Start date: Monday 5 June 2017
Value: £56,400
Company size: SME
Hackney Council

Creation of an MVP of the digital service for Ways into Work

15 Incomplete applications

14 SME, 1 large

29 Completed applications

26 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Monday 3 April 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 10 April 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 17 April 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A digital service for Hackney residents and business that provides pathways into employment for Hackney people so that more local people know how to find a job, unlike the services offered by less personalised, more generic job boards.
Latest start date
Expected contract length
Organisation the work is for
Hackney Council
Budget range
£50,000 - £75,000 for this phase of work

About the work

Why the work is being done
Hackney Council is committed to ensuring that the rising prosperity of the Borough is shared with everyone. The Ways into Work scheme currently provides employment, apprenticeships and training opportunities for people entering or returning to work. The programme is designed around the needs and aspirations of the individual. Opportunities are identified through work with local and national businesses - whilst some employers have specific opportunities for local people.
Problem to be solved
There is currently no digital offer to support candidates, employers or the administration of the programme:
- Advisors manually match jobseekers to employment opportunities
- Opportunities are not advertised online
- Information, advice and guidance is not provided online but through face to face appointments during working hours
- The administration of the programme is managed offline (eg the arrangement of appointments, collection of candidate records and matching of candidates to opportunities)
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a jobseeker, I need to find opportunities relevant to my skills so that I can earn money
As a jobseeker, I need advice on how to look for, and find, a job that’s right for me so that I can make a successful application
As a jobseeker, I need feedback so that I know how to improve my application so that I increase my confidence in the service
As an employer, I need high quality applications so that I know the service is worthwhile
As an adviser I need to give candidates advice so that they find opportunities
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have conducted an 8-week discovery phase in-house, the assets from which are available

An initial prioritisation of user stories is at
Existing team
2 lead Ways into Work advisors, supported by the team manager and empowered service manager
1 ICT project manager
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, E8 1DY
Working arrangements
We would prefer a team onsite for 3 days a week, most weeks in order to engage with ICT and Ways into Work colleagues and build broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells).
Security clearance

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 working to the GDS service design manual
  • Combine user research, service design and developer expertise
  • Work to user-centered, iterative, Agile principles
  • Have experience designing services for a wide range of digital skills and confidence
  • Support an efficient way of authenticating Hackney residents (eg through the council’s existing master data)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Be prepared to share risk and/or reward with the council if the service is attractive to other authorities
  • Provide opportunities for people seeking ways into work in Hackney (eg through an apprentice working on the project)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Quality of the technical solution
  • Clarity of approach
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets our goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How you've identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Experience of the method of working from previous projects
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for your work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Work openly
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are you looking for purely a build of an MVP (defined by GDS Service Manual as "just enough features for you to test it with users and check whether those features work"), or a full alpha with user testing and refinement?
We want an MVP , and are happy with the definition in the service design manual.

We have pursued this route because:
- we have some hypotheses about the main areas of user need from discovery
- there are no significant technical risks / complexities associated with the service
- we want to avoid rebuilding the code between Alpha and Beta, favouring a continuous and incrementally improved service
2. Should all three user groups (job seeker, advisor and employers) be considered for the MVP?
Yes - but the primary focus of the prioritised user stories is meeting the needs of job seekers. There are a small number of advisor needs that could be considered for the MVP, principally to help match job seekers and opportunities.

We are happy to reconsider the prioritisation of user stories after initial estimation / t-shirt sizing.
3. What level of accessibility are you looking to achieve? Would you like us to consider assisted digital users within this project?
We would like to meet AAA, but AA would be acceptable.

Our user research found that some of the jobseekers who need most help will be least likely to be able to self-serve, so the service is focused on those who can. However, we envisage advisors may be able to support an assisted digital journey for jobseekers, increasing their digital skills through the process.
4. Are you required to pass through GDS assessment gateways?
We are not required to pass through GDS assessment gateways, but would like to seek a third party to evaluate the work against the local government digital service standard, which we're in the process of adopting formally.
5. Are you looking for responsive, mobile first approach?
Yes. Whilst the service is used by a range of different age groups, most use a smartphone. Data allowances and call credit is an important factor for many of our users.
6. Can you share who conducted Discovery?
The Discovery was conducted in-house. Whilst the team had not worked in this way before, we have previous professional experiences of conducting discovery phases in other local authorities.
7. Various questions have highlighted that the Trello board was not available.
The trello board has been recreated:
8. We joined the GoogleHangout for the Q&A sessions at 12pm today, however we were not successful/accepted to join. Are you planning to reschedule?
Apologies - we did not see anyone wishing to join the call. We are happy to reschedule for 1pm on Monday 10 April. Please call 07764 747858 if you have any difficulties accessing the call.
9. Do you see this digital solution being built into the current Hackney Council digital infrastructure?
We're open to suggestions, but have not identified this as a user need.

We will need to validate a user resides in Hackney, and an API integration with Citizen Index is an option to achieve this, but not a requirement for the MVP.
10. Do Hackney Council have a form of service assessment for an Alpha stage?
We would like to conduct an assessment against the Local Government Digital Service Standard. We are yet to adopt this formally so do not have a process in place. We would expect to use an impartial expert to conduct the assessment and publish their findings
11. Support an efficient way of authenticating Hackney residents (eg through the council’s existing master data), please can you clarify where this existing data currently sits? Is this in a CRM, or something else?
Our master data is contained in Citizen Index, a record of citizens and their addresses. This is accessible via APIs from outside the Hackney environment.

We also have a proof of identity service behind our One Account portal which enables users to upload files and stores scanned images (eg passports) in the corporate document management solution so that staff can verify a user's identity
12. Please can you clarify the tender process you are following? E.g. will you be shortlisting against the 100 words skills and experience criteria submitted by suppliers through the digital marketplace and then moving into proposal stage following this evaluation? Or are you anticipating suppliers submit their full proposals alongside the 100 words. If the latter, please can you provide details on the format of the proposal required and an email address for supplier to submit.
In addition to the submission via the portal, please submit any additional material via email to We will not disadvantage any supplier that can only submits via the portal, but will ask for the additional information stipulated by return (presentation, case study, reference)
13. What are the requirements for the authentication of business users?
We haven't yet developed these requirements, but would anticipate that two factor authentication would be desirable.
14. Client authentication via social media (Trello), Citizen Index and One Account login have been mentioned. Are all three intended to be offered as options to users? Also would you require a fourth option of a Ways into Work username and password?
For the MVP, we anticipate taking the path of least resistance technically. We haven't identified a user need for a single sign on with other council services - only that there may be some benefits of encouraging users to develop their LinkedIn profiles (achieved partly through logging in via LinkedIn).