Awarded to Lagom Strategy Ltd

Start date: Monday 1 October 2018
Value: £33,000
Company size: SME
Statistics Travel and Safety team (Local Transport directorate) at Department for Transport.

Development of a digital travel diary for the National Travel Survey - Discovery Phase

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

17 Completed applications

11 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Wednesday 1 August 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 8 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 15 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The winning supplier is required to deliver Discovery Phase in line with GDS criteria ( To include, but not limited to:
• discovery sessions with relevant stakeholders
• user researchers to fully identify &scope out user needs
• GDS Discovery documentation
• recommendations/options for Alpha/Beta phases including solution design suggestions
Latest start date
Monday 10 September 2018
Expected contract length
a maximum of two months, but bidders should outline the timescales as part of the bid.
Organisation the work is for
Statistics Travel and Safety team (Local Transport directorate) at Department for Transport.
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The main component of the National Travel Survey is a one week travel diary completed annually by around 16,000 participants by pen and paper. This method has numerous disadvantages including respondent fatigue and inaccurate recording. The NTS team wants to explore digital methods for completing the diary which could passively and accurately record travel patterns, with the aim to reduce respondent burden and increase data quality. However further understanding is needed about user needs (both survey participants and data users) and what practical, accessibility and attitudinal issues there might be to using a digital diary.
Problem to be solved
Research questions:
• What is the current participant experience like completing a paper-diary?
• What barriers would there be to making a digital-diary practical and accessible for participants?
• What would participant attitudes be to completing a digital-diary compared to a paper-diary?
• What are key NTS data users and stakeholders views of potentially switching to a digital-diary?
• What issues do organisations which already collect live travel data digitally face &what lessons can NTS learn?

NTS sample purpose-to represent the England population, covering wide variety in user demographics. When answering these questions all survey participant types should be considered.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Survey participants:
People who have previously completed the survey, and therefore know what it’s like to use the pen and paper diary, will be the research subjects.

Data users:
DfT and OGDs use NTS data to inform their evidence base for transport planning and policy initiatives. There are also many external organisations which use NTS data. Discovery would seek data user views on the potential methodology change.

The contractors currently conducting the survey. They will need to assist with identifying survey respondents for Discovery.

Survey Interviewers:
Interviewers knowledge and experience conducting the survey will be valuable for this project.
Early market engagement
No Early Market engagement carried out

Bidders as part of the 2nd stage evaluation we require

CVs of relevant Team members
and Presentations ( if required)
Any work that’s already been done
A trial in 2011 gave participants a GPS device to carry around with them to track their travel patterns. The device successfully collected accurate information on trip times, speeds, distances and routes, however there was additional information that it could not collect and would require input from users. Such information includes the purpose of the trip, mode of transport used, number of people travelling and the cost of the trip. Any eventual solution would also need to be able to collect this data and with minimum burden to participants.
Existing team
The appointed agency will be expected to work closely with members of the NTS team, which consists of 4 statisticians, and possibly some work with the NTS contractors NatCen.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The majority of the work will be conducted at the suppliers own site (or other chosen location). Conducting of user research will require travel around England.
Working arrangements
Suppliers to provide preferred approach. The exact milestones will be agreed with the supplier when appointed.

Weekly status updates (email/telephone) detailing achievements of key milestones and issues that may impact timescales and cost should be provided.

It is expected that the research questions should be fully answered in a final presentation and report.

Discovery should be completed in line with the GDS Service Manual:
Security clearance
Baseline 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
  • • Experience of delivering a discovery phase in line with GDS guidelines for a government department
  • • Proven experience conducting and documenting user research with a diverse mix of users, iterating project work accordingly
  • • Demonstrable experience where delivering successful Discovery outcomes assisted to support and shape system developments
  • • Have demonstrable experience of complex technical investigation to inform future project stage
  • • Proven track record of delivering projects at speed using an agile project management methodology with clearly identified deliverables and timescales
  • • Demonstrable evidence of using clear development methodologies, outlining how this would work in conjunction with a client’s internal development team
  • • Experience of drawing up recommendations and options for alpha/beta on IT and data projects
  • • Experience in conducting stakeholder analysis where knowledge gaps were identified and plans implemented to address the shortfall.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • • Demonstrable evidence where innovative solutions have been applied to assist in project delivery
  • • Demonstrable evidence of successfully managing and assisting in delivering IT projects within public sector organisations.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • • Identify the approach and methodology to the Discovery project planning and delivery, identifying the main stages and activities proposed at each stage. (20%)
  • • Detailed resource plan – demonstrating how in-house, supplier and external resource will be used and at what stage (10%)
  • • How the approach or solution meets user needs (20%)
  • • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (10%)
  • • Estimated timeframes for the work (5%)
  • • Demonstrate value for money (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • • Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (2.5%)
  • • Experience of transparent and collaborative decision making (2.5%)
  • • Experience of taking responsibility for their work and resolving problems effectively (2.5%)
  • • Experience of sharing approach, knowledge and skills with other team members and with the department by example (2.5%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Essential skills 2 – the sentence refers to user research and then “iterating project work accordingly” – what does this mean?
For this skill we want you to demonstrate experience at conducting user research and how you conducted it to ensure the project was delivered smoothly and to a high quality standard. By the ‘iterating project work accordingly’ we want you to show you can adapt the project as necessary; being able to learn lessons along the way and ability to change things if the initial plan looks like it would be unable to achieve the desired outcomes
2. Essential skill 4 – “have demonstrable experience of complex technical investigation to inform future project stage“ – does this refer to the development of IT solution or diary development
This is referring to the development of an IT solution. We do not want to make changes to the diary itself or the kind of data it collects, but rather to find a IT solution which is more efficient and accurate at collecting the data the diary currently gathers.
3. Essential skills 6 – do these development methodologies relate to research methodologies or IT development methodologies?
This relates to IT development methodologies. The intention is to conduct a high quality piece of research which gathers the evidence required to inform for the development of an IT solution. We want applicants to demonstrate they are able to provide recommendations for an IT methodology based on the research they have conducted
4. What assumptions or benchmarks have you used to arrive at your budget (duration, users engaged, activities you imagine being undertaken)? £20-£50k is a wide range for an indicative budget what is the reasoning behind this? Are travel expenses included in your budget?
Previous user research similar to this and took a similar amount of time has cost around £20-30k and so we are expecting a similar figure to this. It is up to the bidder to propose how they would conduct the project and how much this would cost.

Travel expenses will be applied as the usual procedure. Travel expenses within the M25 will not be covered. Travel expenses outside the M25 will be provided at the Government rate. Any travel expenses should be provided in the breakdown costs.
5. Demonstrable evidence of using clear development methodologies, outlining how this would work in conjunction with a client’s internal development team Do you have any preferred development methodologies that we should demonstrate capability in, in order to satisfy Essential criteria 6 and please can you provide details of the internal development team that we may be expected to work in conjunction with?
The intention is to conduct a high-quality research piece which gathers evidence required to inform for the development of an IT solution. Applicants should demonstrate their ability to provide recommendations for an IT methodology based on their research.We don't want to pre-empt what the IT solution might looklike but the crucial point is that the solution, is able to suitably capture NTS diary data digitally. The internal development team will be the National Travel Survey team & Natcen. It would involve keeping us updated on the research, working closely with us to discuss any potential solutions would be practically feasible.
6. Essential Skill 8 - "Experience in conducting stakeholder analysis where knowledge gaps were identified and plans implemented to address the shortfall." Is this about addressing knowledge gaps amongst your set of stakeholders in order to perform effective discovery, or planning to address knowledge gaps that will result from the introduction of the solution?
This skill is about addressing any knowledge gaps with regard to the introduction of a potential solution. We expect applicants to be able to conduct a high quality discovery project that highlights gaps or issues in the concept of data collected by a digital NTS diary. The research should then recommend a solution or solutions to address those gaps.
7. This question refers to the Nice-to-have skills and experience 'Demonstrable evidence where innovative solutions have been applied to assist in project delivery'. Please could you clarify that criteria - what do you actually want evidence of in that criteria? E.g is it innovative solutions specific to how the project is run, or the outcomes of the project?
This relates to outcome of the project. While we expect applicants to think creatively to undertake the research, we would also like applicants, on the basis of the research, to show innovation in the solution or solutions they propose to collect NTS digital diary data.
8. Do you have specific dates for presentations in mind? If so, what are they?
We will decide whether we need presentations from bidders after we have received information for the second stage of evaluation on the proposal and cultural fit criteria. If they are required, the presentations will be around 31 August.