This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 11 June 2021
BEIS

Platform architecture partner

19 Incomplete applications

17 SME, 2 large

24 Completed applications

16 SME, 8 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 28 May 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 4 June 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 11 June 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
A flexible multi-disciplinary team is required to work on the architectural design of a grant/voucher platform with re-use potential whilst working with a policy team on the design and delivery of a voucher scheme due to be incrementally built out from a MVP to a challenging timeline.
Latest start date
Monday 5 July 2021
Expected contract length
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
BEIS
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
There is a need for a flexible supplier to provide a core capability in:
User Centred Design, Product Management, Business Analysis and Technical Architecture. This is to supplement a team working on the design and build of a voucher platform to support a 3-year programme where voucher funding will be released in waves. There will be a need to launch 3 MVPs for public facing services. Incremental releases to take place thereafter, with the platform required to be further scalable to accommodate changes in policy or subsequent rounds of funding. Though this will initially support one scheme the ambition is for the platform to provide common architecture reusable for other grant/voucher schemes and services.
Problem to be solved
Delivery teams will be in place for specific project phases (discovery, alpha, beta) but there is a need to ensure that we are building the right thing for policy/stakeholders and users to meet long term programme outcomes as well as delivering MVP to challenging timelines. The organisation's enterprise architecture needs to be considered in order to deliver value for money given the cost of investment for an ambition to reuse the platform for other grant/voucher services. As such we need the supplier team to work closely with policy, users and the digital technical team to define the vision for the product for the specific scheme that needs to be delivered and work collaboratively with the teams working on the project phases to set direction and principles so they can focus on delivery. Having this provision in place will address the problem of not having continuity between phases needed for successful delivery of the scheme whilst ensuring consistency with BEIS' DDaT function's strategy, governance and standards, and adherence to Government Digital Services standards and technology code of practice.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a provider of a good/service I need to get onboarded to the scheme. As an applicant for a voucher I need to understand how the good/services will be of benefit ahead of making a decision to buy. As a policy official I need to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to mitigate fraud and misuse risks. As a policy official I need to understand the dependencies between policy design and digital delivery so decisions on requirements are made that impact on delivery timetable and trade-offs are understood to help inform decisions. As BEIS' DDaT function I need to know that all teams and individuals working on design and build of the service are working to our architectural and governance standards and liaising with us on any exceptions or changes
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
For the scheme an SRO, a policy deputy director acting as Service Owner, programme director and policy officials.
A Digital Delivery Manager will oversee this supplier team as well as other teams working on the delivery of specific phases of the GDS project Lifecyle for the scheme. For wider alignment with BEIS DDaT there will be regular interaction with Head of Digital, Data and Delivery and other functional leaders as required.
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Though the team will be working remotely there may be a need to travel to the 1 Victoria Street HQ in London for occasional workshops. Travel expenses will not be reimbursed.
Working arrangements
The supplier will be expected to be available during the typical working hours of policy team (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) in order to maximise knowledge transfer.

Microsoft Teams and JIRA will be used for collaboration.
Security clearance
All team members must have BPSS as a minimum.

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
  • have experience of maturing existing cloud capability within an organisation using cloud frameworks like Azure or AWS (3%)
  • have ability for allocating resources based on uncertain demand, describe your business model/how do you resource teams (3%)
  • have experience of successfully defining a Minimum Viable Product for a compressed delivery timetable and prioritised roadmap for additional user stories as part of ambitious product vision (3%)
  • have experience of delivery of a grant/voucher service where a third party was involved in administration functions (3%)
  • have experience of delivering a digital service in line with the GDS Service Standard and Design Principles (3%)
  • have experience of working with a customer on designing and delivering a product strategy where other supplier teams are involved with the delivery of specific project phases (3%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to developing a set of high level business requirements and processes into roadmaps and translating these into epics and user stories (5%)
  • Approach to working with the Business Owners and delivery teams to elaborate Epics into User Stories that are deliverable and testable (7%)
  • Approach to working with policy and digital decision makers on platform design and build, and teams responsible for discovery/alpha/beta phases for delivery of MVPs and subsequent incremental releases (10%)
  • How you will identify risk, assumptions, and dependencies, and how you will manage these (10%)
  • How you will approach to bringing together a multidisciplinary team adjusting the team to accommodate business needs (5%)
  • Team structure and relevant skills and experience of an initial team comprising of a User Researcher, Business Analyst, Product Manager and Technical Lead (15%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate a user-driven approach, using research and evidence to challenge assumptions and present findings to decision makers (5%)
  • Demonstrate how you will work with a policy team working to pressurised time table with limited understanding of architecture and digital delivery (5%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. We would like to understand the context behind this question please. Are you referring to working in an cloud environment which is maturing through your own strategy and design, or are you looking to the supplier to direct the maturation of your existing cloud offering? How does this support the desired outcome for the Voucher and Grant platform?
We are looking for the supplier to support the strategy and design considerations of our existing Architecture team to enable the delivery of a voucher/grant scheme.
2. Do you have a roadmap of potential grants/voucher schemes on the horizon?
We do not have a roadmap of all potential grants/vouchers. We know we must deliver an initial voucher scheme this year and will be working on creating a pipeline of other grant/voucher schemes
3. You mention using Jira, are you using Confluence too?
We are currently using JIRA but not Confluence
4. Do you use Mural/Miro etc for collaboration?
The successful supplier will be provided with BEIS IT so they are able to access MS Whiteboard. We have been using Mural with suppliers on other projects where they do not have access to our IT systems.
5. Are you used to collaborating using Google Sprints?
As an organisation we are not used to collaborating using Google Sprints
6. Has the third party list been collated and vetted yet? If it has, does the data sit in SQL ready for the platform?
No
7. Will we have access to previous data around historic grant/voucher services?
Where there are not sensitivities will be able to provide information on previous services
8. What environments, dev/test/prod have been set up already for this project and on Azure or AWS? Or is this part of the project to also decide best route?
This is part of the project
9. We note that you need core capability in User Centred Design, Product Management, Business Analysis and Technical Architecture.
Do you expect that the successful supplier will provide additional roles under this contract? If so, could you please specify what these might be?
We would only be looking for roles that fall within the titles or job families listed above, referencing the Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework
10. Can you please provide more details on the other supplier teams working on this platform?
We already have a supplier in place for the discovery and alpha phases of the programme described.
11. Is there an incumbent?
There is no incumbent but we do have a discovery and alpha supplier in place for the programme described, and the successful supplier will need to collaborate with them where appropriate.
12. Is this inside or outside of IR35?
This is is a business to business relationship, it would be up to the supplier to determine any IR 35 considerations of their team members
13. 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?
Provisional timetable:
Shortlisted suppliers notified to submit written proposal 16/06
Shortlisted suppliers submit written proposal 23/06
Anticipated contract award 28/06

There is no supplier presentation
14. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
This is a new requirement, there is not an incumbent.
15. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Delivery Managers from the DDaT function
16. Is this just the discovery phase, or will the successful organisation deliver all three stages?
For clarification, the phases cited for the programme referenced are not part of this requirement. It is expected the successful supplier of this requirement will work with those suppliers.
17. What best practice has been used previously for grant/voucher offers through the Gov.uk site in terms of mitigating fraud?
We would be looking for the supplier to bring this expertise or identify during the engagement
18. What data has been collected from previous applicants of other grant/voucher schemes?
This varies from scheme to scheme.
19. Has any work at all been done of understanding the potential take up of this grant/voucher scheme?
It is our current expectation the supplier of this DOS will be working on the scheme referenced as one of potentially many within BEIS Digital portfolio. For the referenced scheme the aim is ~100k over 3 years.
20. Could you please elaborate more on the grant/voucher service in respect of the offering?
It is our current expectation the supplier of this DOS will be working on the service referenced as one of potentially many within BEIS Digital portfolio.
21. It would seem the original discovery went out in April with the opportunity to extend into Alpha https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/digital-outcomes-and-specialists/opportunities/14516. Assuming any successful partner will be working with that supplier, can you share who they are? Also if the Alpha extension has been made, and whether that supplier are allowed to bid for this work as well?
It is our current expectation the supplier of this DOS will be working on the service referenced as one of potentially many within BEIS Digital portfolio. The winning supplier of that DOS is Foundry4, alpha extension tbc, and any supplier can bid for this work including Foundry4.
22. Can you say more about the challenging timeline? Are there known milestones or deadlines?
It is our current expectation the supplier of this DOS will be working on the scheme referenced as one of potentially many within BEIS Digital portfolio. The scheme referenced is expected to launch as a MVP for voucher applicants towards the end of the year.
23. Is the Technical Architecture requirement focussed solely around platform design? (Suppliers are asked for evidence of maturing existing cloud capability)
We are looking for a supplier to maximise cloud capabilities in order to make our platform design and operation be as robust as possible
24. Which preferred technologies are currently being used within BEIS?
We currently do not have a preferred technology stack for this platform. However, we have access to AWS and Azure
25. Which preferred technologies are currently being used within BEIS?
We currently do not have a preferred technology stack for this platform. However, we have access to AWS and Azure
26. Please can you provide more context around this question, particularly the third party being involved in admin functions “have experience of delivery of a grant/voucher service where a third party was involved in administration functions (3%)”
It is our current expectation the supplier of this DOS could potentially be working with many schemes/services within BEIS Digital portfolio. Some of these may require working with organisations like scheme administrators, payment administrators, delivery partners etc separate from the main authority
27. With regards to the essential skill ‘have experience of delivery of a grant/voucher service where a third party was involved in administration functions’...can you please expand on this and in particular what specific competencies and skills you require?
Capturing user needs of potential third parties not just end-users of digital services and considering implications like data sharing
28. At BEIS who will be the third parties administrating the grant ? What level of involvement would these third parties have ?
To be determined for referenced scheme, and likely to differ from scheme to scheme
29. What was the rationale for using DOS for this procurement, rather than the grant administration framework https://www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/agreements/RM6172.
We wanted to focus to be on sourcing a team with the digital skills around platform architecture.
30. What is the length of this contract please?
12 months based on Statements of Work. It is anticipated that an initial statement of work be applied for 6 months.
31. What is the total budget for this project please?
£925,000 maximum spend across the contract. No committed minimum spend over the term of the contract. Work to be issued on a statement of work basis.
32. Is there an indicative budget / duration for this partnership?
£925,000 maximum spend across a 12m contract. No committed minimum spend over the term of the contract. Work to be issued on a statement of work basis. It is anticipated that an initial statement of work be applied for 6 months only.
33. please can you state what your budget and contract length is
£925,000 maximum spend across a 12m contract. No committed minimum spend over the term of the contract. Work to be issued on a statement of work basis. It is anticipated that an initial statement of work be applied for 6 months only.
34. What is the duration and budget?
£925,000 maximum spend across a 12m contract. No committed minimum spend over the term of the contract. Work to be issued on a statement of work basis. It is anticipated that an initial statement of work be applied for 6 months only.
35. Is there a budget for this work?
£925,000 maximum spend across a 12m contract. No committed minimum spend over the term of the contract. Work to be issued on a statement of work basis. It is anticipated that an initial statement of work be applied for 6 months only.
36. So we can better understand the scale of this opportunity, can you please provide a budget range and expected contract length?
£925,000 maximum spend across a 12m contract. No committed minimum spend over the term of the contract. Work to be issued on a statement of work basis. It is anticipated that an initial statement of work be applied for 6 months only.
37. Please can I ask what budget range is for such requirement and if I read this correctly in that it is for 3 years.
£925,000 maximum spend across a 12m contract. No committed minimum spend over the term of the contract. Work to be issued on a statement of work basis. It is anticipated that an initial statement of work be applied for 6 months only.
38. Clarification on supplier question Q1. response. The First line of the suppler question was missed from the response .

Q1: “have experience of maturing existing cloud capability within an organisation using cloud frameworks like Azure or AWS”
We would like to understand the context behind this question please. Are you referring to working in an cloud environment which is maturing through your own strategy and design, or are you looking to the supplier to direct the maturation of your existing cloud offering? How does this support the desired outcome for the Voucher and Grant platform?
We are looking for the supplier to support the strategy and design considerations of our existing Architecture team to enable the delivery of a voucher/grant scheme.
39. Do you have any specific technology that you are preferring for this solution i.e. AWS open source, Dynamics etc. What is your view on bespoke development vs configurable platform
We currently do not have a preferred technology stack for this platform. However, we have access to AWS and Azure. We would want the successful supplier to explore both bespoke development and configurable platform during the engagement.