Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Wednesday 1 March 2017
Value: £58,775
Company size: SME
Government Digital Service

WP1261 - Portfolio Assurance Tool, Discovery Team

0 Incomplete applications

33 Completed applications

25 SME, 8 large

Important dates

Friday 6 January 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 13 January 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 20 January 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
In line with standards and guidance on the service manual conduct discovery/alpha to replace the current case management tool, ensuring the technology meets user needs, understanding how it can be developed into an online service and where a consistent user journey and exchange of data can be achieved.
Latest start date
Expected contract length
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The current Cabinet Office tool used by 9 departmental functions administering assurance on government programmes is approaching contract expiry and needs to be replaced. A discovery for the new tool needs to be conducted from January 2017.
Problem to be solved
Develop a replacement case management/work flow, sitting on/absorbing base pipeline data from departments, with its requisite reports and management information to meet user needs. Should reflect current assurance process and a new assurance model currently in design.
Who the users are and what they need to do
This will be part of the discovery deliverables.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The current team is a multidisciplinary team in Government Digital Service who collaborate with a range of stakeholders across Cabinet Office, Treasury and government departments. The nature of the discovery will entail working with the incumbent supplier. Part of the discovery team should include a SME on data.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Largely London centric - Holborn, Whitehall and other government departments buildings. May include travel to visit other government locations around the UK.
Working arrangements
Onsite 3-5 days a week to conduct discovery depending on the roles. Working with central multifunctional team including user researcher, delivery manager and product managers. Includes collaborating with stakeholders across Cabinet Office and departments. Expenses limited to travel to other UK locations where appropriate.
Security clearance
Basic security check

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Cabinet Office terms and conditions will apply.

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
  • Experience in using evidence-based research to inform a user-centred redesign, focused on external users’ needs, end-to-end user journeys, motivations and goals
  • Have experience designing services for users with low digital literacy
  • Proven experience of complex user journey mapping across ranges of users and stakeholders
  • Have experience of working with multi-agency departmental programmes
  • Detailed understanding of government digital service standard and Technology Code of Practice, including GDS service design manual and wider industry-standards
  • Have experience designing case management systems that interact with different types of users
  • Have experience designing services using data to extract value and insight with ease
  • Proven experience in using robust metrics, analytics, search data and user feedback to audit and define key content and services
  • Experience of prototyping, testing and iterating with users and stakeholders
  • Technical expertise of front-end, UI web development and responsive web design (HTML5/CSS/JS)
  • Proven successful development of back-end technologies, databases, developing APIs, meeting data standards, and experience of GitHub
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering agile projects in sometimes non-agile environments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and ability to deliver compliance with the government’s Service Standard
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of delivering at scale
  • Demonstrate experience of successful delivery of similar complex service transformation projects from discovery to live including retiring legacy services

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • Provide evidence of researching using stories and using those to inform building a service
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure & profile of proposed contributors
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Experience of successful collaborative working as part of a multi supplier delivery team sharing knowledge within the team
  • Create and maintain an agile working environment
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
  • Able to challenge the status quo and use persuasion skills to achieve business buy-in
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Bring agile mindset and principles into practice
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is the current case management tool?
The current case management tool is as a cloud based off the shelf product which includes document storage and basic financial data analysis functionality. It is accessed via users pan government with differing access limitations.
2. Could you expand on the technical solution criteria, considering this project is currently in the discovery phase, which typically does not involve building a solution.
To clarify, this is for a discovery team to explore replacing a current tool, not solutionising at this stage. It would be beneficial for this multifunctional team to include a user/UX researcher, data SME and content designer.
3. Could you clarify what you mean by an 'SME in data' what skills and experience would you expect them to have?
The acronym in this context refers to a subject matter expert (SME) in data such as a data scientist or data analyst with experience using management information, contract management reporting or data centric design from user research.
4. Please can you let us know if there is any indication of budget range?
At this stage we would like to engage with the market in order to understand the range available.
5. Can one of the User/UX researchers also be the data SME, or would you like a separate dedicated resource?
Should the response be able to demonstrate the level of experience needed whereby the user researcher can fulfil the subject matter expert on data then they can be considered one and the same resource.
6. With reference to the 9 departmental functional please can you elaborate which functions these are?
Government's functional areas are those areas of specialism such as Government's Commercial Function (GCF), GDS for technology, Government's Property Unit (GPU) for property as examples.
7. What is the breakdown of these users (by role)?
The users would range from professions both within departments and functions such as Government Commercial Function (GCF) or GDS. Examples would be those in policy, data, assurance and governance although part of the discovery would hope to understand the landscape.
8. What are the user numbers currently? Is existing user-data available?
Existing data will be made available.
9. Might the workload/requirements of the system need to be altered post go-live? (i.e., how flexible a system is required?)
Flexibility to iterate once developed would be beneficial although this should be minimal if delivered effectively.
10. We note that price carries a high proportion of the evaluation weighting at 35%. Does GDS have a maximum budget in mind for spend with a supplier during the Discovery phase that can be shared?
At this stage we would like to engage with the market in order to understand the range available to inform the budget.
11. Can you please outline steps and dates in the procurement timetable, up until supplier award i.e. Proposal or presentation dates
Supplier guidance for Digital Outcomes & Specialists can be found here:
12. To what degree will the Discovery team have access to people who understand the current Case Management Tool? What sort of roles do these people hold?
Full access to the relevant people when required will be provided. These roles include system administrators and users from both Cabinet Office and government departments.
13. Is there a specific reason GDS have not chosen to renew the contract for the current product?
The current product does not meet user needs in the current or proposed operating environments.
14. When does the contract end for the current off the shelf product?
It is a rolling 28 day agreement for maintenance and hosting which can be terminated at any point within these terms.
15. Can you give an example case this tool would manage?
The inputs vary and cannot be shared at this stage although a example of a case would be assuring a government project and/or programme from a functional perspective from inception to delivery.
16. In the 'problem to be solved' section, the 'current assurance process and a new assurance model currently in design' is mentioned. Can GDS elaborate on these?
Examples of current assurance processes can be found at: and:
17. Can we ask who the incumbent supplier is? Mentioned in the existing team section. Can we clarify what roles the current supplier provides?
Incumbent details are not provided at this stage. The current supplier only provides account management and a generalised technical role for updates.
18. What do GDS see the responsibilities of the Content Designer being in Discovery?
It could be either content or service designer to work with the user researcher. One of the responsibilities for example would be exploring moving a paper based system to an online digital service, reviewing current content and quality, ensuring it is relevant and understood.
19. Do GDS have an indicative budget for the entire project?
At this stage we would like to engage with the market in order to understand the range available to inform the budget.
20. Please characterise the number and type of data sets that might be ingested? i.e. Are there near real-time data feeds, or reasonably static data sets.
To be explored as part of the discovery. Most will be static .xlsx or .csv files for example initially and/or moving to the potential of real time feeds from departmental systems.
21. Are there any strategic technologies or tools that are common and important to Cabinet Office's wider enterprise architecture and plans going forwards?
Those published components within Government as a Platform or Common Technology Services should be considered however there should be no constraints on technology options at this stage.
22. Has any previous work indicated a duration for this Discovery?
No pertinent work for this discovery. We would expect to follow governments standards on discovery phases as per the service manual here:
23. We notice there is no mention of a Technical Architect. Will this role be provided by GDS or the incumbent supplier?
We would hope the discovery would help define the role and commitments of an architect from which a determination will be made on where to source, either in house where resource exists in GDS or via DOS.
24. Who is the incumbent technology supplier and what technology is being used by them?
Bespoke application created in play framework. Incumbent details are not provided at this stage. The current supplier only provides account management and a generalised technical role for updates.