Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Tuesday 4 May 2021
Value: £167,580
Company size: SME
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Planning Reform System Mapping Discovery - CPD4121195

29 Incomplete applications

25 SME, 4 large

34 Completed applications

31 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 27 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 3 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 10 February 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
A short piece of discovery work to map the full existing planning system which will form the basis of the Reform Programme. This will help the Planning Reform Programme to have a better understanding of our processes, agree best practise, support continuous improvement, and highlight areas for improvement.
Latest start date
Monday 22 February 2021
Expected contract length
24 weeks
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The planning system in England is being reformed so that it is fit to meet the opportunities and challenges of this century and to ensure we leave to future generations an inheritance at least as good as the one we have received. A short piece of discovery work is needed to produce a series of system maps on the as-is and early work that we are delivering reform on. This will help the Planning Reform Programme to have a base-line understanding of our processes, support continuous improvement, and measure the outcomes and benefit we deliver through the programme.

The aim is to ensure system maps, user personas look professional and are easy to follow and are consistent with modern service design conventions, in order to bring about more benefit.

The system mapping discovery work will produce system data and findings, all in one place, which will be invaluable when it comes to the policy teams focusing more time and effort on the delivery of planning reform across the whole system

We expect that the piece of discovery work will take 24 weeks in total.
Problem to be solved
The Reform Programme is looking to have a much better understanding of how the current system works, in a very simple and visual way. It will also increase understanding of our processes, agree best practise, support continuous improvement, and highlight areas for improvement within our policy and guidance. This will be extremely valuable in highlighting current benchmarks for the current system, enabling us to compare and analyse improvements that have been delivered due to the reform programme.

There is currently not the capacity or resource within MHCLG to produce the system mapping discovery work required; therefore, an external supplier / consultancy will need to be used.

Using an external resource will be extremely beneficial for this system mapping discovery work, as this is a one-off piece of work. It is also a very specific piece of work; therefore, we will be able to bring in an external resource that has the right skillset needed in order to produce high quality work.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Civil Servant I need to understand and visualise the end-to-end planning system of England and the various user personas.

This is so that the transformation of the system is:
1. base-lined and;
2. the transformation benefit is measured against the whole system.
Early market engagement
None undertaken.
Any work that’s already been done
The Digital team within MHCLG have previously completed some work within this space, producing a detailed process map for Planning Applications. This is exactly the kind of work we are looking for, however, we need this to cover all of the topics within the Planning Reform Programme and not just a small section.
Existing team
The central Planning Reform team and Planning Reform Programme Management Office (PMO) will have oversight on the project to ensure the system mapping discovery work is done to the correct timescale, right level of detail, and is ultimately beneficial for the Planning Reform Programme as a whole.

The PMO team will liaise between the supplier and the policy sprint teams. The supplier will not be working with any other supplier.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The office is located at 2 Marsham Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 4DF. However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions the Department is currently working virtually through Microsoft Teams. The Supplier will need to access Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft Office Suite.
Working arrangements
The work will be delivered 5 days a week (Monday to Friday), the programme expects to deliver a kick-off meeting and engage on a start and end of the week progress ‘stand-up’ meetings through the duration of the delivery and regular show-and-tell sessions for wider planning reform team update/involvement.
Security clearance
Baseline Security Clearance (BPSS) is needed for the use and handing of all OFFICIAL data/information.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
1. All outputs will be owned by MHCLG and published openly where appropriate using a suitable open license that supports reuse.

2. All materials/outputs derived from the contract shall be the property of MHCLG.

3. GDPR requirements will be discussed and agreed once the successful supplier has been notified (as part of discussions to agree the wording of the call-off contract).

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
  • Have experience of running Agile ceremonies
  • Have experience of delivering agile discovery phases
  • Have experience of service design
  • Have experience of system/service mapping
  • Have experience in conducting user research
  • Have experience of developing user personas
  • Have experience of agile delivery management
  • Have experience of programme management delivery
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Use knowledge of the UK planning system
  • Demonstrate working with Local Government

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the proposed approach/solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets the policy or goal
  • Proposed timeframes for the work
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Proposed team structure
  • Overall value for money
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 other team members
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

40%

Cultural fit

15%

Price

45%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
The composition of the evaluation panel is still being decided. However, it will comprise of members of the project team – overseen by an independent evaluator and the procurement lead.
2. Could you give an indication of budget please?
A decision has been taken not to publish a budget for this requirement. Suppliers will be expected to provide their best proposal for the delivery of the work specified.
3. Can you please advise the timelines of this procurement (e.g. shortlisted companies notified, anticipated contract award)? Also, can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
The timescales for the evaluation process are only indicative and will be subject to change - dependent upon the number of responses received and the availability/capacity of the evaluation team. However, we currently envisage notifying shortlisted suppliers by 18 February – with progress to contract award being completed by 9 March. We have decided not to include a presentation on this occasion.
4. Please can you share what the maximum budget available for this Discovery phase is?
Please see response provided to previous question (no.2).
5. Can we know the budget of this consultancy?
Please see response provided to previous question (no.2).
6. How many departments and systems within the department does this discovery workshop intend to cover?
The system mapping is restricted to the statutory oblations under Planning Act 2008 as a set of services for citizens overseen by MHCLG and Local Authority Planning Areas for England.
7. What is the minimum number of users the supplier is expected to interview during the mapping process?
The supplier is to identify and define the major user types identified across the system and research conducted to produce system user personas.
8. How strict is the 24 weeks deadline for the discovery phase?
The 24 weeks delivery system deadline is a reasonable estimate based on previous system mapping of this type and level of complexity.
9. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent.
There is no incumbent supplier – this is a new piece of work.
10. Who’s on the panel?
Please see response provided to previous question (no.1).
11. You indicated that ‘the 24 weeks delivery system deadline is a reasonable estimate based on previous system mapping of this type and level of complexity’ and, in another response state that ‘the supplier is to identify and define the major user types...’.

How can you establish a realistic estimate without the major user types being identified? I am assuming that you had some formula and would value a little insight into how your ‘estimate’ and timeline conclusion was derived. I assume it was based on number of ‘systems’, which would be useful to know.
In previous work, 9 user types have been identified. However, this is not to say others cannot / will not be added and this is part of the reasoning for the discovery work. Please see below, what have been identified from previous work:

· Property developers
· Development managers officers
· Householders
· Local Authority Planners
· LA Senior Planners
· Local communities
· MHCLG
· Large multi-national developer
· SME Developer

Please do find the report below, which will be a useful read:

https://futurecities.catapult.org.uk/future-planning-research/
12. Have you estimated the number of processes and defined the detail level that is required to be mapped? If, yes, please can you share this detail.
No, this is an output of the planned discovery.
13. You have not asked for any pricing or approach. Do you envisage a second stage to evaluate pricing and approach between the 10th February and the proposed start date of the 22nd February?
Suppliers who are shortlisted to be taken forward to stage 2 will be asked to submit a completed Price Schedule for the work. Pricing will not be required for the sifting stage.
14. Regarding the working arrangements – Can you confirm your ‘5 days a week’ requirement is a continuity and engagement requirement at delivering team level, rather than at an individual level? (Enabling us to optimise our resourcing for maximum value at any point in time)
Or is there an expectation for all team members to work 5-day weeks across the 24-week contract?
We expect work to be carried out 5 days a week. However, how you (as a supplier) resource that is at your own discretion, providing that you have a clear plan to deliver in accordance with the project timetable.
15. Can you please confirm the 24-week scope based on two potentially conflicting statements? e.g.

a) in the work already done section, you require activity “to cover all the topics within the Planning Reform Programme and not just a small section”.
b) one question response states “the system mapping is restricted to the statutory obligations under Planning Act 2008”

We understand that act relates to the commission and process to manage large national infrastructure projects, not the entire planning and strategic planning process, covered by TCPA 1990. Are system maps and user personas required for part or all of the system?
System maps are required for the whole planning system, although there is a separate workstream looking at the delivery of Large National Infrastructure projects. The focus of this work is through local planning authority's consent.
16. Please can you provide a link to the “detailed process map for Planning Applications” completed by the Digital team within MHCLG?
Please find the link below, which shows the ‘Planning Process Today’ systems map, under the ‘Stakeholder research and testing’ section:

https://www.ripa.digital/users-and-stakeholders

This document may also be useful to look into:

https://futurecities.catapult.org.uk/future-planning-research/
17. Please confirm which of the following need to be captured on the systems map – business processes, performance measurement, data/document flows, user pain points, regulatory underpinnings?
All of the these will be required.
18. To help in understanding the scale of the work to be done by using the existing mapping work completed by the digital team within MHCLG, can you indicate the effort spent and coverage achieved as a percentage against the full Planning system.
Previous work ran for 20 weeks, with the mapping exercise starting in week 8. We expect that multiple system maps will be developed concurrently with emerging findings and work update to be presented to the Programme Board at week 12.
19. Please confirm if you have current personas or any research to base personas on at this point? Alternatively, will the discovery research form the basis of new personas?
Please see question 11.
20. Please confirm whether research will be included in the scope of work?
Yes. Please find below, the proposed ideal team shape and size that we created when producing a business case:

1 x Service Designer
1 x Senior User Researcher
1x User Researcher
1 x Delivery Manager
1 x Admin Support
21. Please confirm what you hope to learn from this Discovery project and how you anticipate this helping your business goals?
From this project, we hope to:

· Produce a macro ‘as-is’ system map.

· Produce a macro ‘to-be’ system map.

· Produce detailed service maps.

· Identify users of the system/create a set of user profiles.

· Identify the skills/capabilities currently available, particularly LPAs.

· Support policy teams to see how their proposals will affect the overall system and the change needed as a result.

· Identify meaningful data, which can be used to spot if anything is missing/opportunities for improvement.

· Enable sharing of evidence/data with policy teams, in order to aid their findings, suggestions, and policy options.
22. Please confirm the users who the supplier will be doing research with? Is it the civil servants who need to understand the personas and planning system, or the users on which the personas and planning system is based?
There will be a mix:
• Small and large developer organisations
• Local authority planning staff
• Civil Servants
23. Would experience with local government in a non-UK country be sufficient to fulfil the requirement for the last question?

Our company has extensive experience and a history of success delivering similar contracts with local government in Denmark, where our ultimate parent company is located.
Local Government in other countries is likely to operate differently to the UK. We would therefore be looking for experience within Local Government in the UK.
24. Please can you clarify your internal definition of ‘service design’?
Please find these two links below to helps to clear up this question:

https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/user-research/how-user-research-improves-service-design

https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/design/introduction-designing-government-services
25. Resource specialists and understanding stage 2 if successful – Can you confirm if the successful bidders will be required to align their digital specialists resources to the new DDAT Framework (Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework) to deliver the 24 week contract.
Yes, specifically the User-centred Design Job Family of the DDaT Framework.
26. Agile Programme Management – Can you confirm which agile methodology the programme will be adopting for the assignment.
We would be wanting to follow the guidance in the GDS Service Manual - Agile delivery

https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/agile-delivery
27. Can you please expand on what you mean ‘Use knowledge of the UK planning system’ as this question is quite ambiguous. Are you asking for knowledge of the UK planning system and how we’ve applied it?
Yes, that’s correct.
28. Please confirm which of the following need to be captured on the systems map – business processes, performance measurement, data/document flows, user pain points, regulatory underpinnings?
Please see response given for question 22.
29. Please can you provide a link to the “detailed process map for Planning Applications” completed by the Digital team within MHCLG?
Please see response given for question 16.
30. In the Overview section, the latest start date is Monday, 22 Feb. In a previous answer to a clarification question, you stated that you are envisaging to notify shortlisted suppliers by 18 February – “with progress to contract award being completed by 9 March”. Does this mean that the latest start date will not be 22 Feb? Please could you clarify?
The timings for the evaluation process are only indicative and dependent upon the number of responses received. We require suppliers to be available from 22 February in the event that we are able to award the contract in a shorter time.
31. Please could you give us some indication of the number of users/personas/stakeholders groups involved and also the typical make up of any groups?
Please see response given for question 19.
32. Does this work include direct engagement with the public, and if so, what form would this take?
No, but please refer to question 22.
33. Can you confirm that analysis of the supporting technology systems is not in the scope of this discovery and this exercise is focussed on business processes, mapping supporting systems and data only?
Yes, we confirm that the analysis of the supporting technology systems is not in the scope of this discovery.