Awarded to S8080 Limited

Start date: Monday 18 February 2019
Value: £16,273.20
Company size: SME
Environment Agency

Understand user requirements and design for the FCERM Research Programme website - Discovery

19 Incomplete applications

17 SME, 2 large

34 Completed applications

33 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 7 January 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 14 January 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 21 January 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The current Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management research website contains project outputs produced by the EA/Defra, information on our programme and basic search function.

We'd like to carry out a discovery exercise to understand user needs and identify what a new website would look like.
Latest start date
Monday 4 February 2019
Expected contract length
2 months
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Environment Agency
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
This work supports the findings from the FCERM (Flooding and Coastal Erosion Risk Management) Digital Strategy. One of the key implementation actions was to undertake discovery work to look at continuous improvement of existing services and development of new services. The flood digital team was set up predominantly to concentrate on 'static data'. Our website falls into this category, and would like to undertake discovery work to help shape an improved digital service.
Problem to be solved
The current service is a legacy from the old EA website and was retained after GOV.UK couldn't meet our requirements to move our information across in 2014. The service cannot be improved as it's running on old technology and there's no hardware/software support in place for it. A new website is needed containing better functionality in order for our users to find what they're after easier. The first step to achieve this is discovery work to identify user needs/personas, design and scope out what a website would look like for the build phase including costs and support.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Based on subscribers, our users are typically academics, consultants, internal colleagues, risk management authorities (i.e. Local authorities, drainage boards, coastal groups. We have around 5,500 monthly hits (Source - Google analytics) on our web pages and have a list of subscribers to our newsletters.

Our current assumptions are that a user will want one place to go to find all our research, so that, they can find what they're looking for with ease and keep up to date with what we're doing and create better links with the research community.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
An internal survey has been produced, which will be sent out at the beginning of the new year to our subscribers.
The aim will be that we will have some basic feedback on what users use our research for, how they access it, what they would like to see on a new service.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with the FCERM research programme who require the new digital service.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The successful supplier will be able to carry out a desk based exercise.

Location of our office: Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AH
Working arrangements
The work can be done remotely.

A start-up meeting (teleconference) going through the programme of work and timeframes should be arranged with the team.

EA stakeholders should be communicated with throughout the discovery work through regular verbal or written progress reports.
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
  • experience of user research
  • experience of agile/product backlog development
  • website development
  • website design
  • website content management
  • Experience of effective engagement with current and potential users, including assisted digital users.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • development of government websites
  • knowledge of flood research/data

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Demonstrate how the suggested approach meets our users needs
  • estimated timeframes for work
  • Work with us as part of a team
  • demonstrate value for money for next phase of work
Cultural fit criteria
  • Works well in a multidisciplinary team with a variety of stakeholders
  • Share knowledge and experience with the team
  • Be respectful of different opinions and constructive in feedback
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is this work to go out into the field and carry out research OR analyse findings of research already carried out and formulate a set of user needs/product backlog?
The survey will only provide basic information, so will require further discussions with a range of users. The survey asks whether individuals will be happy to discuss further with the project team for a more detailed response, which the supplier can choose to use.
2. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. deadlines for the written proposal/if there will be an interview and when?
A written proposal for this work should be provided by 21st January deadline. There will be no interviews for this requirement. Shortlisting and selection will commence 22nd - 25th January.
3. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold at Environment Agency?
There will be four people scoring proposals for this requirement:

1 x Project Manager
1 x Research Programme Manager
1 x Senior Research Specialist
1 x Digital and Skills Manager
4. Are you working with any existing suppliers in relation to this tender opportunity? If you are, who are they?
No, this is the first time our opportunity has been posted and have no existing suppliers.
5. Does the stated budget of £15,000 include or exclude VAT?
The budget quoted is excluding VAT.
6. Will you host a call with suppliers about this opportunity where we can have a live Q&A and the discussion notes are shared on this tender ad?
Based on the value of the work and limited time left before questions can be submitted, there won't be a QA session.
7. Just to clarify, will 3 suppliers be shortlisted between 22 – 25 January for submitting proposals for this opportunity? If this is the case, roughly when do you expect the proposal submission deadline to be for those 3 shortlisted suppliers?
To clarify this point, the written proposals (deadline 21st January) will be the document that determines who the contract will be eventually awarded to.

The 22nd-25th January duration will be vetting proposals, selecting the top 3, then scoring to get the preferred supplier.
8. Can you please confirm that you do not want to meet the 3 shortlisted suppliers as part of your procurement process? If this is the case, why have you decided against meeting with shortlisted suppliers prior to awarding the contract? This is common practice on other opportunities as it understandably gives buyers a chance to meet the teams they could be working with before committing to buying their services.
I do not need to meet the shortlisted suppliers. This requirement is relatively straight forward exercise and we're working on a limited timeframe. This also reflects the value of the project.
10. Please can you confirm whether the 100 words in response to the essential/nice-to-have skills and experience points are all that will be used to evaluate which supplier to choose?
We will require a written proposal. Timeframes revised to allow suppliers time to complete this exercise.

Timeframe for responses:
21st January - Please submit your 100 word responses via the portal.

22nd-24th January - The responses will be shortlisted. 3 suppliers invited to provide a written proposal.

1st February - Deadline for written proposals

w/c - 4th February - evaluation of proposals and supplier selection
11. Do you have brand guidelines in place, or will part of this project be creating a new look and feel (colours, fonts etc.) for FCERM?
The Environment Agency has branding guidelines in place, which we will need to comply with. This information can be provided to the supplier.
12. Could you please confirm whether the first essential skill "experience of user research" refers to working with companies who undertake user research or to undertaking the research into user requirements?
Both. The supplier must be able to undertake the user research as well as understand what that information means to formulate the user requirement. A form of analysis/summarising will need to be conducted in order to achieve this.
13. For the purposes of including users in the the design process for research, validation and testing would you be able to suport us in recruiting participants? If not – is there any expense budget available for recruitment services or recruitment incentives?
Yes, we will be able to support you in recruiting participants.
14. Can you confirm how many responses to your survey you have / expect to have
The survey has been out for 5 days at the time of writing, and so far we have 61 responses to the survey. I expect to have roughly 150 responses by the time the survey closes.
15. Can you confirm how many respondents have expressed willingness to be further interviewed
The survey has been open for 5 days so far, and we have 22 participants willing to be interviewed.
16. Are you happy that user interviews can be conducted via the telephone, or would you anticipate gathering a group of ambassador users together for user focussed workshops
I'm happy for either - telephone interviews to be conducted or a virtual web conference of user groups to gather their collective feedback.
17. Can you confirm the number of respondents that you require follow on interviews for to be comfortable that you have a representative sample?
I'd suggest in the region of 30-40 respondents covering a range of user groups, but would like to use as many of the volunteers as I can. There will be efficiencies in having conversations with multiple users at the same time if they represent the same user group.

The survey should provide enough collective feedback from a range of users, which can help formulate the questions asked to the specific pool of people.