Start date: Tuesday 19 September 2017
Value: £99,750
Company size: SME
Department for Transport

PPRO 004/047/185 - Agile Coaching Services

9 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 2 large

11 Completed applications

10 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Thursday 20 July 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 27 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 3 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Supplying coaching/mentoring/training to help the newly established 100+ strong Digital Service in the Department for Transport to learn/apply Agile methodologies, including Scrum and DSDM, to the delivery of digital transformation projects and services. To design/deliver bespoke training packages and develop staff to become competent in coaching others in Agile techniques.
Latest start date
Tuesday 19 September 2017
Expected contract length
6 months with an option to extend for up to a further 6 months
Organisation the work is for
Department for Transport
Budget range
£75,000 - £100,000 Capped Time & Materials

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Digital Service is a newly created internal capability, a Digital Center of Excellence for DfT, comprising over 100 posts, many of which are new, covering a range of digital roles. These include technical architects, business analysts, user researchers, business partners, digital support, security, assurance, project delivery, developers, innovation, digital adoption, communications and training.
To ensure the Digital Service offers a high performing, professional and quality service, delivered at pace, we need to be skilled and proficient at Agile delivery. We also want to demonstrate the benefits of Agile techniques to the whole business to encourage wider use of Agile.
Problem to be solved
This requirement is for a flexible provision of 1-3 Agile coaches to work on site within the newly established DfT Digital Service. The Agile coaches will provide high quality and hands on coaching, training and support in a full range of Agile techniques, tailored to the needs of teams and individuals. They will be required to contribute to the drafting, design and delivery of Agile training and development programmes for both the Digital Service and for the rest of the Department, giving presentations and attending meetings and events as required to raise the profile of Agile working across the business.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Primarily, the coach(es) will work across our London and Hastings offices on a flexible basis, as required, with teams and staff within the Digital Service, but they will also work with other teams and individuals across the Department as necessary to support the wider upskilling of DfT staff in Agile skills. This may involve a mix of 121 coaching, team sessions, training, hands on help and other techniques. This may require more than one coach to be available at any given time and they will need to be responsive to the needs of the business.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Formal training of a number of Digital Service and central DfT staff in DSDM Agile has been completed in recent months. Staff have also attended speed learning and short awareness and training session on Agile principles and the use of Agile tools such as Trello over the past year and one fully Agile project has been run in house by the Digital Service, but using mainly contractors. Other projects and policy work in the central Department have used some elements of Agile and the Digital Service is currently carrying out some small pieces of Discovery research.
Existing team
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Two Locations:
DfT premises at Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London; and
Ashdown House, Seddlescombe Road North, Hastings.
Working arrangements
We expect the Agile coaches to be based on site in London and/or Hastings for up to 5 days per week. How much resource is required on site at any given time will be driven by business needs and demand.
Security clearance
Minimum current Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) clearance. Evidence of which to be submitted with the Tenderer’s full proposal for final evaluation estimated to be held on 17/08/2017.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
We currently see this role as sitting outside of IR35, as the candidates would not hold a fixed office position and will not have direct day to day direction or supervision.

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
  • Proven track record of delivering improvements at pace in complex organisations by successfully embedding the culture, principles, values and practices that underpin Agile
  • Experience of working with a range of staff at all levels and from all backgrounds and working patterns, establishing strong rapport/empathy/effectively inspiring them to implement effective Agile working.
  • Proven track record of designing and delivering effective Agile training and coaching programmes.
  • Proven expertise in transitioning from Project to Product Management and operating Agile at scale
  • Proven experience in skills transfer and developing Agile practitioner and coaching expertise in a client’s permanent staff
  • Certified Experts in Agile Coaching
  • Certified Scrum Masters or Certified Product Owners
  • Proven experience in balancing multiple, and often conflicting, priorities and dealing with ambiguity.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of applying the GDS Service Manual to deliver digital services.
  • Experience of ITIL and SFIA.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution. (12.5%)
  • Approach and methodology. (12.5%)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs and the Department’s objectives. (10%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work, and timeframe for the allocation of additional coaches as required by the Department’s varying demand. (10%)
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them. (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Able to form effective relationships with people of all seniorities and job types. (4%)
  • Self-starters, able to work with minimal supervision, who inspire others to action. (4%)
  • Adaptive to different work styles and deliverables. (4%)
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills. (4%)
  • Confident but with an ability to listen carefully, challenge the status quo, and advocate for Agile digital delivery in a clear and constructive manner. (4%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Your budget is below market rate for the services specified? Would you be open to a higher expenditure or would you be open to us achieving the outcome using a different approach/roles.
We have set out our requirements we expect to be met within the budget and we are looking for day rates to be provided in bids. Bidders can set out the approach they will take to meeting the requirement in their bid proposal.
2. Of your 100 people are the a) all in post already b) all permanent staff?
We are currently in a recruitment phase and expect to have filled 90% of the posts by the end of September. The vast majority are permanent posts with only a few short term contract staff which we would not expect to up skill in Agile.
3. What is the split of people/roles across your two locations?
The Digital Service in DfT operates across both locations with roughly two thirds based in London. However, we are agnostic about which location people work at as we are looking for teams to work collaboratively using Agile techniques across both locations with team members working where they need to be.
4. What happens with any current suppliers in terms of travel and accommodation in Hastings? Is it charged additionally and what are the typical costs? Would you expect it to be similar for this assignment?
Travel and Subsistence cannot be claimed within the M25 Ring-road area. The applicable rates that can be claimed outside of the M25 can be found here:
5. Are you planning to hold a conference call supplier briefing for this opportunity and if so when will it be and what are the dial in details?
We are not planning to hold a conference call. Clarification questions can be submitted through the site.
6. When you say "To develop staff to become competent in coaching others in Agile techniques." who do you envisage your staff coaching - other existing members of your team, new team members or people outside of the team? Have you identified people who you think can do this and do they have any existing experience or are they new to agile?
We are looking to create proficiency in Agile in staff to enable them to pass their knowledge on and cross-train others across the Digital Service and within the central Department without the ongoing need for Agile coaches. Currently few staff have direct experience of Agile working, though a number have attended training and there are many experienced project managers both within the Digital Service and the central Department.
7. At the proposal stage, how will the pricing evaluation (25%) be carried out? Will it be is based on day rates? If so, would expenses need to be included in the day rate?
Yes tenderers should provide a day rate applicable to the Agile coaches, which will be used to evaluate the financial elements of the bids. Expenses (Travel and Subsistence) will be paid in addition to the day rates submitted by tenderers and should not be included in the pricing for the work.
8. It is stated, "Formal training DSDM Agile has been completed in recent months. Staff have also attended speed learning and short awareness and training session on Agile principles ..... and one fully Agile project has been run in house ....". What suppliers have already provided agile services and training to the DfT Digital Service?
DSDM Agile training was provided using the Civil Service Learning framework. The speed learning and Agile awareness sessions were delivered in house. The Agile project referred to was delivered at Discovery stage by Fluxx Ltd, and for Alpha/Beta/Live by Informed Solutions Ltd.
9. Does the £100k budget cap include T&S expenses?
T&S is not payable as it is a London based role regardless of where the coach is coming from. However, T&S will be applicable on occasions that they are required to work from Hastings. Please also refer to our response to question 4.
10. Are you expecting the consultants to be working five days a week for the 6 month period? With the budget provided we would be looking to offer a maximum number of working days throughout the duration of the contract to ensure that we do not exceed the budget - would this method work for you?
The requirement is for flexible provision of 1-3 Agile coaches for up to 5 days per week. How much resource is required on site at any given time will be driven by business need and demand, and we do not envisage requiring all 3 coaches to work 5 days a week, every week, throughout the full 6 month period, but to be available to work together and in parallel as and when required, in order to meet the coaching needs of the business.
11. How strict will you be on formal certification? Will this be a straight forward fail if one of the 3 coaches is not formally certified as an agile coach even if they have extensive experience? Will you accept alternatives such as published academically in the field?
As set out in the requirement, essential skills and experience include being Certified Experts in Agile Coaching. The requirement also seeks proven experience and track record in delivery of agile training and coaching.
12. What do you see as the mix between coaching and training? You have mentioned a number of existing team members have been on formal training. Are you looking to continue formal training separately with this service complementing that training or for this service to take on the ongoing training requirements?
We are planning to continue with formal training, but will look to the Agile Coach(es) to complement and reinforce that training through both working closely with project teams and running wider awareness and training sessions as required to meet user needs in the business.
13. You mention Scrum and DSDM, but how tied are you to these methods/frameworks? Have your team been trained in DSDM and are you looking to continue with this framework? Would you be open to amendments to the approach base on what would work best for your teams?
Both Scrum and DSDM will have pros and cons depending on the specific needs of projects and users. A number of staff in the Digital Service and other parts of central DfT have been trained in DSDM, but we want to ensure training and coaching is also available in Scrum. The Agile methodologies offered will need to be tailored to meet the needs of teams in the Digital Service and across the central Department.
14. It is stated T&S cannot be claimed within the M25 Ring-road area. Please can you confirm that only applies to coaches that are based within the M25 area. For example, if a coach is based in Leeds, would T&S be allowed for travel to/from London including overnight accommodation? The T&S policy provided includes rates for overnight accommodation in London but we wanted to check.
T&S is not payable as it is a London based role regardless of where the coach is coming from. However, T&S will be applicable on occasions that they are required to work from Hastings.
15. We would like clarification on the location of this opportunity.
This is a London based role. However there will be a requirement to sometimes work from Hastings.