24. Optimising code for search” – is this in relation to search engine optimization?
Yes it is.
25. The Discovery work seems to be limited to a Persona Development deck – can we confirm if this is indeed the full output of the Discovery? Leading on from that, there is an ask under Essential Skills & Experience for "Implementing content personalisation". Is this something that exists today, or is it a wish-list item for future improvement?
The discovery is defined in https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/12385 with the outputs being: - Stakeholder / user research - Market / competitive research - Website strategy - Creative / design directions / prototypes - Proposed direction for the site / estate architecture - Roadmap for delivery - Recommendations for a digital delivery team - A clear costed recommendation for the proposed delivery models - Review and recommendations of the GLA technical architecture and infrastructure Personalisation is on the wish-list.
26. How many Drupal instances of sites are there? We can see sites hosting on multiple subdomains however we don't know which are separate instances and which ones are the same instance / installation of Drupal?
We have just updated "Audit Matrix For In-scope sites for DERP project" spreadsheet highlighted in our answer to question 2 above to reflect the number of Drupal sites included in the scope. Please check column C “Platform” to clarify which are separate instances and which ones are the same instance /installation of Drupal. Every line in the DERP audit matrix is a separate code base, except for those that have a platform (column C) of 'Lon.gov Drupal 7' - these share the same code base but may be folded into the core or separated as part of the rebuild.
27. “Using 3rd party modules to accelerate development and reduce costs.” – is this in relation to Drupal contributed modules on Drupal.org, or in relation to 3rd party Drupal modules that sit outside the Drupal.org ecosystem, or more broadly in software engineering terms?
Broadly speaking we want to use contributed modules where appropriate in combination of other tech/modules such as solr/search api, mysql, leaftlet, Google tag manager, etc... (i.e. keep custom code to a min where possible) we also intend to have gla specific features that can be reused across our estate (both Drupal and non-Drupal) e.g. a pattern library/theme.