Awarded to Softwire Technology Limited

Start date: Tuesday 12 February 2019
Value: £830,200
Company size: SME
Department for International Trade International Site Team

9 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 2 large

22 Completed applications

18 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Tuesday 11 December 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 18 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 25 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A team to work on improving the information architecture of to incorporate new content and services.
Latest start date
Thursday 31 January 2019
Expected contract length
Maximum of 9 months (Initial term until 31st March 2019, with extensions available)
Organisation the work is for
Department for International Trade
Budget range
DIT have an allocated budget of £300k for the 18/19 Financial Year. Additional budget of up to £600k may be allocated for the 19/20 Financial Year.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Department for International Trade (DIT) are responsible for (supported by a Django CMS), which promotes trade and investment. The sites are frequently iterated, and will continue to be updated ahead of the UK exiting the European Union. One update will cover the building of a capital investment projects tool. To prepare the international site for this work, DIT require an external supplier to design an update to the information architecture of the site.
Problem to be solved
The current international site needs to update the information architecture to host a service for investors into capital projects in the UK. To enable this, research and early design work also have been done on the site information architecture, so that this tool can be incorporated into the existing offer for investors. The successful supplier will be required to build the proposed architecture first so that the capital investment service can be incorporated into the site, before proceeding to build the specific capital investment service.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users of the new site will be international business looking to do business with the UK. They could be buyers of UK exports looking to bring goods into the UK, or direct investors who want to set up a company in the UK, expand their existing company or invest in an existing project.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
There is an existing international site (powered by a Django CMS), linking to micro-sites for trade and investment. However, as businesses can be buyers, investors and importers to the UK, the micro-site structure will be changed, so a business can meet multiple needs on one site. The proposed project is at the alpha stage, designed to address the above structural and content issues.
Existing team
The teams that you will be expected to work with are the internal Great.Gov.UK and EU Exit Teams. These are multidisciplinary agile teams made up of researchers, designers, delivery managers, product managers, and developers.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Windsor House,
50 Victoria Street,
Working arrangements
Primarily based in London at the DIT Windsor House office, with an option to work flexibly or remotely on non-meeting days.
Security clearance
The successful supplier's resource working on this project must hold a minimum of BPSS clearance. It is expected that the successful supplier will have this level of security clearance in order to meet DIT's required start date.

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
  • Demonstrate experience in the planning and delivery of a user centred agile discovery, alpha and beta phases. (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience in the ability to identify user personas, deliver user journey mapping and deliver evidenced and prioritised user stories. (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and technical competence in JavaScript, using node.js, preferably using the Express framework, and Python Django. (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience of conducting user research. (1%)
  • Demonstrate experience working in a complex stakeholder and technical environment (integration with legacy systems/ infrastructure and open sources)(1%)
  • Demonstrate experience of development using an Agile Scrum methodology, operating in sprints and aligning their development activities to the GDS Digital Service Standard. (1%)
  • Demonstrate experience of development pipeline tooling, specifically Git source code repository, defect tracking systems, continuous integration tools and automated testing frameworks. (1%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of working with Central Govt and/or Arms Length Bodies (2%)
  • Have experience of developing international products and services (1%)
  • Have experience of content design (1%)
  • Have experience of UX design, including implementing journeys on complex sites (1%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Outcome Delivery: Describe your approach to successfully delivering a platform for capital investment services from scoping to release within the given time frame (15%)
  • Team Structure: Describe your multidisciplinary agile team with the technical, UX, user research, content design and delivery record (10%)
  • User Needs: Demonstrate how you will ensure user needs are understood and met in the development and delivery of the service (10%)
  • Knowledge Transfer: Demonstrate how you will support DIT staff to take on operational control of the work upon completion. (5%)
  • Architecture: How will you work with existing infrastructure, and creating an efficient, scalable technical architecture for any additional technical solutions (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your ability to deliver in an open, collaborate, agile way according to the principles outlined in the Government Service Design Manual - (4%)
  • Demonstrate your ability to work and communicate with clients / team members with low technical expertise - (3%)
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver simplicity (e.g. do less but better, explaining complex issues in a clear, simple way, break down and prioritise complex issues) - (3%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can the opportunity be shortened or extended so that the closing date for submissions is not at 23:59 on 24th December 2018?
When publishing on the Digital Marketplace, the opportunity window is set automatically and cannot be changed by ourselves. DIT apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.
2. Where is the current site hosted?
The services are hosted on the Government Digital Services' 'Platform as a service'.
3. Will the successful bidder be required to run the release processes to production and other environments?
Yes, the successful supplier will be required to run the release processes to production and other environments.
4. Will the successful bidder be required to provide operational support to the delivered software?
Some support will initially be required before and after the launch period. In the long term, DIT would be aiming to bring in a live services team to start supporting the services.
5. What DIT envisage initially to be the makeup of the team?
DIT are looking for a multidisciplinary agile team, made up of:
- a UX and UI designer
- user researcher
- content designer
- a backend developer and a front end developer - OR full stack developers
- service designer OR business analyst
- a project delivery lead- this could be a scrum master and product manager, or one role that combines these roles
6. Can you explain your understanding of capped time and materials and how this might be consistent with an agile approach?
Capped time and materials will operate in the same format as time and materials, whereby DIT will only pay for the work that has been done in accordance with the agreed Statement of Works. There will however be an upper limit to what can be spent which will be defined by the successful supplier's pricing proposal, and will be in accordance with DIT's budget.
7. One of the nice to have questions is "Have experience of developing international products and services". Are we correct in assuming this is referring to outside of UK?
Correct, "international products and services" are referring to outside of the UK.
8. Which organisation was responsible for carrying out the Discovery work?
There is no incumbent supplier. The Discovery for this project was carried out by the in-house team.
9. Is the intention to fit the new IA into the existing Django CMS for
Where appropriate, yes. Flat content should be on the CMS, but specific tools will can run with the more appropriate applications. The architecture will be setup so flat content pages and other applications work smoothly together.
10. Will the supplier be required build on the early research and design work that has been done on the existing information architecture or are they expected to do a new fresh round of research and design to scope out the required changes?
The supplier will be required to build on the work that has already been carried out.
11. Is there an existing brief for the capital investment tool or will the supplier be expected to run a discovery process as part of this project to scope out the requirements for the new tool? If any work has already been done can we understand in what areas?
A user researcher, service designer and other appropriate roles will be required to run a small capital investment discovery.
12. What work (if any) has been done to understand the needs of users of the new site (international business, buyers of UK exports, direct investors)?
There are existing investment and trade sites, which had their own use research and personas during their original inception.
13. Will the supplier be expected to work with any Government departments beyond the Great.Gov.UK and EU Exit teams?
The supplier may have to work with GDS, BEIS, Defra and other departments from time to time- however, these relationships will primarily be managed by the service manager and directors, and may not be relevant at the MVP stage.
14. The sites ‘Study in the UK’ and ‘Visit the UK’ are signposted from the current platform. Is the supplier expected to research and make recommendations around these?
No, you are not expected to do this.
15. Can you better describe what you mean by the ‘capital investment service’?
There are different types of investment that DIT deal with, but they can be grouped into two ways of investing; the first (foreign direct investment) is about moving and setting up a business into the UK; other types of investment are about investing in specific existing projects. Capital investment falls in the latter group, and is about finding investors for government supported infrastructure projects.
16. If there is any additional background (SOW, brief), that can be shared at this stage so that suppliers can give an accurate cost for the project?
At this stage, DIT will not be looking to release further information. Once a shortlist of suppliers has been identified for the proposals, more information will be shared if appropriate.