Awarded to Solirius Consulting

Start date: Wednesday 20 April 2022
Value: £4,500,000
Company size: SME
Department for Education

DfE Data Service Delivery Capability

14 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 4 large

19 Completed applications

17 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 19 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 26 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 2 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Supply of resource: the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company
Summary of the work
DfE Data Directorate are looking for a supplier who will be able to provide service delivery capabilities on digital and technical projects as part of the DfE’s Data Transformation Portfolio. You will provide expertise and specialism to boost capacity and enhance capability, working alongside our in-house digital teams supporting delivery
Latest start date
Friday 15 April 2022
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
Up to £4,500,000 excl VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
Data Directorate is undergoing a transformation programme to develop internal data delivery processes and cultivate our in-house skills. This will help us achieve our strategic goal to offer ‘Data as a Service’, modernising our data collection services and laying foundation for good data governance practices; all of which will allow delivery of high-quality data into our estate enabling greater insight into the sector as well as drive data driven policy and operational decision-making.
Problem to be solved
DfE Data Directorate are seeking a supplier to provide the required service delivery capabilities set out above from the digital marketplace to support a variety of agile, user led, digital, data and technology projects from our transformation portfolio. This includes both existing and new projects from inception through to a live service. Each will have SoW (Statement of Work) that will outline the work package deliverables, acceptance criteria and the specific capabilities and skills that are required.
Projects will be managed using agile methodologies to deliver outcomes based on user needs and, where applicable, government service standards. The Data Transformation programme is a large, complex data delivery programme covering data ingestion, cleansing, transformation and data matching, and all development and design of our digital delivery work is in alignment with GDS standards.
Each project will require a different mix of service delivery capabilities and may not require the full complement of capabilities.
Within this contract we are looking for the following skillsets: Agile Delivery Managers with experience of delivering complex data pipelines and Digital front end web services, Scrum Masters, Technical Business Analysts, User Researchers, UX Designers, Content Designers and Technical writers.
Who the users are and what they need to do
This contract will cover a range of data services for which we have a wide range of internal and external users who contribute to and consume our data pipelines and Digital services.
Internal users include policy teams, Departmental analysts and corporate services who access our data through analytical data stores and Bi reports.
Other internal users include:
Analysts, Policy team, Operations, Service Delivery team, e.g.
As a data collector working in Data Engineering and Operations division, I need to setup data collection in line with departmental policy
External Users include:
Academies and Multi Academy Trusts, Schools, Local Authorities (Education & Children's Services), e.g. As an academy I need to be able to submit and validate my school census return and check my data.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
There are a number of projects and programmes that require service delivery roles, these range from the improvement of existing developed systems to brand new developments. Examples of completed work includes

• Search for schools and colleges to compare - GOV.UK - Find and compare schools in England (compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk)

• Get Information about Schools - GOV.UK (get-information-schools.service.gov.uk)

• Get Information about Pupils – GOV.UK
Existing team
The supplier will work with blended project teams comprising of permanent civil servants and other supplier teams across multiple strands of work for the service delivery. Typically, within agile delivery teams, working with service owners, product managers, delivery managers, business analysts, user researchers, architects, data and software engineers and users. You may collaborate or work with other suppliers who are providing capabilities as part of a team. Our multi-disciplinary agile teams stretch across 9 squads and are typically sized between 8 and 10.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Manchester ( and additionally Newcastle / Sheffield / Darlington /Coventry / London )
Working arrangements
Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques. These could be Kanban or a scrum approach but the standard agile ceremonies appropriate to those will be undertaken.
The primary base will be detailed in each Statement of Work (SoW) and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location instead during the execution of the work relating to the SoW. e.g. If SoW primary base is Darlington then no expenses will be paid for Darlington. It is expected that this contract will sit predominantly within IR35.
Security clearance
The successful supplier must be able to demonstrate that all proposed team members have been subject to Baseline Personnel Security Standards checks. Suppliers will also be required to complete a supplier security assurance form to ensure they meet the required standard for DfE e.g. Cyber Essentials

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with CCS Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance and suppliers will be expected to complete cyber security questionnaire.

Suppliers must provide sufficient guarantees to meet the requirements of GDPR in line with Procurement Policy Note 03/17 Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation

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
  • Over the last three years have experience of agile delivery management in a multi programme digital, data and technology driven environment, delivering digital and data products/services
  • Experience of conducting User Research with highly technical audiences, such as the consumers of API or providers of software to third parties, to ensure technical products meet user needs
  • Over the last three years have demonstrable experience in managing delivery focused user centred design services that meet specific quality standards (e.g. GDS standards) and move through the delivery lifecycle
  • Proven experience of Agile delivery methodologies, delivering at pace and experience in creating robust user stories for development teams in support of behaviour driven development
  • Experience in delivery management and technical business analysis for delivering new data platforms on cloud, covering ingestion, transformation, validation, cleansing, matching and storage in a complex data environment.
  • Evidence of extensive coaching, building capability and upskilling of in-house resources
  • Proven experience of delivering into an immature data development lifecycle and working collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team of architects and developers to accelerate rapid delivery without creating technical debt
  • Experience of taking products and services successfully through different phases of the delivery lifecycle and assessment process including governance and assurance processes i.e. ITHC, ATO
  • Experience in providing resourcing for Agile teams delivering Data and Digital projects at pace and reactive to changing demand able to work to short lead times on filling roles
  • Evidence of the placement of skilled resources to the standard required by the roles, who are able to meet the planned deliverables and contractual obligations
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of providing insight, structure, guidance, and support to digital and data delivery programmes
  • Experience and understanding of educational datasets and digital services

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Over the last three years have experience in end-to-end design, development, and agile delivery of digital products/services to high quality standards (in a digital, data and technology driven environment.
  • Over the last three years have experience in delivery of new data platforms and data migration projects in a complex data environment.
  • Over the last three years have demonstrable experience in user centred design services (user research, content design and interaction design and business analysis)
  • Proven experience of using a range of agile tools e.g. Azure Dev Ops and techniques including scrum, working in multi-team agile programmes
  • Over the last three years have experience in delivery management, business analysis, user research, user experience designer, and content design to deliver new analytical data platforms, data pipelines and visualisation
  • Manage the full product lifecycles including business analysis, user research, design, delivery, and continuous improvement of one or more transactional services or platforms including rapid prototyping and delivering at pace
  • Evidence of demonstrable experience within the last three years in working on high profile complex, multi-stakeholder digital, data and technology programmes
  • Experience of working with multi-vendor teams across multiple projects
  • Experience of working with an organisation at the beginning of an agile culture change
  • Experience of transferring knowledge to permanent staff within a client organisation
Cultural fit criteria
  • How will your organisation support educational attainment relevant to the contract, including training schemes that address skills gaps and result in recognised qualifications (e.g. , Apprenticeships, Industry placements, Traineeships) (5%)
  • Describe how your organisation encourages diverse representation of under-represented groups in the workforce, e.g. Women, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, Disabled, LGBTQ+ and how you monitor and measure this (5%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. This looks like a re tender for one released 11th March 2020 called DFE Data Service Delivery Capability – we tendered along with 22 others but it was never published who won. Who is the current incumbent?
The current incumbent is Hippo Digital Ltd
2. Who will be on the panel scoring the questions? (not names just job titles please)
Panel will consist of; Deputy Director, Lead Portfolio Delivery Manager & Senior Portfolio Delivery Manager.
3. Do you expect the successful supplier to provide teams working five days per week on your various UK sites, or are you happy to support suppliers who will provide UK-based personnel working remotely from your teams?
Specific details will be set out in each Statement of Work (SoW).
4. Update for answer to question 3
We will expect a mix of onsite and remote working, as stated each SOW will detail.
5. Could you confirm the anticipated team size and roles you would expect for this assignment?
Our multi-disciplinary agile teams stretch across 9 squads and are typically sized between 8 and 10. Each project will require a different mix of service delivery capabilities and may not require the full complement of capabilities.
Within this contract we are looking for the following skillsets: Agile Delivery Managers with experience of delivering complex data pipelines and Digital front end web services, Scrum Masters, Technical Business Analysts, User Researchers, UX Designers, Content Designers and Technical writers. So a maximum of 4 people from this contract per squad.
6. Please confirm the primary interfaces and any adjacent projects or programmes with which the team will have to collaborate during the course of Discovery?
This information will be shared with the preferred supplier during onboarding.
7. Please could you disclose the name of the Authority’s strategic partner or any extant supplier that has helped the Authority to secure the funding to deliver the Data Service Delivery Capability
It is not the role of suppliers to enable the business to secure funding.
8. Which supplier – if any – has helped DfE develop the business case for the Data Service Delivery Capability?
It is not the role of suppliers to develop business cases.
9. Has the Authority spoken directly to any suppliers about delivery approach for the Data Service Delivery Capability prior to publishing this notice on the Digital Marketplace?
No
10. What levels of protective marking are likely to apply to the service(s)?
Official and/or Official: Sensitive
11. Is it possible for the Authority to share more information about the senior business user for the Disinformation Data Platform and their objectives for the assignment?
This is a service for analytical users who exploit data for ministerial and policy decision making and also to enable DfE to publish data to the public through gov-uk.
12. What delivery approaches, i.e. Lean-Agile, SAFe, etc is the Authority using that are likely to apply to this assignment?
Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques. These could be Kanban or a Scrum approach but the standard agile ceremonies appropriate to those will be undertaken.
13. What governance and security assurance regime will be applied to new services before they are commissioned into service?
Ato, Archictural Approval Board, Technical Design Authority, ITHC processes will apply in line with DFE governance. This will all be briefed as part of the project.
14. Can the Authority please briefly described its design authority process and state typically how long design reviews take from end-to-end?
The design authority process for DfE is currently being reviewed. The successful supplier will be briefed of all processes as part of the onboarding process.
15. Has a decision been made as to whether this would sit on Azure or AWS or another Public Cloud Service Provider?
This will be in Azure
16. Please could you provide some information about what you would see the make-up of the procured supplier team being? In particular, the types of roles and if you have a view at this stage of the approximate size?
Our multi-disciplinary agile teams stretch across 9 squads and are typically sized between 8 and 10. Each project will require a different mix of service delivery capabilities and may not require the full complement of capabilities.
Within this contract we are looking for the following skillsets: Agile Delivery Managers with experience of delivering complex data pipelines and Digital front end web services, Scrum Masters, Technical Business Analysts, User Researchers, UX Designers, Content Designers and Technical writers not the full squad complement. So a maximum of 4 supplier resource per project onboarded.