This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 25 July 2016
Newham Council

Newham Digital Customer Programme Discovery Phase

0 Incomplete applications

35 Completed applications

23 SME, 12 large

Important dates

Monday 11 July 2016
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 18 July 2016 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 25 July 2016 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Newham Council require a supplier with specialist capability and experience in transforming large scale, complex legacy technology and services into efficient modern solutions, to provide a team for a 10 week Discovery phase as part of its Digital Customer Programme, aligned to the Digital By Default Service Standard.
Latest start date
Expected contract length
10 week Discovery Phase
Organisation the work is for
Newham Council
Budget range
There is a fixed cost budget of £90,000.00 (exclusive of VAT)

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our aspiration is to pioneer change by creating a resilient council and community that shapes Newham as a place where people choose to live, work and stay. We are transforming the way we work to be more effective, commercial, innovative and pioneering in how we deliver the services our residents say matter most to them. Our vision is for services to be Digital by Default ; while saving money and improving the user experience. We require a specialist team to work with us on a Discovery phase as part of the Digital Customer Programme.
Problem to be solved
While many transactions have been moved online, the user experience is fragmented and often confusing, relying on inefficient, manual intervention for a number of transactions. There is an opportunity to make savings by improving the user experience in the broadest sense and to develop an evidenced based digital roadmap to deliver digital tools that meet user needs and support organisational goals for the future.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The discovery phase should identify who the users are and what they need to do. At a high level the users are Newham residents, partners, businesses and other organisations. Within the council the users are those who commission services. Newham Council provides a range of services to users including adult and children health and social care, advice and benefits, housing, community and living, environment and planning, education and learning, jobs and careers, leisure and culture, transport and streets.. A more complete list is available on the Council website
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We recently carried out an analysis of all activity across the council to identify savings and service improvements, and our business case has now been approved. There are a number of projects and programmes which have an impact on or dependency with the Digital Customer Programme. Newham has a growing understanding and appreciation of the scope and management of Discovery phases, and has run agile projects and programmes in the past.
Existing team
The supplier will work with blended, multi-discipline in-house Newham teams and people, including Service Managers, Product Managers, Business Analysts, Solution Architects, Project Managers, Delivery Managers and Service users. There may be instances where the supplier will need to work with other Newham suppliers.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
London Borough of Newham, Newham Dockside, 1000 Dockside Road, London E16 2QU
Working arrangements
Monday to Friday on site. A professional working day, hours and working pattern as needed to deliver the service in an efficient way. Mainly based from our office in Dockside, London.
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
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering successful Pre Discovery and Discovery outcomes to support complex digital transformation in a service delivery organisation - 5 points.
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering savings through digital transformation projects including quick wins and actionable roadmaps through the Discovery phase - 5 points.
  • Full understanding and demonstrable experience of research methodologies and data collection techniques for complex, high volume, citizen facing, transactional services - 5 points.
  • Able to deploy an effective team ready to hit the ground running no later than 15th August 2016 - 5 points.
  • Demonstrable experience of working with users and stakeholders at all levels in complex political environments - 2 points.
  • Demonstrable experience of carrying out research with a diverse mix of users including those with low digital literacy and assisted digital needs - 2 points.
  • Demonstrable experience of knowledge sharing and skills transfer with in-house teams so as to build sustainable capability - 2 points.
  • Demonstrable experience of working successfully with incumbent legacy vendors and in-house ICT as part of Discoveries to support digital transformation - 2 points.
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering working prototypes during a discovery phase that exemplify the digital vision and strategy - 2 points.
  • Proven ability to lead and coach public sector organisations through the digital transformation process aligned with the Digital by Default standard - 2 point.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Previous experience in public sector transformation programme - 1 point.
  • Strong experience of delivering projects in line with the Government Digital Service’s Design Principles and Digital Service Standard - 1 point.
  • Demonstrable experience of research methodologies: ethnography, open and closed card sorting, multivariate testing - 1 point.
  • Strong understanding of the approach other local authorities are taking with digital and of the benefits this provides - 1 point.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology - 2 points
  • A plan that sets out the overall timescales - 2 points
  • Approach to knowledge transfer - 2 points
  • Team structure - 2 points
  • Value for money - 2 points
  • Critical success factors - 2 points
  • Top level risks and assumptions. - 2 points
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as part of a team with our organisation and other suppliers - 4 points
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions and recommendations - 2 points
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes - 2 points
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members - 2 points
  • Demonstrate commitment to excellence and improvement by seeking actionable feedback, setting targets etc - 2 points
  • Demonstrate courage by being able to express controversial views, confront reality, make tough decisions, question actions inconsistent with group behaviours, being candid about progress/estimates - 2 points
  • Demonstrate vulnerability by declaring uncertainty, fear, recognise mistakes, apologise, acknowledge weaknesses - 2 points
  • Demonstrate responsibility by act like a leader, serve your team, provide solutions to problems, engage in external/internal environments, seek the best for the organisation beyond your team - 2 points
  • Demonstrate simplicity by taking simple steps to goals, do less but better, mitigate failures, talk straight with respect - 2 points
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. The ‘Working arrangements’ seem to imply that a supplier team member (or members) is required full-time at your offices during the project, and within that, to be primarily based in your Dockside office. Is this correct, or is it simply saying that being based on-location is possible and/or desirable?
Being based on-location is highly desirable so that we can run an agile Discovery phase and ensure knowledge transfer between the specialists and Newham staff. We would therefore like the team member (or members) to be based primarily with staff here at Newham as much as possible.
2. The ‘Problem to be solved’ talks about the fragmented and often confusing user experience. The next section (‘Who the users are and what they need to do’) talks about the discovery phase identifying users and needs. Is it therefore expected that this phase will also identify current user experience issues with your online presence, perhaps including prioritisation and developing an overall picture? Or are you wanting this discovery phase to solely look at user needs, with the intention of then conducting some later (post-discovery) mapping of user needs to the current systems and their issues (i.e. a gap analysis)?
It is expected that this phase will identify current user experience issues with Newham's online presence, including prioritisation and developing an overall picture of user needs, as well as mapping those user needs to the current systems and their issues.
3. Do you have databases of users in each of your service areas (social care, housing, etc.) that we could—collaboratively if needed—contact for their involvement in this project? Or would you expect us to source and contact Newham Council service users ourselves?
There are a number of information and data sources available from a range of different council services about their customers that the team can use during the Discovery phase. This includes information about service users who can be contacted to participate in user research and testing. Staff from the service areas are also part of the wider Discovery team and we will work in collaboration with them.
4. Would you say that your expectation is to work more iteratively in this project, perhaps in an agile format and exploring new avenues as work is completed, or more traditionally in terms of separate gathering, analysis and reporting stages? (Or are you open to our proposal?)
Our expectation is to work incorporating Agile principles and to follow the Government Service Design Manual We anticipate an iterative approach.
5. You mention about the possible need to ‘work with other Newham suppliers’. Could you give us an example (or envisage one) where this might be the case?
One Source provide back office support services for Havering, Newham and Bexley Councils. They provide a shared service solution covering a range of transactional, operational and strategic services including ICT. There are also a number of other ICT suppliers who provide software for a number of different functions in the Council.
6. Are you expecting to provide, or open to providing, internal resource for this project? And if so, are you open to what’s needed or proposed by us, or do you have specific internal project management or research team members in mind?
We do have internal resource available full time for this Discovery phase. This includes product managers, business analysts, service managers and technical resources. However we are open to hearing from suppliers what kind of team they think we might need for this phase. One of the main deliverables we're hoping to achieve is some knowledge transfer from the supplier to the internal team during the project.
7. While we fully understand the standard outcomes of a discovery phase project, do you have a vision or expectation for the types and practicalities of deliverables from this discovery phase? Put another way: what counts as ‘success’ in what this phase delivers for you?
Our goals for the Discovery phase include:
Develop a shared understanding of who our users are – their needs, contexts, motivations and behaviours
Understand how their needs are currently met (or not)
Validate and prioritise those needs
Establish a model for what good looks like and the current gap
Challenge and validate assumptions for wider web and digital projects
Explore concepts (using prototypes) that satisfy priority user needs
Understand the wider technical, resource, staffing and political constraints
Establish a clear approach and scope for the Alpha build phase
Understand what success looks like and how to measure it
8. Given the range of ‘Existing team’ people you mention, from Service Managers to Solution Architects to Delivery Managers, would you see this discovery phase consulting them for: a) their perceived issues with the current online services, b) their own needs for improved online services, and/or c) their assessment of the feasibility of any emerging requirements from service users? (Or are you open to our proposal?)
The existing core team will work together with the successful supplier to deliver Discovery and meet the goals outlined above (see answer to question 7). The Discovery team will also engage with the wider ICT department to understand the technical landscape.
9. Is there an opportunity for the chosen supplier to assist within the implementation phase? If so is there a pre-determined budget and timeline for this?
This procurement is exclusively for the Discovery phase. The outcome of the Discovery phase will help to shape future phases including scope, timing and cost. There is not a pre-determined budget and timeline for this.
10. Are the areas for discovery based solely at Newham Dockside or are there any remote operations/locations to consider?
The Discovery team will be based primarily at Newham Dockside but may be required to visit other council locations to engage with staff and customers within the borough including Stratford and East Ham.
11. Does the fixed price exclude expenses?
12. What is the level of confidence in the existing analysis conducted in the services? Would there be an expectation to complete high level analysis again to assure this information?
There is a high level of confidence in the activity analysis that has already been completed. We would not expect this work to be revisited as part of the Discovery phase.
13. Are you able to disclose the external partners which might be included in the review?
Newham Council works with a large number of external providers and partners to deliver services to customers. Much of this information will be available to the Discovery team once they are in place.
14. Is there any intention to involve customers in the discovery to ascertain their insight and expectations?
Yes. It is essential that we involve customers in the Discovery to understand their needs, motivations and behaviours.
15. Or has this work already been completed?
This work has not already been completed. However, there is a good amount of data and information about Newham's customers that is available to support the work of the Discovery team. This includes web analytics, surveys and some user testing.
16. What level of depth is expected in the digital roadmap?
We would expect the roadmap to include: design principles for Newham digital services, clear scope for the Alpha phase, a prioritised list of user stories, cost and effort timescales and Initial (benchmarked) KPIs and evaluation plan. The Roadmap should provide a clear overall sense of direction for the next 12 to 18 months with a detailed plan for the Alpha phase.
17. How will this project be led in terms of governance and reporting lines?
This project is part of the Customer Programme which reports to the Director of Transformation. Sponsors for the programme are members of the senior leadership team in Newham who have overall responsibility for the delivery of the programme.
18. Is further information on the Newham 2020 vision available?
More information about Newham's vision is available on the Newham website.
19. Please provide an overview of the legacy and proposed systems and applications.
Understanding the technical landscape, capabilities and constraints is one of the objectives of the Discovery phase. Therefore the technical overview is one of the outputs we might expect.
20. Have you identified some or all of the user groups (internal and external) the discovery team will engage during the discovery phase?
Some user groups have been identified and include residents, businesses, and delivery partners. Also there are user groups for specific council services. We anticipate that further work will be required by the Discovery team to develop this understanding further.
21. May suppliers apply for both 552 (discovery team) and 553 (Agile delivery manager)? Are there any restrictions we should be aware of?
Suppliers can apply for both. There are no restrictions.
22. Could you please confirm that you are separately procuring the Technical Architect and Agile Delivery Manager roles for this discovery work and therefore this specific procurement is for a delivery team only and will not include the two roles mentioned ? Thanks.
Yes. The Technical Architect and Agile Delivery Manager roles are being procured separately.