Crown Commercial Service

Replacement of the MISO reporting tool - prototyping and alpha

Incomplete applications

11
Incomplete applications
7 SME, 4 large

Completed applications

3
Completed applications
2 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 4 January 2018
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 11 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 18 January 2018 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Crown Commercial Service (CCS) requires a team to build a prototype, and the first iteration of a service to collect management information from suppliers on government procurement frameworks. This project also requires some development work on the existing system to keep it running whilst the replacement is developed.
Latest start date Wednesday 7 February 2018
Expected contract length 6 months with extensions up to a maximum term of 12 months (subject to approvals)
Location London
Organisation the work is for Crown Commercial Service
Budget range Up to £260,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The existing tool doesn’t meet the needs of either suppliers or CCS staff; it struggles with the volume of submissions each month, which leads to incomplete or abandoned submissions; the user experience leads to a high level of support requests; and there is a large amount of manual processing required each month to prepare for and analyse the submissions. The existing MISO tool also doesn’t support the complexity or frequency of changes that will be needed in the future as different types of frameworks are developed.
Problem to be solved CCS asks suppliers for data each month. This varies widely from framework to framework in amount and complexity. It is a time consuming and frustrating process for suppliers to pull this information together each month, particularly for SMEs and organisations on multiple frameworks. This project aims to make this process easier for suppliers to complete each month and to provide a more stable, easy to use system for CCS support staff, reducing the administrative burden on them.
Who the users are and what they need to do + Suppliers who need to submit monthly returns. Suppliers may be micro-businesses, SMEs or large companies

+ CCS staff who provide support and assistance to suppliers submitting returns.

+ CCS staff who manage performance of existing frameworks and development of new frameworks

+ CCS staff who need to need to perform audits and due diligence

+ Other CCS systems that need to pull data from a management reporting tool.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done User research has been completed with the internal management information team. Research is currently being done with a range of suppliers as well as framework and category managers inside CCS.

Process mapping for the existing tool has been completed and early process maps for a future system have been started.
Existing team Delivery manager, user researcher, part-time technical architect.
Current phase Discovery

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place We would expect the team to be co-located in the CCS London office. Travel to Norwich and Liverpool may be required.
Working arrangements Onsite work for a minimum of three days a week. Travel to other offices will be required.
Security clearance CTC minimum, SC desirable.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Experience defining and structuring a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) - 10 points
  • Proven experience working on agile projects as part of a multidisciplinary team, as outlined in the Government Service Design Manual and Digital Service Standard. - 10 points
  • Expertise in iteratively prototyping, designing and building services which meet both user needs and the GOV.UK guidelines for content design, service design and accessibility. - 10 points
  • Ability to prototype and test with users and stakeholders - 10 points
  • Ability to turn research data into clear findings to inform what you build - 10 points
  • Demonstrable experience of designing content to meet user needs and making complex language and processes easy to understand in line with style and standards. - 10 points
  • Expertise architecting and developing scalable services using public cloud technologies, service-oriented architecture, microservices, security and integration. - 10 points
  • Display knowledge about system security risks and how to pragmatically mitigate them - 10 points
  • Experience of transferring knowledge to internal staff - 10 points
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience with ASP.NET in C# with SQL Server to support the existing MISO system - 5 points
  • Experience of providing coaching in agile methodologies - 5 points

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs - 5 points
  • Team structure - covering product, infrastructure setup and maintenance, ongoing prototyping and design, software delivery, content and how the the team will adapt according to changing priorities - 10 points
  • Timeframes - estimated timeframes for the work to be undertaken - 5 points
  • High level approach - how you approach delivering a MVP to meet project aims and transition to the team that will takeover the service after beta - 10 points
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience delivering in an open, collaborate, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual - 5 points
  • Experience of working with clients / team members with low technical expertise - 5 points
  • Experience of successful agile delivery in non-agile environments and bridging the two worlds - 5 points
  • Demonstrate simplicity (e.g. do less but better, explaining complex issues in a clear, simple way, break down and prioritise complex issues) - 5 points
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. The first Cultural Fit criteria asks for experience with 'ASP.NET in C# with SQL Server. Can you clarify that you are looking for someone who has gained this experience specifically while working within a MISO tool or whether you want someone with this experience gained in any environment so that it can be used when developing the tool? We are seeking general experience of ASP.NET in C# with SQL Server
2. What are the technologies being used ? The current tool was built using ASP.net. No decision on future technology stack has been made yet.
3. Does the budget of £260k cover the initial 6 month period only or is it intended that the budget covers this period plus the additional 6 months (i.e. the budget is for a year)? The budget set out above covers this phase of work. Additional budget is available to cover work after the initial six month term.
4. Will CCS be responsible for recruiting user research participants for regular research or usability testing sessions? Yes, there is a user researcher working on this now. We also have a participant recruitment assistant available to help book research and usability testing. Any costs for lab time or participant recruitment will be covered by project budget or other budget put aside for wider user research.
5. Do you expect the first iteration of the service to be treated as an alpha or private beta, that can be used by suppliers and CCS staff with real data? The first iteration of the service will probably be a private beta with a very limited number of suppliers for a small number of frameworks. The final decision about which suppliers and what frameworks will be made during the project. The majority of frameworks/suppliers will continue to use the existing MISO tool.
6. Is there a service manager/product manager for the tool, who will prioritise work to be done? Do you need product skills in the supplier team to support the project? The existing team is set out above. We expect suppliers to suggest their proposed team make-up based on this and best practice based on the service standard.
7. Will you sponsor CTC and/or SC? Yes, any security clearance requirement will be sponsored.
8. What are the expected team roles you expect the supplier to provide? The existing team is set out above. We expect suppliers to suggest their proposed team make-up based on this and best practice based on the service standard.
9. CCS Clarification - Omission of Additional T&Cs Cabinet Office T&S Policy will apply for any Supplier expenses which will need to be pre-approved by Cabinet Office.
10. To what extent is development on the existing tool an automated/well-documented process? Are CI/CD pipelines or similar in place, or will a new development lifecycle need to be established to support the existing tool in the transition period? The existing tool does not have an automated development process and there is no CI/CD pipeline in place. No new development lifecycle is required to support the old tool.
11. Is this procurement for an Alpha phase as described by the GDS Service Manual? The procurement cover work through to a private beta of the new tool.
12. Will this service be going through the GDS Service Assessment? Yes, it is expected that the new service will have to be reviewed by GDS
13. The requirement on DOS states the current phase is Discovery. Has this been completed or is it ongoing? If the latter, when is it expected to finish? Discovery is ongoing and we expect this to be completed by the end of January.
14. Is there an incumbent that is delivering/has delivered the Discovery phase? If so, are you able to tell us who and whether they will be applying for this opportunity? There is no incumbent working on this project.
15. Is it possible to provide the outputs of the User Research mentioned in the 'Any work that's already been done' section? The research is not yet completed so we are not in a position to share findings at this point. The successful supplier will have access to the full research findings.
16. Is it possible to provide the outputs of Discovery to all supplier to allow for a level playing field during this procurement? The research is not yet completed so we are not in a position to share findings at this point. The successful supplier will have access to the full research findings.
17. Is the budget of £260,000 expected to only cover this Alpha phase? The budget set out above covers this phase of work. Additional budget is available to cover work after the initial six month term.
18. Are the roles mentioned in the 'Existing team' section employees of CCS? Current team members are a mixture of civil servants and contractors
19. Will the roles mentioned in the 'Existing team' section all be part of the Alpha team? Yes.
20. Experience of transferring knowledge to internal staff - Have you a favoured method for this i.e. user manuals, face-to-face/onsite or via workshops? We expect suppliers to tailor their apporach to industry best practice and practical necessities of the project. We don't have a favoured method, but would anticipate knowledge transfer to include a combination all of the suggested methods.
21. What roles do CCS envisage the supplier needing to provide? The existing team is set out above. We expect suppliers to suggest their proposed team make-up based on this and best practice based on the service standard.
22. It states in the working arrangements section that travel to other offices will be required. Will CCS cover the expenses for this travel? Cabinet Office T&S Policy will apply for any Supplier expenses which will need to be pre-approved by Cabinet Office
23. You state CTC security clearance is minimum, would you also accept BPSS clearance? Suppliers would need to have the minimum security clearance at contract commencement. As previously stated, CCS will sponsor suppliers as required.
24. It states the latest start date is 7th Feb, can we ask what the procurement timetable is expected to be between 18th Jan and 7th Feb in order to award the contract? Current proposed dates are as follows:
We expect to notify shortlisted suppliers on the 19th January.
We expect that proposals will be due to be submitted by 30th January.
We expect presentations to take place in London on the 31st January.
Please note that these dates are subject to change.
25. We note the start date of 7th Feb is extremely close to the application submission. Can we ask what is driving this start date? There is an urgent need to stabilise the existing tool and begin work on a replacement.
26. We believe a start date 3 weeks after application submission would significantly advantage a supplier already involved in this project. Would CCS accept proposals that offer a later start date? There are no suppliers already involved in this project. Please refer to the section on proposal criteria - start date availability is part of the evaluation criteria.
27. Can you say more about the current user authentication system (e.g. Single sign on or bespoke) and would it be available to hook in to as part of the new prototype? The existing user authentication system is bespoke to the existing MISO tool. There are other authentication mechanisms available within CCS (including SAML/OpenID-connect SSO services). A decision will be taken during the development to decide how best to authenticate users.
28. Does the existing data store have APIs that would allow it to be re-used (e.g. for data import, data operations) or would the new solution require a new data architecture? The MISO replacement will need a new data architecture, the existing data store does not have any APIs.
29. Are there lots of different workflows depending on e.g. type of framework? Or is it essentially one style of interaction for suppliers? The workflow for all frameworks are broadly similar, however the information required for each framework is different. In general, suppliers are required to provide information if they have undertaken work through the framework, or submit a 'nil' return.
30. Following on from question 24, are CCS expecting to evaluate suppliers and award, agree, and sign a contract in the 4 working days between presentation and expected start date? As previously stated:
Current proposed dates are as follows:
We expect to notify shortlisted suppliers on the 19th January.
We expect that proposals will be due to be submitted by 30th January.
We expect presentations to take place in London on the 31st January.
Please note that these dates are subject to change.
31. Just to be clear, is this procurement for a supplier to join at the kick off of Alpha until the end of Alpha? We assume another procurement will be issued to start the Beta phase, is this correct? As previously stated:
The procurement covers work for the development of an Alpha through to a private beta of the new tool.
32. Does the budget include hosting costs or licences (if applicable) or is this purely for the development work? This is purely for development work. Hosting costs and licences will be procured separately (via G-Cloud for example)
33. You mention 3 days per week onsite - do you consider this a part-time engagement or a full time engagement with only part of it to be carried out onsite? We require a minimum of 3-days per week onsite, but expect this to be a full time engagement
34. Please can you advise how many users the system will be required to support? Please can you break this down into: 1. 'Back-end Users' e.g. the CCS staff and other Gov staff performing work within the system a) Within the 'Back-End Users' - how many need to actually do something with the data e.g. action it, change it, make updates vs. how many just need to view reports or dashboards on the data? 2. 'Customers' e.g. your supplier clients who submit information to MISO each month Thank you There are approximately 15,000 users of the existing system. The vast majority of whom are suppliers who submit information to MISO.
There are a number of CCS staff who need to work with the submitted data (less than 100), and staff who need to view reports/dashboards (less than 1000).
The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Thursday 11 January 2018.