Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)

Acas17117 - Acas Digital Innovation and Delivery Projects

Incomplete applications

2
Incomplete applications
1 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

15
Completed applications
12 SME, 3 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Monday 14 May 2018
Deadline for asking questions Monday 21 May 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Monday 28 May 2018 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Acas require a strategic partner to assist in the delivery of the immediate requirement for the beta phase of “submit a notification” and to support us over a two year period on digital outcome projects to GDS standards using agile methodology.
Latest start date Monday 2 July 2018
Expected contract length 2 Years
Location London
Organisation the work is for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)
Budget range Budget for Beta Submit a notification is £260k-300k (exc VAT).
Bidders will be requested to fully detail their resources and charges at the evaluation stage.

Budget for any agreed additional work packages under this contract will be determined in consultation with the supplier.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Acas has embarked on an ambitious programme of digital innovation across all of our services. Some work has already taken place, and more is in the pipeline. We require a strategic partner to support us to deliver against GDS standards using agile methodology. The next work package for which there is an immediate requirement is delivering the beta phase of our ‘submit a notification’ project, which is part of our Dispute Resolution Service. Here we are improving the way users tell us that they want to go to an employment tribunal. We plan to start this work in July 2018.
Problem to be solved We know that current users of our services find it difficult to find and understand our expert advice online. We also know that users of our dispute resolution service find it difficult to submit the correct information at the right time to start the process, and track progress of their case. Internally we need to replace much of our current legacy technology and platforms so that we can meet the needs of internal and external users more effectively, and design and build better services in the future.
Who the users are and what they need to do As an employee I need to submit the notification so that I can begin legal process of making a claim to an employment tribunal (ET)

As an employee rep I need to know how to submit a notification so that my client can make a successful ET claim

As an employee rep for a group of employees I need to know how to submit notification for a group so that they can make an ET claim

As an employer I would like to use ACAS to resolve an issue with my employee so that it doesn’t go to an ET
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done We have already completed discovery and alpha on our digital advice service, and are currently in private beta.
We have also completed discovery and alpha on submit a notification and are planning to start beta in July.
Existing team In house team: 1 x Service Manager (P/T), 1 x Product Manager (F/T). Secondments to shadow the process/capability build: 1 x Associate Delivery manager, 1 x User researcher, 1 x Business Analyst. Secondment roles have some agile experience . Wider digital innovation team available for support and will be leading some future work packages. This team includes delivery and product management resource and digital leadership for the organisation.
Current phase Beta

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Euston Tower, 286 Euston Road, London NW1 3DP (potential for some remote working)
Working arrangements The team are required to be co-located with the project team in London, Monday-Friday usual office hours. Acas can account for some off-site working for some team members– to be agreed. The project will operate a standard agile scrum methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, demos, retrospectives, show and tells. The supplier will need to take a lead by being role models in agile ways of working, and invest time in knowledge sharing and coaching to increase the capability of Acas staff. The supplier will be responsible for recruiting user research participants as part of the initial work package.
Security clearance Baseline Personnel Security Standard clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions This is a non -exclusive contract for the provision of DOS work with Acas. Acas reserves the right to contract with other suppliers over the two year period for the provision of Digital Outcome related work.
Additional work packages under this contract are subject to approval.

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
  • Demonstrate experience of digital service design covering infrastructure, back-end and front technologies, with delivery and transition in the context of modernising/replacing technology services in a secure manner (10 points).
  • Demonstrate experience of user research with a diverse mix of users including with low digital literacy/assisted digital needs (20 points).
  • Demonstrate experience of sharing knowledge and experience with in-house teams so as to build sustainable capability in order to take transformation forward (15 points).
  • Be able to co-locate with the Customer’s team in London as part of a blended multi-discipline team (10 points)
  • Be able to deploy the team by 2 July 2018 to undertake Beta phase of submit a notification (10 points).
  • Demonstrate experience of delivering using Agile methodology (15 points).
  • Demonstrate previous experience delivering projects through full GDS lifecycle for similar size and complexity to Acas (20 points).
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
  • Proposed plan of activities, including proposed deliverables and dated timeline, demonstrating ability to complete delivery of Beta Submit a Notification by end of November 2018 (25 points)
  • The proposed approach and methodology (use of agile and user centred design) (20 points)
  • Approach to making use of existing User research (15 points).
  • Proposed Team Structure including CVs (10 points).
  • Approach to co-location of core team (5 points).
  • Ability to scale resources to the demands of this project (10 points)
  • Identification of early assumptions, dependencies and risks (15 points)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you work as a team, manage collaboration, share know-how, share best practice and templates, ensure capability building with the Acas team (20 points).
  • Demonstrate how you motivate and maintain high level of engagement with the delivery team (20 points).
  • Demonstrate an empowered ‘can do’ team culture, encouraging constructive feedback and learning (20 points).
  • Demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity to stakeholders. (20points).
  • Demonstrate how you take responsibility for challenging the status quo and standing up for your discipline whilst involving Acas staff (20 points).
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Who did Alpha? Methods Business and Digital Technology Limited
2. ACAS require a strategic partner…to support us over a two-year period on digital outcome projects" - can you please elaborate on this statement; Is a two-year period really required if this Beta project is due to run from July to November 2018? The two year period could cover potential new projects across our services, and isn’t limited to the beta project.
3. "and to support us over a two-year period on digital outcome projects to GDS standards using agile methodology" - does ACAS have a preferred/deployed agile methodology today e.g. scaled-agile framework? We follow the GDS agile methodology, and we work to the GDS standards.
4. Budget for Beta Submit a notification is £260k-300k (exc VAT) - what is this estimate based on? Is Acas willing to share the workings for how this budget has been defined? We are looking for proposals from suppliers that make best use of the budget available, we are open to how this is designed/constructed.
5. "We require a strategic partner to support us to deliver against GDS standards using agile methodology" - does Acas anticipate that this will include putting a service through a GDS service/compliance assessment? Yes this includes GDS assessments where appropriate, and internal assessment against the GDS standards for services that don’t require a GDS assessment.
6. Was a supplier involved in the Discovery and Alpha stages of 'submit a notification'? If so, who is the current incumbent supplier and how will Acas manage the risk of changing suppliers at this point? We worked with a supplier during discovery and alpha. There is no incumbent supplier and we are going back out to market to procure this work. There has been a backlog maintained by the Acas team throughout.
7. Please provide further information on the Dispute Resolution Services - how many services does this comprise and what interdependencies exist between DRS and submit a notification? Conciliation on notifications and tribunal claims is at the core of our DRS, we also undertake mediation and arbitration. Our notifications service provides the initial information for a conciliation, and it is a legal requirement for an individual to tell Acas if they intend to make a claim to tribunal
8. "need to replace much of our current legacy technology and platforms" - where can we find further information relating to this requirement? Has Acas defined a digital strategy for migrating legacy platforms to a secure footing? We have an IT strategy that recommends 5 keys areas of focus: data, integration, cloud hosting, case management and business intelligence. Work is underway to select the future solutions we will need. We will be working to meet GDS technology code of practice, using SaaS and PaaS as a preference.
9. Please provide indicative volumes/number of transactions for the 'submit a notification' service, per user journey e.g. employee rep vs employer We publish data on early conciliation each quarter: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5203
10. "We have already completed discovery and alpha work on our digital advice service, and are currently in private beta" - please elaborate on this, where can we find further information on this project? We have a new beta environment based on Drupal and hosted on AWS. We have an open github https://github.com/AcasDigital The service is in private beta with plans to go to public beta in June.
11. "We have already completed discovery and alpha work on our digital advice service, and are currently in private beta" - please elaborate on this, are you working with any suppliers on this requirement? We have a new beta environment based on Drupal and hosted on AWS. We have an open github https://github.com/AcasDigital The service is in private beta with plans to go to public beta in June.
12. With regard to the existing team, you have not listed a Scrum Master as part of the in-house team - do you anticipate the supplier providing this role as part of the Beta service delivery? As part of the inhouse team we have an associate delivery manager who is developing his skills on the job. We take in house development very seriously and knowledge transfer is a key requirement for our supplier. We are looking for proposals from suppliers that make best use of the budget available, we are open to how this is designed/constructed.
13. "The supplier will need to…invest time in knowledge sharing and coaching to increase the capability of Acas staff" - how is this knowledge sharing completed today? Please provide examples of what is working well for you today and what you believe can be improved during the Beta phase? We are interested in how supplier would go about knowledge sharing and coaching as part of the proposal. As an example we have successfully used shadowing, training and external learning to develop in house capability so far but we are open to creative ideas.
14. Is Acas committed to working with SME's on this requirement? As a departments Acas currently exceed the government target for SME engagement. We are committed to undertaking a fair and open competition to select a best fit supplier for this requirement.
15. "Demonstrate experience of digital service design covering infrastructure…" - please confirm Acas' strategy for digital infrastructure; e.g. do you have a preference for cloud? We have an IT strategy that recommends 5 keys areas of focus: data, integration, cloud hosting, case management and business intelligence. Work is underway to select the future solutions we will need. We will be working to meet GDS technology code of practice, using SaaS and PaaS as a preference.
16. "Demonstrate experience…including with low digital literacy" - please provide examples of low digital literacy/assisted digital needs within the context of Acas. What are the characteristics of these users within the context of employee reps and employers, for example? Acas is committed to designing it’s services so that they are accessible to all and meeting the GDS standards for accessibility. The characteristics of our users are broadly similar to that of the general population.
17. "Demonstrate experience…similar size and complexity to Acas" - please elaborate on this - how do you define the size and complexity of Acas today? Acas is a medium sized organisation (800 staff) offering a variety of regionally based services on the complex area of employment law and workplace disputes. The notification service in particular sits within a legal framework which is complex. We are looking for suppliers who have experience of working with similar organisations.
18. Will there be an opportunity to review existing work before submitting our proposals? This seems particularly relevant with view to providing a mature plan of activities required within the proposal. At the Assessment stage, shortlisted potential suppliers will be provided with additional relevant details to allow them to provide a full written response and presentation.
19. As part of the proposal you have requested our proposed approach and methodology including use of agile and user-centred design - what UCD principles are Acas using today and do you have a preferred approach for this? We follow the GDS agile methodology, and we work to the GDS standards. We don’t have a preferred approach for user centered design and would be interested to see proposals from suppliers.
20. With regard to providing proposed team structure, can you please confirm your preference for onshore/offshore work or the inclusion of apprentices? We are looking for co-location of the team in our London office, with some flexibility for remote working. Acas is open to proposals that include apprentices.
21. "Ability to scale resources to the demands of this project" - what does this mean? It seems you want suppliers to provide costings for delivery of a fixed-price Beta; what is the context for needing to scale resources within a fixed-price project? This tender does not just cover the Beta project but potentially a range of additional Digital Outcome projects over the 2 year period. We require the potential supplier to demonstrate that they have a flexible range of skilled resource, experience and capacity that is able to be deployed at relatively short notice.
At the Assessment stage, shortlisted potential suppliers will be asked to provide cost for delivery of the current beta project and separately a rate card for other potential roles.
22. "Identification of early assumptions, dependencies and risks" - in your opinion, what are the biggest risk(s) faced by this project? Risks are around ensuring that each project works in collaboration with other transformation activity at Acas; meeting GDS standards.
23. "Demonstrate how you work as a team, manage collaboration, share know-how…" - please provide examples of how this has worked particularly well for Acas in the past? What opportunities do you believe exist for improving this in the future? We are looking for proposals that enable us to deliver at pace, whilst building our internal capacity and capability and meeting GDS standards. So far our approach has been co-location, shadowing of roles and an emphasis on coaching and mentoring the Acas team.
24. "Demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity to stakeholders" - what is the biggest challenge you envisage with regard to stakeholder management for this project? We are interested in evidence of suppliers’ ability to manage a range of internal and external stakeholders during a time of change.
25. "Demonstrate how you take responsibility for challenging the status quo..." - what is the biggest challenge you envisage with regard to change management for this project? We are interested in evidence of suppliers’ ability to challenge the status quo constructively during a time of change particularly around agile delivery and user centered design.
26. Will you be providing a Q&A session for prospective suppliers? If so, when will this take place? All clarification questions should be submitted via the Digital Marketplace. A separate Q&A session will not be held.
27. Has any work been completed to map the required processes for the digital services? Similarly, can you please explain what methods and techniques have been used and the level of details completed e.g. processes mapped to APQC level 3? We have mapped current and potential future user journeys and current and potential future internal business processes.
28. Please advise if an official project plan is available with indicative timescales for delivery? The initial work package (notifications beta) is planned for July-November.
29. As part of this process, will we be allowed to meet Acas stakeholders to understand what key decision makers see as a successful outcome for this engagement and how to best approach the project – both technically and commercially? We envisage that the successful supplier will be fully involved with the Acas team to manage and deliver the outcomes; this would include discussions with key stakeholders.
30. Is there an agreed enterprise/digital architecture available for Acas that we can review? We have an IT strategy that recommends 5 keys areas of focus: data, integration, cloud hosting, case management and business intelligence. Work is underway to select the future solutions we will need. We will be working to meet GDS technology code of practice, using SaaS and PaaS as a preference. There is an emerging architecture but not shareable at this stage.
31. Please can you clarify what will be the controlling scope that determines the completion against the scope? The Product Manager will define the scope in collaboration with the team, in line with the Product vision and in collaboration with the Director Digital Innovation.
32. Have existing third party suppliers been working with Acas to help shape your thinking on this project? If so, who has been involved to date? So far we have worked with a range of suppliers on several strands of work. We have found that this has helped us to evolve our thinking, and we are open to new ideas that come from working with a variety of suppliers.
33. The notifications service sits within a complex legal framework did your discovery and alpha find user needs related to this? One of our key findings from discovery and alpha on notifications was that users need to better understand the role of the Acas conciliator, and whether they are eligible for the service, and that this lack of understanding is causing issues for users at the point of notification.
34. We've reviewed the Acas Github repositories and see that you've referenced Drupal in a couple of responses. How open / flexibility to evolving technology platforms are Acas? From the brief audit that we've undertaken, it don't look like a great technical foundation to be building upon. Could you clarify your expectations around this? For the beta we will be using Drupal and the beta environment as it is currently set up, although we are iterating and adding to this during public beta of the advice service. However longer term we are looking at a variety of options for hosting, and managing our external content and services, and are open to ideas from suppliers about technical options.
35. You mentioned that a backlog has been maintained by the Acas team. Is it possible to view it? At the Assessment stage, shortlisted potential suppliers will be provided with additional relevant details to allow them to provide a full written response and presentation.
36. Have Discovery and Alpha assessment reports been published and if so, where can they be viewed? They are not published by GDS yet - At the Assessment stage, shortlisted potential suppliers will be provided with additional relevant details to allow them to provide a full written response and presentation.
37. Is there going to be an opportunity to arrange an onboarding session at the start of the project with the supplier who delivered Alpha? We will make sure that the successful candidates are fully briefed.
38. You mentioned internal systems being replaced. Are any major works planned at the same time as the Beta phase on systems that Submit a notification needs to integrate with? We have an IT strategy that recommends 5 keys areas of focus: data, integration, cloud hosting, case management and business intelligence. Work is underway to select the future solutions we will need, and it will be essential that the Submit a Notification Service dovetails with the new case management system.
39. Is it possible to share a full set of requirements for the project? We have described the requirements as fully as possible within the word limitations of the Digital Marketplace. At the Assessment stage, shortlisted potential suppliers will be provided with additional relevant details to allow them to provide a full written response and presentation.