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DVLA ITS – Service Creation

PS 18/162 Principal Software Engineer

10 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 3 large

8 Completed applications

8 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Wednesday 1 August 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 3 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 8 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Technical Architect
Summary of the work
Guidance on the Leadership of internal and 3rd party Software Engineering teams tasked with designing, building, testing, deploying and maintaining the full application stack. They will provide feedback on best practice, coach and mentor Software Engineers at all levels.
Latest start date
Monday 3 September 2018
Expected contract length
8 months
Organisation the work is for
DVLA ITS – Service Creation
Maximum day rate
Supplier to propose

About the work

Early market engagement
Application stack technologies/software:

-Intranet/extranet, corporate web sites and commercial and public facing services;

-Databases, Data Warehouses, Business Intelligence Services and ETL services;

-APIs, reporting and workflow services;

-Data migrations for systems replacements/upgrades/refreshes;

-Integration between in-house developed Enterprise IT systems and 3rd party COTS products;

-Legacy Application stacks;

-Ensuring alignment with the architectural strategy.

Technical stack

-Java, React, Drone, Spinnaker, AWS, Azure, Docker, Kubernetes

Scaled Agile framework in use

-We use our own implementation of scaled agile that takes in aspects of SAFe, Disciplined Agile and LeSS
Who the specialist will work with
Internal Service creation staff, 3rd party contractors, internal stakeholders.
What the specialist will work on
Advise in the strategic direction for the software engineering teams, consisting of in-house and 3rd party staff, using agile software delivery and Scrum methodology to implement software engineering strategy to meet Agency and ITS objectives.

They will advise in the continuous improving of the applications stack and the Software Engineering capability, including defining best practice, and coach and mentor Software Engineers at all levels, acting as the senior point of escalation on methodology and/or development issues.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
DVLA, Morriston, Swansea
DVLA, RLDC, Swansea
Working arrangements
3 days per week
Security clearance
BPSS clearance required, if SC clearance is required through the duration of the contract DVLA will sponsor.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
We currently see this role as sitting outside of IR35, as the candidates would not hold a fixed office position and will not have direct day to day direction or supervision.

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
  • Provide evidence of (minimum 3 years) advising on large scale and mission critical Enterprise software solutions utilising a mixture of resource types, agile and formal project methodologies.
  • Provide evidence of (minimum 3 years) working effectively as a coach and mentor within an Enterprise-scale structures, as a leader and team player, in a technology based business environment.
  • Provide evidence of (minimum 3 years) having a proven ability to understand and assess business and operational requirements, architectural goals and constraints, and prioritise technical delivery models and/or solutions.
  • Provide evidence of (minimum 3 years) having excellent written and verbal communication skills, particularly the ability to communicate technical delivery matters simply and clearly too non-technical colleagues.
  • Provide evidence of (minimum 3 years) In-depth and up to date knowledge of Software Engineering methodologies, tools, technologies and standards.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of (minimum 3 years) experience in major procurements of technology-based products and services from third parties.
  • Provide evidence of (minimum 3 years) of proven experience of resource management, delivery planning and forecasting, with the ability to interpret complex financial data, manage budgets and financial control.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of advising in the leading of Software Engineering Teams with a strong focus on strategy and technical leadership of teams of 100+ (minimum 1 example)
  • Evidence of working with multiple stakeholders at all levels of the organisation, communicating effectively, establishing consensus and facilitating decision making, including senior executive levels (minimum of 1 example).
Assessment methods
Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please can you advise why this role has been taken down and re-listed reducing the amount of working days from a standard 5 day week to 3 days a week? Has the DVLA identified a resource that is only available for 3 days a week? is there an incumbent in this role? We have engaged with a number of people regarding this interesting opportunity, we will re-engage to see if there is an appetite to work on this project 3 days a week? Thank you Please can you advise as to a ceiling for the budget for this role also.
This requirement has always been advertised as 2-3 days a week. But has since been clarified as being 3 day a week.

The original requirement was removed and reposted due to the DOS role needing to change as incorrectly posted originally.
2. Can the Authority please confirm whether the 3 days per week are likely to be assigned to specific days, or are they flexible?
The requirement is seen as being flexible, but given the need to attend meetings or other critical appointments then the contractor should be flexible.
3. Will this be a 3 day per week contract, or is it 3 days a week on site and 2 from home?
Minimum of 3 days on site, but would consider remote working or it being part time.
4. For clarity, can you confirm that the phrase “provide guidance” is used because this is a “consultative” / “advisory” role that the role will not have accountability for IT solution outcome delivery nor responsibility for delivery of mainstream development tasks that are essential to IT solution outcome delivery?
The requirement is supplementary to the existing management structure in place. The requirement is there to advise and guide the squads deliver the DVLA’s workload and changes but will not pick up team management responsibilities.
5. With reference to the phrase “Guidance on the Leadership of 3rd party Software Engineering teams…”. Which of the following aspects will form a significant element of the guidance required: a. Organisational structure? b. Commercial relationships and service management of with 3rd party software engineering suppliers? c. Portfolio delivery approaches and management? d. Product / programme delivery management? e. Development model and lifecycle? f. Engineering practices? g. Engineering team and supplier management?
The requirement calls for input mainly on items C & D but may include items from other options as required.
6. What drivers created this requirement? How much are these driving factors? a. Future work that's more demanding in scale, complexity or rate of delivery than recent work? b. Change in delivery model, possibly planned rather than enacted, such as a switch to 3rd party suppliers or introduction of new players into an existing 3rd party model? c. Historic challenges delivering predictably and/or delivering the volume of change required? d. Quality challenges with historic deliveries e.g.: i. New capabilities or changes falling short of expectations? ii. Disruptions of historic services? As much context as can be disclosed would be very useful.
The requirement is needed to assist DVLA deliver in strategic outcomes. The requirement is driven by a need to fill a gap in skills and management by advising in the strategic direction for the software engineering teams using agile software delivery and Scrum methodology to implement software engineering strategy to meet Agency and ITS objectives.
7. Is there a list of short term priorities where guidance / intervention is required and if so can this be shared in answer to this question?
None at present, workload and priorities will be shared once the role has been filled and in place.
8. Does the remit encompass guidance on non-functional engineering practices such as scalable / performance designs, resilience and the assurance / testing of these aspects? If so then, please provide a high level list of such concerns in answer to this question?
The requirement will likely look to take input on such matters, however this is not the primary function of this requirement.
9. What is the size of the organisation to be mentored:
a. Number of internal engineering teams?
b. Approximate headcount of the internal engineering teams?
c. Number of separate 3rd party suppliers?
d. Number of 3rd party supplier engineering teams?
e. Approximate headcount of the 3rd party engineering teams?
The full staff count of the area of work is close to 300, however the requirement is to only cover part of larger organisation. We work closely with a number of 3rd party teams and these have their own management structures in the main but will require the contractor to liaise with multiple squads in delivering the bigger picture. The 3rd party team sizes and number flex with the workload so we are unable to specify the exact numbers.
10. Roughly, how many services of the following type does the organisation to be supported deliver:
a. Public or restricted audience accessible sites supporting transactions with the DVLA.
b. API based services
We have a high number of both types on interactions. With numbers approximately sitting around the 100-150 of each type.
11. What will the reporting line be for the engagement:
a. Who will be the day to day coordination / supporting point of contact?
b. Who, within DVLA, has responsibility for the success of the engagement and, as such, for the ensuring effective collaboration from internal and 3rd party teams?
c. Is there an executive sponsor, for example CxO or Director level or their direct report level, for this engagement?
The reporting manager will be the head of Service Creation and who holds responsibility for the full delivery cycle. The requirement has full sponsorship from the DVLA CTO.
12. What criteria will be used, after 8 months, to retrospectively assess the contribution / success or not of the exercise?
Feedback from peers and management chain, along with squad delivery.