This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 18 December 2017
Cabinet Office

Making use of collaborative tools easy (Discovery)

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

19 Completed applications

14 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Monday 4 December 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 11 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 18 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Discovery task to capture capabilities and limitations of online collaborative tools with regard to information management policy and legal compliance and develop technology improvement options to support interoperability and vendor-neutral archiving.
Latest start date
Monday 22 January 2018
Expected contract length
8 weeks
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Cabinet Office
Budget range
The budget range is £80,000 - £99,000 excluding VAT.
Travel, subsistence and all other expenses must be included in the overall cost.

About the work

Why the work is being done
This work is being done as part of an early phase of the Better Information for Better Government programme. This is a cross-government initiative to improve how government manages its digital information and facilitates collaboration online. The Cabinet Office is leading work to adapt core processes and attitudes to information in departments to fit with new digital ways of working in the 21st century civil service. This discovery phase activity must complete by 31 March 2018.
Problem to be solved
Many online collaborative tools (sometimes referred to as Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 or Enterprise Social Networks) present compliance challenges if adopted without specialist information management involvement, especially on zero-cost tiers.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a public servant I need to easily and quickly decide if an online collaborative tool is appropriate for me to use and understand what additional actions might be needed so that I can fulfil my legal and policy obligations.

As an information management professional I need to understand how best to support general users of collaborative tools, to enable the effective management of the information they contain and to consider approaches to interoperability and vendor-neutral archiving so that I can ensure my organisation's long-term compliance with its legal and policy obligations.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
A number of government departments, other agencies and public bodies have undertaken activities to work towards solutions to this problem. The discovery and synthesis of this work will be an important component of this opportunity.

The programme team has created a list of planned outputs and desired outcomes from the discovery phase.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with a small team of Civil Servants in the Cabinet Office / The National Archives and possibly with other suppliers undertaking related concurrent discovery activity.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Interactions with the programme team will be in London and it is anticipated that a significant proportion of research activities will be London based.
Working arrangements
We will want the team to work from their own premises, or remotely, meeting with the programme team weekly - at least half of these meeting to be onsite in Whitehall. The programme team will provide a point of contact for initial user research and other meeting requirements.
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 with multiple government departments / agencies on a single project (5 points)
  • Have experience in successfully providing knowledge transfer to client teams (5 points)
  • Have experience of conducting user research across a mix of general and specialist (e.g. KIM profession) staff (4 points)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience in working with small client teams in 'start up' mode (2 points)
  • Have experience of projects involving regulatory compliance beyond security and data protection (2 points)
  • Have experience of projects involving SaaS collaboration tools (2 points)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology (7 points)
  • How the approach meets user needs (5 points)
  • How the approach meets your organisation’s policy or goal (5 points)
  • How the supplier intends to ensure effective knowledge transfer (8 points)
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (5 points)
  • Team structure (3 points)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (2 points)
  • Value for money (5 points)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers, in a self-starting fashion: not over-reliant on the small client team (6 points)
  • Be transparent and collaborative both in decision making and, more generally, to facilitate knowledge transfer (8 points)
  • Be comfortable working at the boundary between modern digital ways of working and formal procedures and policies (6 points)
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please can you confirm/list all of the “Online collaborative tools” and any other tools that you use?
There is no centrally maintained list of online collaborative tools in use. Part of the discovery activity will be to refine our understanding of the extent of use of such tools, as well as identifying key factors to consider before adopting new offerings from the market.
2. Can you share the 'list of planned outputs and desired outcomes '?
[Answer will be in two parts, outputs and outcomes, for the two lists]
Developing the opportunity the team had the following planned outputs in mind, but these are not intended to constrain responses.
Report and research artifacts covering:
+ User research on current use and user needs for online (generally cloud-based) collaborative tools
+ Synthesis of major departmental activities (systems in use, governance arrangements etc.) in collaborative tools.
+ Assessment of capabilities and limitations of major marketplace offerings, including compliance capabilities for UK government environment
+ Recommendations for approach to enhancing interoperability between platforms
+ Stretch: Alpha prototype(s) for compliance exports / plugins
+ Stretch: Architectural concept design for vendor-agnostic information processing capability
3. Can you share the 'list of planned outputs and desired outcomes '?
[Answer will be in two parts, outputs and outcomes, for the two lists]
In developing the opportunity the team had the following desired outcomes in mind, but these are not intended to constrain responses.
+ Departments / Agencies are enabled to adopt good practice approaches
+ Increased Departmental buy-in to programme
+ Programme Team able to facilitate development of cross-govt designs patterns
+ Programme Team better placed to engage with vendors at strategic level
+ Programme Team is well-placed to provide direction for next stage in Phase 3 and exploit discovery outputs
4. Why is this work being pushed out rather than being undertaken by existing government Information Management professionals?
There are a number of reasons for seeking a DOS2 supplier to undertake this discovery. These include:
+ Involving experienced user researchers (and companies experienced in managing user research)
+ Involving companies and their staff who are expected to have a broader understanding of market offerings
+ Being able to achieve the discovery activity in a significantly shorter time than we would be able to by tasking existing Govt IM professionals (additional to their existing workload)
+ Being able to undertake other work in the programme with the time we would otherwise spend coordinating across Govt IM professionals