Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Thursday 31 August 2017
Value: £144,025
Company size: SME
Government Digital Service (GDS)

WP1435: Delivery activities of an Alpha phase for the cross government portfolio assurance tool

6 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 1 large

2 Completed applications

2 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 18 July 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 25 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 1 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Portfolio Assurance Tool, Alpha Development
Latest start date
Thursday 31 August 2017
Expected contract length
5 sprints of 2 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Service (GDS)
Budget range
Up to £145,000 ex VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
The current Cabinet Office Controls tool is a cloud based product used by 9 departmental functions to administer assurance on government programmes is approaching contract expiry and needs to be replaced. A discovery for the new tool has already taken place and the Alpha phase to deliver a series of prototypes needs to be conducted from August 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 the new pipeline-based assurance model currently being implemented.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Discovery phase identified multiple consistent groups from across government departments. These vary from departmental programme management offices to finance departments including those who assure technology internally within departments.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Discovery Recommendations highlighted the following epics:

1) Design for the needs of requesters
2) Introduce structured data
3) Improve guidance about spend controls
4) Define the boundaries
5) Put a team in place and build a service

The scope of the Alpha phase is to deliver (using an Agile approach) a set of prototypes to address the above. Points (1) and (2) will be fundamental in designing a service that meets user needs for spend control and service assessment teams in Cabinet Office and that of the departments.
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.
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. Colocated in Aldgate at times.
Working arrangements
Expect that 1-2 days on site per week to engage with current team. 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

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
5 sprints of 2 weeks

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
  • Min 5 years 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 more than 5 years 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 over 5 years
  • 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 mimimum of 5 years 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
  • Minimum of 5 years experience in 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 service

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
  • 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
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is the only assessment method Written Proposal?
We made an error on publishing and the assessment methods will be as follows:
Written Proposal
Work History
Case Study.
2. What team size are you looking to have in the Alpha phase based upon your discovery? What makeup are you looking for?
Suggested make up of:
Developers (x2)
User Researcher
Product Manager
Delivery Manager
Head of Strategy.
3. You say the solution will likely need role base access, how many current user groups have been identified in the discovery?
7 roles top level
Internal controls teams across Whitehall
External controls and assurance people in all major departments and agencies.
4. Will GDS be providing a dedicated service manager or product manager for the project, to work alongside the supplier team on a day-to-day basis?
There will be a product and delivery manager to work with and should the supplier deem a service manager necessary then they should include the respective costings as part of their quote.