Awarded to Methods Business and Digital Technology Limited

Start date: Monday 12 July 2021
Value: £94,650
Company size: SME
London Borough of Waltham Forest

Re-imagining Waltham Forest’s digital channel strategy and website delivery plan post-Covid

24 Incomplete applications

21 SME, 3 large

22 Completed applications

21 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 10 May 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 17 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 24 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
We are seeking assistance to help us define a new digital channel strategy and help with the design of our new website, as part of our Customer Experience Strategy. The strategy needs to articulate what we should do and why.
Latest start date
Monday 14 June 2021
Expected contract length
2 months
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Budget range
£80k to £100k

About the work

Why the work is being done
We are seeking expert assistance to help us define a new digital channel strategy and help with the design of our new website. This project sits as part of our Customer Experience Strategy, linked to our Public Service Strategy- the council’s response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic.

Trends towards digital engagements have accelerated during the pandemic, presenting an opportunity to create excellent digital experiences so that we don’t leave anyone behind and st is intuitive and accessible to all.

We want a digital channel strategy, website design and plan to articulate what we should do and why. Involving primary and secondary research, service engagement and data analysis combined with expertise and knowledge of the latest thinking to meet our strategic ambitions effectively.

The new digital channel strategy should answer the following:

What are our digital channels?

In that context, what is our corporate website for? What should it do (and not do)?

What should our digital channel strategy be if we were to start again?

Working back to where we are now what should we build to deliver our strategy?

This needs to be routed in engagement with our stakeholders, internal and external.

Full details:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Cw0hO8Tfb_gpkpinb8s2n-U3wMMwYsOs/view?usp=sharing
Problem to be solved
Our current website (www.walthamforest.gov.uk) was built in 2016 on Drupal 7 as part of a programme to digitise front-end transactions. Many frontend processes have been digitised, including big digital processes for neighbourhoods, waste, registrars, Covid response and smaller ones for libraries, adult social care and planning using Granicus GovService forms and CRM for enquiries which come in. We use a separate portal for Planning, Parking and Council Tax.

We received 1.7 million visitors to the website per year, roughly 180 thousand per month of which 50% are new users. Our residents carried out 280 thousand transactions via the website, approx. 20-25,000 per month.

The website is managed by our in-house team and we are currently well under way with migrating the website to Drupal 8 using the LocalGov Drupal distribution (completion expected Autumn 2021).

Our website project is progressing well. However, even in the short time since we started, the world has changed and so have our ambitions. This is driven by the re-thinking of our public services in our Public Service Strategy and the cultural and organisational changes that have come about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users are residents, business and visitors. Our guiding principle user story is simply:

“As a resident, business or visitor I need to have an online experience that is simple and intuitive for me so that I can succeed in transacting first time.”

63% of our online users are using a mobile device. We must start mobile first and build progressively from there.

A small number of our users have no personal access to our digital channels, and only access them through an assisted digital transaction.

We have internal users too; editors, the digital team, service owners and senior stakeholders.
Early market engagement
We have conducted user research and are taking the opportunity, as part of the rebuild, to improve the following issues:
• Usability – by improving Content, UX and UI in line with customer feedback and best practice. We are also improving usability for content editors.
• Accessibility – by meeting the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 and aligning with our Digital Inclusion Strategy.
• Search - we have installed the latest version of Solr which include best bets, taxonomy for federated search, dictionary look up and better indexing. This helps to support our SEO strategy as most of our customers arrive through search.
• Contact rationalisation – replacing 100s of email addresses phone numbers with streamlined contact processes utilising our contact centre and supporting our Customer Experience Strategy.
We have also completed a content audit of the website and service reviews around their existing content.
Any work that’s already been done
We have conducted user research for the rebuild and we want to improve:

Usability – improving Content, UX and UI in line with customer feedback, best practice and usability for content editors.

Accessibility – meeting the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018 and aligning with our Digital Inclusion Strategy.

Search - installed the latest version of Solr - best bets, taxonomy for federated search, dictionary look up and better indexing to support our SEO strategy.

Contact rationalisation – replacing 100s of email addresses phone numbers with streamlined contact processes.

Website content audit and service reviews of existing content.
Existing team
Our in-house team is available to work together with the successful supplier. Relevant team members include:
• UX and Content Manager
• 2 x Web content editors
• Digital analytics lead
• Full stack developer
• Front End Developer
• Product Owner
Current phase
Alpha

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
We expect the work to be carried out remotely. Should government guidance allow, we will ask the supplier to be available for meetings or research at Waltham Forest Council as required. Travel time and expenses must be covered by the Supplier
Working arrangements
The chosen supplier will be expected to fully integrate with our team to share their knowledge and insight, and work in an open and transparent way. Regular meetings and workshops will be held on suitable platforms such as MS Teams.
Security clearance
No specific security clearance 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
  • Demonstrate experience in successfully developing digital channels strategies in complex, large, political organisations
  • Demonstrate experience of successfully engaging senior stakeholders in the design of digital strategies
  • Demonstration of high level of expertise in user research and user experience (including research methods, tools and design principles).
  • Experience of conducting user testing at all levels of the design process
  • Demonstrable evidence of creative and successful customer experience service design, using a diverse set of technologies and digital channels to deliver strategic outcomes
  • Digital design expertise – able to provide evidence of visually engaging, user-first websites that have transformed the online experience for users
  • Experience of designing websites which support digital inclusion – excellent knowledge of inclusive design, accessibility guidelines – specifically WCAG 2.1 AA – and understanding of GDPR regulations
  • Experience of Local Government and familiar with the services provided by a London borough, knowledge of the Government service standard, service assessments and design principles
  • Be able to deploy effective, experienced team members with the range of UX, business analysis, design and user testing skills
  • Able to provide expertise/skills to support continued improvement using Google analytics, user journey analytics and user feedback
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Knowledge of Drupal 8 / 9 and the LocalGov Drupal distribution
  • Knowledge of Granicus GovService and GovDelivery

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
10
Proposal criteria
  • All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal
  • Approach and methodology to working with Waltham Forest Council to design and deliver this project as set out in this specification
  • Essential and desirable skills and experience
  • The team structure you propose, outlining the skills required and how each team member will contribute to solving the problem and meeting the Council’s aims
  • How you will work with our internal teams
  • Confirmation that the team you propose will be available for the duration of the work
  • What assumptions you are making and the services you need from the Council
  • How the proposal will align with existing Waltham Forest strategies and corporate plan
  • Timescales for the work and how these will be met
  • Outline how you will build on the work we have done to date
  • How you will ensure that the Council gets maximum value for money by engaging your company
Cultural fit criteria
  • How will you ensure that you work collaboratively with the Council team and our suppliers as a single team with a shared purpose?
  • How will you ensure that you communicate with the Council team frequently, openly, honestly and constructively challenging any pre-conceptions and involving them in decision making?
  • Takes responsibility for delivering to agreed timescales and for the quality of their work
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Have you have made a decision to move away from the Localgov distro and the current incumbent?
Yes will will continue to use LocalGov Drupal core code, we want help to align this work to a wider channel strategy. Currently we do not have an incumbent, all work to date has been done in house.
2. By which date after 24th May would the qualifying suppliers need to submit a written proposal? When would the presentations happen, and by which date do you hope to make a decision, ahead of the 14th June start date?
The written proposal will be considered as part of the process and will need to be submitted on 24 May 2021. A shortlist of suppliers will be invited to present week commencing 7 June. We will aim to make a decision that week.
3. Please could you provide more detail on the user research already undertaken. For example: the purpose, the conclusions, the methodology (survey, interviews, focus groups, observational, quantitative), the number and diversity of participants.
So far we have collected and evaluated data from:
Online survey, testing labels and navigation using Treejack .
One to one focus groups
Reviewing Google Analytics, GovMetric and sentiment from feedback
4. By which date after 24th May would the qualifying suppliers need to submit a written proposal? When would the presentations happen, and by which date do you hope to make a decision, ahead of the 14th June start date?
Please ignore answer 2 and refer to this answer.
All shortlisted suppliers will be asked to submit a written proposal and then present this to Waltham Forest. The written proposal will be considered as part of the process and will need to be submitted on noon 14 June 2021. A shortlist of suppliers will be invited to present week commencing 21 June 2021. We will aim to make a decision that week.
A full time line is available here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oZG2C493MHqPVyprFz1JSNXm_MjJZIJo_tB_QEQvtvo/edit?usp=sharing
5. Can you elaborate on the delivery timeline for this work? Is starting on 14 June a requirement even though a supplier won’t be selected until the week before, or is the start date likely to be pushed back (if so, by how much)? And to what extent is the 2-month project duration either fixed or flexible? Is there a date by which the work absolutely has to have been completed?
All shortlisted suppliers will be asked to submit a written proposal and then present this to Waltham Forest. The written proposal will be considered as part of the process and will need to be submitted on noon 14 June 2021. A shortlist of suppliers will be invited to present week commencing 21 June 2021. We will aim to make a decision that week.
A full time line is available here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oZG2C493MHqPVyprFz1JSNXm_MjJZIJo_tB_QEQvtvo/edit?usp=sharing
There is 1 month's flexibility with regard to the project duration.
The work need to be completed by October 2021.
6. Could you elaborate on the reference in the briefing document to your: ‘15 minute neighbourhood initiative’.
Details are on our website https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/content/priority-3-our-15-minute-neighbourhood#:~:text=We%20want%20everyone%20to%20be,many%20residents%20are%20calling%20for.
7. Can you share the documents mentioned but not link to the ‘Digital Channel Strategy Agency Brief’ document; Customer Experience Strategy, Public Service Strategy
The Public Service Strategy is on our website:
https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/service-categories/waltham-forest-public-service-strategy

Customer Experience Strategy is not in the public domain but details are here
https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/content/how-council-needs-respond Section 5 - Providing Exceptional Service
8. Are there any known limitations or issues with access to internal and external stakeholders for research purposes (e.g. user data permissions or availability of staff)?
Not that we are aware of. We can help set up meetings with internal stakeholders and have contacts for residents and local business who we can help facilitate meetings with.
9. Could you explain why this PQQ being run in parallel with a call for proposals?
Please see question 4
10. You have asked for a written proposal in addition to the responses that can be submitted via this portal. How should that proposal be submitted?
There is not a prescribed template but you will be required to reference all of the evaluation criteria in your answers.
11. Can you provide an example of how an assisted transaction takes place currently?
Assisted transaction is when a resident contacts us via web chat or phone reaching out for help to walk through an online process.
12. Can you please share the document linked under ‘Why the work is being done’? We cannot access it via the current link.
My apologies I had set up the link incorrectly on Google Drive this should now work:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Cw0hO8Tfb_gpkpinb8s2n-U3wMMwYsOs/view?usp=sharing