Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Digital Group

Universal Credit Full Service Data Delivery Team - Project 20666

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
2 SME, 2 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
8 SME, 11 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 23 November 2017
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 30 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 7 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work A supplier is required to work with an in-house data team to implement and iterate a transformative agile delivery model for data at scale in the UC Programme.This includes provision of a secure technical infrastructure,the provision of intuitive data interpretation and visualisation,and applying sophisticated data science techniques to the programme.
Latest start date Monday 22 January 2018
Expected contract length This will be a 2 year contract with an initial Statement of Work for up 6 months
Location London
Organisation the work is for Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Digital Group
Budget range

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done DWP is delivering one of the biggest digital transformation programmes in the world. A key element of this is the design and delivery of Universal Credit, a web-based interactive benefit application replacing 6 existing benefits which at scale will service 8,000,000 customers. To support the effective and efficient delivery of Universal Credit a cultural shift is required to move the Department from its existing analytical and management information to the delivery of contextually relevant decision support tooling, predictive analytics, data science tooling, operational visualization as well as scaled data engineering and product development.
Problem to be solved We require a supplier with sector experience or internationally recognised best practice to:
- help build upon work to date, currently in Alpha, to move delivery of our UC MI tooling and data insight capability to scale up to a service supporting 725 DWP offices, 75,000 staff and 8,000,000 million customers.
- Accelerate our data science and analytics programme of work
- Widen access to our data to a variety of user groups of varying skills and knowledge
- Explore new technologies and techniques to improve the way the programme is shaped and driven through data.
Who the users are and what they need to do The users of this service range from frontline operational managers and senior delivery managers requiring non-complex UI/visualisation and analysts deriving data for manipulation, analysis and exploitation to support the needs of a wide range of business stakeholders . User need described below :

As a business user I want MI data services that are secure, flexible, scalable, resilient so that business data users can view and access data that is up-to-date, accurate, understandable, timely, securely accessible & shareable to support UCFS operations, outcomes and reduce cost to serve
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done The UC operational MI tooling dashboard has been developed an iterated to the point where it is rolled out across circa 60 sites and a claimant population of 200,000 and is in Alpha. The research and development insight capability is in place and maturing however will need to scale up to national roll out of UC supporting multiple stakeholders needs and a claimant load of circa 8,000,000. Agile delivery methods have been developed and are in place with 2 weekly sprints leading to iterative code releases taking place supported by a clearly defined backlog.
Existing team The supplier will be working alongside an existing team of 21 mixed DWP employees and contractors with mature Agile and data skills as well as with extensive knowledge of the DWP and organisational change. The supplier is expected to help mature and improve existing work, and will be expected to transfer skills and knowledge as the implementation and design iteration progresses. The supplier will be working closely and regularly with senior DWP leaders, including Director level.
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Caxton House, Tothill Street, Westminster London.
Working arrangements On site presence is essential to enable close working and co-creation, some travel may be necessary to other DWP Hub locations e.g Leeds, Sheffield and sites in the Northeast/Northwest of England. However, travel expenses should be kept to a minimum and signed off by the department. Other methods of engagement are available i.e. Lync, video conference, teleconference should be considered where possible.
Security clearance All resources must be at least Baseline Personnel Security Standard compliant and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Additional terms and conditions can be found at and clicking on "View current opportunities".

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Has cross sector experience of implementing and managing the delivery of enterprise wide agile capability at scale in a complex, multi product organisation.2%
  • Will provide skilled resources led at partner level with expertise and successful delivery experience of transformation to drive product orientation and agile delivery in multi-product organisations.2%
  • Will provide skilled resource with extensive Agile Delivery Manager experience at senior level in an enterprise product environment including recognised certification and delivery experience of Scrum, Kanban and Lean techniques.2%
  • Will provide a good understanding and demonstrable experience of product orientation, data science,DevOps. Software Engineering and Enterprise Architecture in end-to-end delivery of secure solution architecture to enable digital services. 2%
  • Will provide resource led at partner level with deep understanding and expertise in the behavioural and cultural change required to influence and deliver change in large government organisation.2%
  • Will ensure that continual knowledge and skills transfer to the DWP team is embedded as part of the approach to build individual and team digital capability.2%
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Describe your proposed approach and methodology to meet the Department's requirements.20%
  • Describe the team who’ll be doing the work,their specific experience/skills, in relation to implementation of organisation change to deliver digital services.12%
  • Describe the expertise in relation to, successfully driving product orientation and implementing cross business working whilst maintaining delivery focus and accountability. How will this expertise be applied to benefit DWP?12%
  • Describe the expertise&experience of the team in relation to the successful application of SAFe(Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprises)and/or DAD(Disciplined Agile Delivery)methodologies.How will this expertise&experience be applied to benefit DWP?12%
  • How will you ensure that continual knowledge and skills transfer to the DWP team is embedded as part of the approach to build individual and team digital capability?7%
Cultural fit criteria Outline your proposals for driving behavioural and cultural change. 5%
Payment approach Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Please note that "Problem to be solved" should also contain the following: - Build a sustainable technical architecture, continuous deployment model and testing practice to support our portfolio of work.
- Advise the existing team based on the supplier’s previous experience.

This is a complex and unique programme and team, working in the intersection between digital and big data.

We are therefore seeking a partner with experience of delivering enterprise wide Agile delivery at scale and the capability to iterate the design of and managing in large, complex, multi-product organisations
2. Please note that a briefing note can be found at under "View current opportunities". Please note that a briefing note can be found at under "View current opportunities".
3. A supplier telephone conference will be held at 10am on Monday 27 November for two hours. This will include a briefing followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.

Details are listed as follows: Tel: +44 (0) 20 3481 3254 PIN:6569564#
A supplier telephone conference will be held at 10am on Monday 27 November for two hours. This will include a briefing followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.

Details are listed as follows: Tel: +44 (0) 20 3481 3254 PIN:6569564#
4. If you appoint a supplier would you be willing to sub-contract an agency to support in the delivery of resources? The contract will be with the primary supplier who is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the service regardless of what sub-contracting arrangements are made.
5. Will you consider utilising other frameworks should Outcomes not provide resources? DWP currently has a hybrid approach to contractors based on the specific requirement. This currently includes a mixture of using DOS for outcome based requirements alongside the use of Contingent Labour frameworks.
6. Have you been through your IR35 determinations for the resources? We expect the roles to be deemed as outside of IR35 however, should the features of the engagement change; a further assessment will be made which could change the determination.
7. Will Security Clearance be provided by DWP for resources that don’t have it? Yes
8. What does the current team look like? The current team is broken into two halves, Product Development and Research and Development. Although we have suggested a number positions in the proposed team, we are looking for suppliers to challenge and suggest new ideas.
9. Are you looking for permanent staff or are you open to working with associates? The contract will be with the primary supplier who is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the service regardless of what sub-contracting arrangements are made.
10. What stage are you currently at? We are in Alpha stage and looking to move to Beta next year
11. What is your current team size? The current team is made up of 21 positions in a bespoke two team set up, one more product focused and the other more coding focussed. It is a mature team with a high skill set however it needs to grow and add certain skill sets to meet our ambitions. We are looking for a supplier to be given specific outcome based objectives and work alongside the existing team. We are open to the blend of roles suppliers are proposing.
12. Are you interested in AI and Block chain? We do not currently have a specific requirement for AI and Block Chain as we are working in a delivery and service focussed environment. The team is currently split between digital and data and we are looking to build deep data science skills. In this hybrid requirement, there could be opportunity for AI and machine learning into a digital service, the area we are most interested in.
13. What is the existing product set? The first product is Universal Credit. Apart from the complexity and scale, it looks like any other digital service delivery. The data team reiterates the product with data alongside data science and product teams.

There is also the operational data product, the performance dashboard, which sits outside of the digital service.
14. What is DWP’s aspiration into the level of integration into the front line operational services, for example integrating specific decision support services into existing operational services will reduce burden on front line staff and enable ‘at scale’ machine learning? We are exploring the potential that different data science techniques in Universal Credit, and we are open to suggestions from suppliers about how these may be used.
15. Can you please share your current thinking in your technology strategy or will we work with you and collectively recommend based on a broad set of Use Cases and learnings from the Alpha? The product team have a well-established strategy of engagement with stakeholders and continuous improvement of the product.

For the R&D team, the medium term strategic aims are largely set by the Programme goals overall, but we will look to be innovative with our use of data and technology within this remit.
16. Would you be able to share the Use Cases? We support users with data right across the programme, but specific user groups are operations, developers, service designers, user researchers, analysts, software developers, business analysts, finance and BI etc. These groups have very disparate needs. The type of support the team provides is varied, and includes products, data access, insight, analysis, consultancy etc.

We are open to iterate our approach and look forward to working with our suppliers to determine the best way forward.
17. How many users are there? When fully rolled out, Universal Credit will be in 750+ Job Centres and will have ~7 million claims.

When the MI tool currently being worked on by the product team is fully rolled out, it will be in all sites and used by 5000+ users.

The R&D team concentrates on providing insight and analysis for a smaller group of a few hundred corporate centre users, however there remains a long term ambition to build analytics products into the full service.
18. With regard to the size or scale of the outcomes and the associated milestones, what is the size of the risk for the suppliers? Are we talking about breaking it into smaller outcomes with lesser risk to the supplier? Our preference is for smaller milestones we are able to test and where the risk is incremental.

It is harder to breakdown the data science part of the requirement into outcomes but we are looking to build various incremental parts into the programme.
19. You have mentioned iterating the data dashboard from Beta into Alpha, what is the timeframe for moving this into Beta and Live? We are aiming for Beta to begin in March, with the system moving to Live in late 2018.
20. Is the product built to be scaled up? Yes
21. The data visualisation part, is that something that will be provided to the customers of Universal Credit or is it just for internal use? It is for internal use for the 700 Universal Credit offices. It is not intended to be used by the customers of the service.
22. Is the product bespoke or off the shelf? The visualisation is bespoke, using Java script. The work is being done by an in-house team made up of DWP employees with two of the team being recruited from a supplier.
23. The advert says “All resources must be at least Baseline Personnel Security Standard compliant and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least Security Check level.”

Do all the resources need to be SC?
As we are dealing with sensitive data, we would expect anybody involved with the data to be SC cleared.
24. What are the timeframes for the project We are looking to award the contract on 22 January. Suppliers have until 7 December to apply for this opportunity.
25. Can we see any output from the Alpha? We will look to share information from the Alpha with the five shortlisted suppliers on condition of a Non Disclosure Agreement being signed.
26. When is the contracting date? It is our aim to award the contract and to begin work by 22 January 2018.
27. Please can you share the outputs from the early Market Engagement session held last week (as per Kit's reference on the Q&A call)? The briefing that was shared as part of the pre-market engagement has been published on the DWP portal. Any questions that were received from suppliers and the information given has been published in this question and answer section.
28. Please confirm that the briefing note: "2017 11 21 DWP UC Data Team brief v1 1.docx" available on the DWP Bravosolution portal is the only output from the earlier Market Engagement session? If not please can you share any further output? The only output, apart from the questions and answers that have been published above, was the briefing document that has been published on the DWP portal. The only change from the original briefing is that under Anticipated Roles and Experiences, we have changed the number of Delivery Managers from three to one.
29. You ask for "cross sector experience of implementing and managing the delivery..." - can you explain what you mean with "cross sector", is this public/private, or diff domains in the public sector, or other? Different domains in the public sector
30. What is the expected tech stack/skills required e.g. Java, Scala etc? Including but not limited to SQL, Java, AWS, continuous deployment/CI, automated testing, data science skills (R. Python etc)
31. Please can you expand on what you mean by "led at partner level"? We want a co-located team who is able to blend with the existing team and drive our outcomes.
32. What does the backend data sourcing look like? We source our data from a Physical Data Model (PDM) based on tabular data created from a Mongo database. We use a Crown Hosting platform to do several iterations of data transformation in a Hadoop cluster; we then copy the data into our AWS application environment.
33. Is it possible to see the existing architecture for the solution(s)? A devops process was mentioned on the supplier call. Is the existing performance dashboard Alpha containerised/devops-ready and engineered to a level to support continuous release? We can show existing architecture with the five shortlisted suppliers on condition of a signed Non Disclosure Agreement.

No, the existing dashboard is not yet containerised and needs further engineering to become able to continuously release.
34. Can you please confirm the budget and expected team size/composition for this opportunity? The suggested team size can be found in the briefing which has been published on the DWP portal however, we are open to the blend of roles suppliers are proposing. The budget has not been published for this requirement.
35. I called the number for the tele-conference and received a message that the host hadn't joined yet. I waited for over an hour but only heard hold music. Is this call going to be rescheduled? It is very disappointing to hear that you were unable to join the event however, I can confirm that we had 37 participants who were able to join the call and we were able to take a number of questions during this time. The information that was given should be in the briefing that can be found on the DWP portal and any questions taken during the event have been collected and published above. We do not plan to run a further session however we encourage you to send in any questions if further information is required.
36. Would DWP expect to award this contract to one single supplier or multiple? A single supplier
37. Is there a list of specific roles DWP would like suppliers to propose? Yes, we have provided guidance in the briefing document, found on the DWP portal, but we are open to suppliers suggesting alternatives
38. Is there a certain quantity (maximum/minimum) of roles DWP are asking suppliers to propose? We have suggested the role sizes, which can be found in the briefing document on the DWP portal, but we are open to alternative sizing.
39. You ask for resource to be led at partner level. Should we therefore assume DWP expect suppliers to provide Portfolio Management and that this would be part of the project budget? No, this isn’t what we meant – we don’t need portfolio management.
40. What do you expect the team to eventually grow to? We are flexible but we expect the team to be in the middle 30s for full time equivalents.
41. Is SAFe(Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprises) and/or DAD(Disciplined Agile Delivery) methodologies a prerequisite for delivery? We have experience of significant scaling of agile delivery (10s of teams, 100s of people) without adherence to prescriptive frameworks - will this approach be considered by DWP? We don’t need you to adhere to prescriptive frameworks – that’s not what agile means to us. We’re looking for true agile experience as opposed to ‘accreditation’.
42. Are DWP expecting suppliers to propose a managed team or individual specialists to be shared amongst current teams DWP has? We are looking for a team to provide outcomes who will work alongside the existing in-house team.
43. Good Afternoon, Can you indicate an estimated/indicative budget range for this work? Thank you We have not published the budget for this requirement.
44. Good Afternoon, Can you share the name of the supplier who’s resources are currently embedded in the UC digital team? Thank you Further information will be shared with the shortlisted suppliers.