CCS acting as an agent on behalf of Cabinet Office (Infrastructure Projects Authority)

Online Platform for Projects (ESOPP) Discovery

17 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 2 large

1 Completed application

1 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Monday 9 May 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 16 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 23 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Suppliers should follow GDS Discovery criteria:

- review current research

- user researchers to scope out user needs against users wants, and produce user stories

- Discovery documentation

- options analysis: recommendations for Alpha/Beta phases including current and proposed solution design suggestions. Research must be sufficient to start Alpha stage.
Latest start date
Friday 15 July 2022
Expected contract length
8 weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
CCS acting as an agent on behalf of Cabinet Office (Infrastructure Projects Authority)
Budget range
It is estimated that the discovery work can be delivered within a budget of £35,000 - £55,000 (excluding VAT).

About the work

Why the work is being done
To ensure that Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) in the UK are successfully delivered on cost and on schedule - the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s mandate - GMPP projects have to provide information on a quarterly basis about their cost and schedule.

The current data collection is conducted via an online platform, OSCAR II, that does not allow the IPA to accurately deliver on its core objective that is to track project’s cost and schedule to ensure they remain on track.
OSCAR II is...
-1: expensive to maintain;
-2: it is complicated to use;
-3: it offers little flexibility due to it being owned by HMT and managed by third party provider (with any small change being charged back);
-4: it does not have enough licenses for our users;
-5: it does not allow our users to access their data.

As part of this work, the team wants to take the opportunity to also look at what questions are asked and what data is collected.
Problem to be solved
There are six problems that the New OSCAR platform needs to solve:
1. Upload data easily. This will require an Application Programming Interface (API) to enable bulk uploading of data onto the system.
2. Access the data easily. A user friendly interface will be required.
3. Adjust the data flexibly, based on demand.
4. Rapid and Easy Quality assurance. This should include data visualisation to present data back to the user in an easily comprehensible format.
5. Download data easily. This will require an API and creates the possibility of enabling an end-to-end automation process.
6. Achieve Value for Money. The current OSCAR2 platform is expensive to maintain, the current contract with Third party provider as sole supplier making the price of enhancements expensive, it is intended that the replacement costs will substantially reduce these.

It is anticipated that the requirement would require the following roles/capabilities, as a minimum, for Discovery:
1 x Delivery Manager
1 x Business Analyst
1 x User Researcher
1 x Technical/Data Architect
Who the users are and what they need to do
1: Project Delivery: Easily upload their projects' latest delivery plan onto an online system so to comply with their departmental and IPA's reporting requirements.
2: Project Finance: Similar to Project Delivery user but for Finance data
3: Project SRO/PD: Easily and quickly review and adjust their project finance and delivery plan that have been submitted onto the system to sign-off this information including inputting their ratings and a narrative on the project's chance of successful delivery.
4: Portfolio department reviewers: Easily and quickly review and adjust all their projects' department data, have the ability to create and delete non-GMPP project report, and to add and remove non-GMPP questions to the GMPP template.
5: HMT Business case: Easily upload their projects' latest business case finance information easily onto an online system to comply with HMT's requirements of keeping oversight on GMPP projects' finance.
6: IPA Project leads: Input their project rating and narrative
7: IPA Process leads: Easily and quickly review and adjust all projects' data, and have the ability to create and delete GMPP projects report; change a non-GMPP reporting project into a GMPP reporting project; and to add and remove questions to the GMPP template.
Early market engagement
None undertaken
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The Infrastructure Projects Authority team that will be supporting and having oversight of the project:
• Senior Responsible Owner
• Project Manager
• Enterprise Architect
• Service Owners: IPA
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
With the team working remotely, it is expected the supplier will do the same.
Working arrangements
The supplier staff will be expected to be available during the typical working hours (Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm) in order to maximise knowledge transfer and support the supplier.

The Supplier will be required to hold agile ceremonies as well as weekly update (‘show and tell’) sessions for IPA stakeholders, which will take place over Google Meet and MS Teams . The Supplier will be required to use Cabinet Office Google Drive folders to save any important documentation.

Other tools such as JIRA, Slack, Trello etc. can/may be used for collaboration too.
Security clearance
All individuals 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
  • Demonstrable experience of conducting discovery research for new service design, which includes conducting user research, in accordance with GDS/CDDO and GOV.UK standards.
  • Have experience of working across departments and teams with the ability to identify improvements and opportunities to collaborate.
  • Demonstrable experience of defining the end-to-end user journey, and developing a service vision, service design and key performance indicators.
  • Have experience of technical and data investigation and exploration, including data querying methods.
  • Demonstrable experience of agile project management delivery/skills in accordance with GDS/CDDO and GOV.UK standards.
  • Demonstrable in delivering agile delivery stages and outcomes that align to the GDS Service Assessment and applying the Service Standard.
  • Have experience of mapping wider services in the problem space.
  • Understand good data management practice including GDPR, data protection and privacy obligations and data security.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of using a variety of research methods.
  • Experience of forming remote working teams and describe remote working practices which support the team through the stages of group formation.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Describe the approach and methodology you'll apply to Discovery, including how priorities will be determined and emerging findings presented and will form the foundation of an agile delivery ecosystem. (19.5%)
  • How the structure of the team and how their technical skills and experience will be used to deliver the need, including estimated resource dedicated to the project. (6.5%)
  • A project plan/roadmap with proposed timelines for mobilisation and delivery. (13%)
  • Value for money, including how you will take previous learning to deliver better value for this project. (6.5%)
  • Describe the final outputs you will provide as part of the discovery report. (13%)
  • Demonstrate how you will identify risks, assumptions, and dependencies, and how you will manage these. (6.5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Your experience working effectively in a blended team, maintaining accountability over delivery of the outcome whilst the client provides other key roles (e.g product manager) and subject matter experts. (3%)
  • Your experience of delivering in an open, collaborate, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual. (3%)
  • Your approach to transferring knowledge to permanent staff within a client organisation with stakeholders. (2%)
  • Your approach to challenging practices and behaviours that do not support digital transformation, and how you work constructively to improve them. (2%)
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you confirm if the delivery of this piece of work will exclude the supplier from subsequent deliveries?
We can confirm that the successful bidder will be able to tender for subsequent work (if any is required) following the completion of the discovery work.
2. What are your timelines for the rest of this procurement (if known): notifying shortlisted suppliers, deadline for proposals, supplier presentations, awarding the winning supplier.
We are currently intending to notify suppliers who are shortlisted on 1st June. We intend to open the event in the eSourcing Suite on the 6th June, with the bid submission deadline being 11:00 on 17th June. The latest start date for the contract is Friday 15th July.

In the unlikely event that a presentation is required post sift evaluation, the days allocated for this are the 30th or 31st May.

Please be aware that these dates are subject to change. Further information with be available in the bid pack following the first supplier shortlisting.
3. Review ‘current research’ is referred to in the summary of work section. Can you please tell us more about what research exists: What methods and outputs does it include? When was it done? Who conducted it?
Research includes requirements document which describes functional limitations of the existing system. This was completed by the IPA product/service owner. No direct user research has been completed.
4. Will your team be able to identify and / or approach potential research participants to recruit? E.g. project SROs that use OSCAR.
The IPA team will provide a list of contact and will manage stakeholder relationships.
5. With regard to “mapping wider services in the problem space” could you clarify what you are looking for us demonstrate? Is it contextualising a service within a bigger picture, interdependencies with other digital applications/services or considering inter-related processes? And, are you asking about specifically the ESOPP “problem space” or that of our chosen example?
We are asking about the contextualisation of the specific ESOPP project space: to understand how ESOPP fits in the wider context of government project data collection, emphasising where synergies can be obtained, and to propose the best tools that will enable these synergies.
6. Is it expected that the desired roles specified below would be required full time or part time?
1 x Delivery Manager
1 x Business Analyst
1 x User Researcher
1 x Technical/Data Architect
This is left at the discretion of the bidder, who should decide what is best in order to deliver on the required discovery products.
7. Please could you explain what is meant by “Have experience of mapping wider services in the problem space”?
An understanding of the business problem within a large organisation and the different options available to provide a solution.

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Monday 16 May 2022.