Awarded to Engine Partners UK LLP (The Engine Group)

Start date: Thursday 20 September 2018
Value: £561,400
Company size: large
Department for International Trade

Managing Investment Pipelines

2 Incomplete applications

1 SME, 1 large

6 Completed applications

3 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Friday 27 July 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 3 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 10 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Development of beta investment pipeline service to support pipeline management and the successful landing of investment to the UK.
Latest start date
Monday 10 September 2018
Expected contract length
5 months
Organisation the work is for
Department for International Trade
Budget range
£500,000 - £600,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The investment pipeline product will help DIT to manage their investment project pipeline, ensuring staff and partners have the information they need to manage resources, reduce risk and maximise success. The current digital service does not provide an aggregate strategic view to inform decisions and manage resources based on risk. The new service will also include a project workflow to support individual investors from prospect to landing stage. We have carried out an internal discovery and alpha and are now looking for an agency to complete the beta development.
Problem to be solved
The new beta investment service will provide:

1. An easy to understand investment project management flow from recording leads to all types of investment projects
2. The ability to view investment pipelines (mine, my team's, by sector, by region, DIT's) to aid reporting, forecasting and the management of risk
3. The ability to collaborate and communicate with the project team
4. Automating my workflow and helping me do my job
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users of this service are internal DIT staff and some delivery partners. Our users are based in 9 English regions, devolved administrations and across 108 countries around the world (Mainly in Embassies and Consulates).
Their job is to attract, support and increase investment into the UK. To do this they must have an effective project management workflow tool and DIT pipeline.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have already carried out a discovery and alpha. We have built high level prototypes and designs around the four areas:
1. An easy to understand investment project management flow from recording leads to all types of investment projects
2. The ability to view investment pipelines (mine, my team's, by sector, by region, DIT's) to aid reporting, forecasting and the management of risk
3. The ability to collaborate and communicate with the project team
4. Automating my workflow and helping me do my job
Existing team
A DIT civil servant will adopt the role of Service Manager and be the single point of contact for the successful supplier. Subject matter experts will work closely with the team to direct and provide positive challenge. Civil Servant staff may also be placed to work within the team or alongside the team and the supplier is expected to support their development by transferring knowledge and expertise to these individuals.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Windsor House, 50 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0TL
Working arrangements
Team members provided should be collocated with the Department’s other delivery teams at Windsor House, Monday - Friday.
Security clearance
All staff should have minimum BPSS level 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
  • Data led transformation of an existing service, e.g. following the GDS principle of “design with data” (1%)
  • Team experience of development using an Agile Scrum methodology, operating in sprints and aligning their development activities to the GDS Digital Service Standard (1%)
  • Practical experience of working within a complex test environment ensuring appropriate test coverage (1%)
  • Credible and referenced proof of experience and excellent technical competence in JavaScript, using node.js, preferably using the Express framework, and Python Django (1%)
  • Experience of development pipeline tooling, specifically Git source code repository, defect tracking systems, continuous integration tools and automated testing frameworks (1%)
  • Evidence of complex content design activity (1%)
  • Evidence of applying design thinking to solve business problems and develop high quality services (1%)
  • Evidence of working with Elasticsearch (1%)
  • Evidence of carrying out user research in line with GDS standards (1%)
  • Evidence of carrying out design in line with GDS standards (1%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Teams should be self-motivated, having an ability to work on their own initiative and without constant direction, but also be able to work collaboratively with DIT staff (2%)
  • Experience of working within a good governance model using agile, user centred development iteration (1%)
  • Experience of service design led approaches to transformation in government at beta phase (1%)
  • Experience of developing international trade products and services (1%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology taken to build new processes for government or large organisations (15%)
  • Technical solution encouraging reuse of existing technology (20%)
  • Team structure to support DIT to create a prioritised backlog for development (10%)
  • Value for money (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate agile working (1%)
  • Have a commitment to excellence (1%)
  • Have a commitment to team working (1%)
  • Demonstrate an approach to transferring knowledge and experience to DIT staff to support learning from this project (2%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Which organisation did the Discovery and Alpha?
This was completed internally by the Department for International Trade
2. Could you pls share who undertook the Discovery phase and who undertook the Alpha phase?
This was completed internally by the Department for International Trade
3. DIT will be holding a conference call to provide more detail on the opportunity and answer clarification questions on Friday 3rd August 11am-12pm. Please only join if you are eligible to bid on this opportunity.
Dial in details: +44 (0) 3306 068580

Conference code: 5702726471
4. Given this is a new beta service, can you please clarify why you are being specific about the technology to be used?
The service isn't new. It is an improvement on an existing service with an existing technology stack. Currently the project is part of the same codebase as the wider CRM system.
5. Can DIT share more detailed headline outputs from both Discovery and Alpha, to help suppliers catch up to where DIT are quickly and provide better proposal responses?
The alpha hasn't yet concluded, more information will be provided to shortlisted suppliers including a show and tell of the outputs.
6. Has Alpha identified a candidate technical architecture for Beta? If so can you please share this?
Our preference would be to use the exisitng technology stack - Python and the express framework in node.js
7. Has Alpha identified a delivery roadmap for Beta, if so can you please share this?
Not yet, more information will be provided to shortlisted suppliers including a show and tell of the outputs.
8. Has Alpha identified a desired resource profile? If so, can you please share this and indicate which roles a supplier should fulfil and which DIT will fulfil?
We estimate we will need:

Product Manager
Delivery Manager
Service Designer
User Researcher
Front End Developer
Back End Developer
9. Will the DIT Service Manager, be a full time role?
Yes. However, the Service Manager has responsibility for 3 products so time will be split.
10. In the interests of continuity, which of the resource provided by DIT during Discover and Alpha will also follow through into Beta? Alternatively, will access to people who worked on Discovery and Alpha be possible during Beta?
The Service Manager will follow through to beta. There is also the possibility of attaching a civil service digital fast stream person to the team. However, this is not yet confirmed.
11. When will Alpha be complete?
31 August 2018
12. In order to compare suppliers, how will price be evaluated?
Price is weighted at 20%. This will be split with 15% assigned to the core team resource profile and then 5% for any value add roles/services. More detail will be in the Invitation to Further Assessment document issued to shortlisted suppliers.
13. Is this opportunity outside of IR35?
Yes this opportunity will be outside IR35
14. What criteria will DIT be using to judge whether an evidence answer has 'exceeded' requirements and therefore scores full marks?
Within your answers you are able to explain how you have not only met the criteria but you have as a supplier gone above and beyond at meeting the requirements for a customer.
15. What is the timeline for procurement after the first stage (suppliers to provide evidence to the listed skills and experience)?
Shortlisted suppliers will be notified and invited to the 2nd stage by Tuesday 14th August and for Written Proposals to be submitted by Tuesday 28th August. Supplier presentations to be held Friday 31st August. Please note these are indicative dates and subject to change at DIT's discretion.
16. Is this service expected to be in and therefore follow the design patterns?
No. It is an internal service. However, we do use patterns as a standard, with some deviation as necessary.
17. Will this service be taken through the GDS Service Assessment?
Currently there are no plans to.
18. Can you please describe these different data sources at a high level, including the nature of the data source in terms of terms of: 1) volume 2) variety (ie CSV, relational database, unstructured data) 3) Velocity ( ie how often the data sources update, weekly batch, overnight, daily, hourly, near real-time, real time)?
The data is drawn from the CRM system which contains information inputted by users in DIT on a daily basis. There is also limited information pulled from Companies House into company records.

In June:
● Data Hub was accessed by 1,749 users
● 1,944 companies were added
● 3,897 contacts were added
● 10,094 interactions were recorded
● 401 investment projects were created
19. Will access to existing data sources be available from day one of Beta? If not, when will this data be accessible?
The product currently sits on the same codebase as the CRM so access is not a problem.
20. Whilst we understand there is a need to view investment pipelines in different ways (mine, my team's, by sector, by region, DIT's), and that there are DIT and delivery partner users, what are the different types of users who will access this platform? And at a high level, what are the key user needs for each of the different types of user?
Users of investment projects are:
● DIT HQ Staff (including sector teams and the investment verification team)
● Overseas Staff (in 177 posts in 108 countries around the world)
● Investment Services Team (staff contracted through Ernst & Young and OCO)
● Local Enterprise Partners (can only see projects they are involed in)
● Devolved Administrations (can only see project they are involved in)
21. Is it correct to assume that the Investment Pipeline Service will be in English only and not require support of multiple languages?
Yes. Although we have many users whose first language is not English. We endeavour to match our content to the GOV.UK style guide.
22. Is the head on innovation and delivery one role or two?
Unsure of the question, if you could please resubmit your question and elaborate to enable us to answer.
23. You mention that the selected agency will need to work within a complex test environment, can DIT provide details to the nature of this complexity and what is driving it?
We have a suite of end to end acceptance and unit tests. The end to end tests are written in JavaScript and Gherkin and use nightwatch and cucumber. The are both unit tests in the frontend, written in mocha, and in the backend, written in python using django rest framework and pytest.
24. Can DIT provide access to Discovery and Alpha outputs?
We will provide the successful supplier with full access to the Discovery and Alpha outputs. We will give a show and tell of the outputs to the shortlisted suppliers.
25. In regard to specifications, how much opportunity is there for flexibility? Is the scope fixed?
You'll see from what's on marketplace that we’ve identified 4 problems, originally 32 epics, distilled into 4 larger problems containing those epics. We're confident that we've identified all the relevant needs, so we think we know what problems to fix. There is some flexibility on how we fix them, though: we have some designs but when the agency starts, we won't have all the designs for all the problems we're looking to solve. So there will be flexibility for you to put your own stamp on that and the opportunity to think about how you would solve those problems yourself.
26. You said you implemented the CRM, was that internally built?
Yes, we built it internally. We were previously using Microsoft Dynamics, but moved away from it. It's a bespoke build based on GDS guidelines, although we have moved away in certain areas as it's an internal service. The front-end does look like
27. Are the technologies you described on the market place what you used to build platform?
Yes, the back-end with Python and the front-end with node.js. This is the established tech-stack, so there is no flexibility in regards to that as this opportunity Is just one of the projects going on to improve the CRM - there are four other teams as well.
28. When is the Alpha due to finish?
Alpha will finish at the end of the month 31st August. We think we'll be able to achieve a decent amount in that time. Our current resource will also run out by the end of the month.
29. Which staff provided by DIT during discovery and alpha will also be there for beta?
Just the service manager for the project.
30. Will we have access to those who were involved with discovery and alpha?
The developers will still be here, but working on a different project, so they will be available to answer questions. Aside from that, the Service Manager will be the sole point of contact.
31. Is the Service Manager a full-time role, or do they work on multiple projects?
The Service Manager also works on another team looking at Account Management, and has oversight on our intranet. The intranet doesn't take up too much of his time, so he will be on the project about 45% of the time.
32. With Alpha going till end of the month, are you able to share more details on the outputs from discovery and alpha during the proposal phase of this opportunity?
Yes, shortlisted agencies will be given more details to help with their written proposals.
33. We normally want 3 elements: candidate technical architecture, a delivery roadmap and a desired resource profile for beta. Will these be shared with shortlisted suppliers?
A resource profile will be provided to enable you to price your bids. I could do a very high level roadmap, but we would look for you to provide a detailed one upon starting, but I can draw out where we will be on a monthly basis.
34. Will we get an understanding of the 32 epics and where they've come from, and how that can shape their proposal
We’ve got a plan for our alpha, and we've dedicated the last week of the month to wrapping it all up. If we need something sooner, I can provide something in the meantime, but we’ve put aside plenty of time to pull together everything from the alpha.
35. Are you expecting a transition phase? A 'mini inception' for the incoming supplier to get up to speed? Would the alpha staff be available for that?
No, there will just be the Service Manager, the alpha staff will have left at the end of the month. He will spend as much time as needed to familiarise the new team with the wider context and details of the project.
36. 1/2 Can you give any insight into contact and engagement with any end users?
1/2 Our users are our internal staff and colleagues, so we've had no problem with access to end users. They're often very active and want to give us their feedback. We've had no problems getting participants for research and don't need a recruiter, we just email our colleagues.

As for stakeholders, we set up a stakeholder group around investment in April and would like to continue that engagement through the beta phase.
37. 2/2 Can you give any insight into contact and engagement with any end users?
2/2 Another ambition is to embed 1 or 2 people from the business who deal with investment alongside the team, who could join our stand ups or certain sessions to offer that voice of the business and subject matter knowledge. We haven't done this on the project so far, but have done on another and it has worked really well. The business have a strong interest in seeing improvements to the system and want to influence it.