This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 8 February 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

Pipeline tool to support local government collaboration on projects and provide portfolio management

11 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 2 large

17 Completed applications

15 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Friday 25 January 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 1 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 8 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A cross-sector project to iterate and produce the next version of Pipeline (, a tool to support local government collaboration. The supplier will undertake further user research, create the next version of Pipeline and establish the value proposition for local authorities to more formally adopt the use of Pipeline.
Latest start date
Monday 11 March 2019
Expected contract length
3 months
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
Budget range
A budget range of between £50,000 to £80,000 has been allocated for this requirement.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Local Digital Declaration defines an ambition for the future of local public services which has been signed by 145 organisations since July 2018.

Pipeline is a tool that provides project portfolio management and supports councils by allowing them to discover and connect with others that are planning, doing or have undertaken similar work. It makes it easier for connections to be made and for organisations with oversight (e.g. GLA or MHCLG) to identify opportunities to more actively encourage organisations to share or support the scaling of projects to meet common needs.
Problem to be solved
Previous work has shown interest at councils to share information about their work and connections have been made as a result.

The usage observed so far has been by those closer to the mission and we are not clear what will incentivise or is required to deliver more widespread use.

Pipeline fits within an emerging ecosystem of tools such as the User Research Library (by Hackney at and Patterns & Process Library ( It’s lack of APIs prevents reuse of Pipeline data within other products to act as hub.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a council employee:

I want to find others that have done similar work to me

So that I don’t make the same mistakes and make sure my project is successful

As a council employee:

I want to find others that are planning similar work to me

So that I could join their project

As an MHCLG Collaboration Manager / GLA Transformation Manager / SME supplier,

I need to know where there are common needs or opportunities in the sector

So I that I can help support innovation and transformation to help local authorities make better local services for citizens.
Early market engagement
Whilst we have not engaged the supplier community. We have been raising awareness with users across the sector via the Hackney blog, MHCLG blog and the LocalGov Digital Slack community inviting feedback.
Any work that’s already been done
- LocalGov Digital built a prototype in 2014 that was iterated in 2018 by Hackney -

- Trello from 2014:

- Source code for the current product: (we are not looking to use this code base for future iterations of the product)

- User research by Hackney:

- Hackney’s application to the Local Digital Fund in 2018: - whilst not successful, it was identified it as a special case to support -
Existing team
As this is a cross-sector product, a stakeholder group is being established to work closely with a Product Manager based at MHCLG to prioritise the backlog of features. The supplier is expected to provide the delivery team to work with this product manager and serve the stakeholder group.

Within the Local Digital Collaboration Unit (LDCU) some capacity exists covering content design, service design and user research. However, we expect the supplier not to depend on this support. Rather, we hope our teams can work closely together to help build team capacity.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The primary site is the MHCLG office located at 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.

The intended users of this tool are across the country and we expect rounds of research and testing to take place across the country.

Travel/expenses to sites should be included in your costs and will not be reimbursed separately.
Working arrangements
The supplier is expected to work onsite alongside existing teams for at least 3 days a week for face-to-face meetings. The supplier should demonstrate effective use of Agile principles and established project management approaches to enable progress to be monitored and issues resolved. The supplier will also be expected to work openly and allow anyone in the sector to have visibility of progress including the open, live broadcasting of show and tells (on Wednesday lunchtimes).

The supplier will be expected to engage with local authorities and groups such as LocalGov Digital via user research and online collaboration tools.
Security clearance
CTC or above is desirable for suppliers as staff won’t need escorting on site. There is no requirement for supplier personnel to be security cleared. BPSS clearance will be required to access MHCLG's ICT systems.

Please make it clear whether staff have CTC security clearance or not when submitting responses.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
1. All outputs will be owned by MHCLG and published openly where appropriate using a suitable open license that supports reuse.

2. All materials/outputs derived from the contract shall be the property of MHCLG.

3. GDPR requirements will be discussed and agreed once the successful supplier has been notified (as part of discussions to agree the wording of the call-off contract.

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 (with specific skills and experience) of conducting user research
  • Demonstrate (with specific skills and experience) of where you have used the Government Service Manual
  • Demonstrate (with specific skills and experience) of where you have delivered user-centred web-design
  • Demonstrate (with specific skills and experience) delivering APIs to Government standards -
  • Demonstrate (with specific skills and experience) working with a diverse group of stakeholders
  • Demonstrate meeting skill requirements based on the anticipated composition of the team
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of successfully working with local authorities
  • Demonstrate experience of being successfully assessed against the Digital Service Standard
  • Demonstrate experience of working in the open and regularly sharing to a wide audience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Quality of the technical solution
  • Clarity of approach
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Experience of the method of working from previous projects
  • Timescales to deliver the project
  • Flexible approach from supplier
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you work as a team with our organisation and other stakeholders
  • Demonstrate how you are transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Demonstrate your no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Demonstrate how you take responsibility for their work
  • Demonstrate how you would share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Demonstrate how you have worked openly
  • Have you foreseen any risks or challenges to this project and identified any possible mitigations?
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. Does the SRO for this opportunity have the capacity to attend/partake in agile ceremonies? e.g. show and tells, retrospectives etc.
2. Please confirm who the people on your selection panel are and their individual roles and responsibilities.
We have not yet agreed who the evaluation panel are for this requirement.
3. What do you see as the identified risks around the delivery of this work?
Collaborative projects can be a challenge where there is a wide variety and number of stakeholders.
4. Can you provide details of how much of your teams time will be assigned to this project and whether they will be ready to start on the expected start date?
We would expect this to be determined on a sprint-by-sprint basis depending on need. This is a significant project for the unit but one of several missions we’re working on.
5. Do you intend the successful supplier to rebuild the pipeline tool from scratch? If so, would it be up to the supplier to suggest the most suitable technology to use?
We are open to a tool being built from scratch and are happy for a supplier to suggest an architecture and technology together with the reasons why. Where appropriate we’d like to explore the use of common platforms such as GOV.UK Notify and GOV.UK Platform as a Service as a way to lead by example.
6. I should be grateful for a point of clarification. Could you confirm whether this role is also looking for a tool to provide shared Pipeline portfolio management, or getting existing Pipeline code business ready and enrolled
We are not looking to re-use the existing code. We are looking for someone to help us undertake research and create a new version of the tool as well as an understanding of the value proposition of the tool to help increase usage.
7. Why are you "not looking to use this [current] code base for future iterations of the product"?
Pipeline currently is a fork of RoadkillWiki ( Based on .NET Framework v4.5 which is out of support. It uses Bootstrap CSS framework version 3.3 from 2014. The architecture in our experience makes it challenging to do things like add new fields.

It does not use Government Design Patterns and research to date has shown mobile usage & accessibility are both issues with the current version.

It’s an opportunity to explore a new architecture that could allow Pipeline to become core of the emerging ecosystem as mentioned in the listing as well as more modern frameworks and technologies.
8. We are not looking to use this code base for future iterations of the product” Is there a particular reason why you've decided that the existing code base is not suitable for future iterations?
See answer to Question 7.
9. You mention you are not looking to use the code base of the current pipeline tool for future iterations of the product. Do you have a technology stack in mind for this work?
See response to Question 7.
10. Knowing the budget is 50 - 80k. It isn’t a massive budget for an alpha. Is there a % of this that should contribute to user research vs tech capabilities.
It’s up to the supplier to make a recommendation of this based on your experience of delivering an alpha.
11. From reading the entry - it sounded like we haven’t done an official discovery phase in the way the GDS Service manual describes it.
This is fair to say.

The work originally started by 2 volunteers at Local Gov Digital as a hobby project, it had a workshop with representative from about 40 councils there. There is a feedback link at the top of the tool where we have the feedback of that captured

Hackney have an output from their previous work which is available in the brief
12. How mobile are the team on the ground – for example if we wanted to host a kick off workshop in another city, would you be able to attend?
13. Under working arrangements it is noted "The supplier is expected to work onsite alongside existing teams for at least 3 days a week for face-to-face meetings. "

In the supplier Q&A call session, it was suggested that only limited supplier travel would be required within the project to make best use of available budget/value for money (and it is assumed that this travel would be mostly for user research purposes). Please can you clarify this requirement? We would of course be very willing to collaborate daily via remote methods.
The question in the Q&A was specifically around a kick off meeting and we would not be averse to holding that initial meeting, together away from the primary site. Travel expenses of MHCLG staff in this instance would be allocated to the project budget.

To reach the best outcome we feel the team will need to be co-located however, there will need to be remote work specifically to undertake research and testing with councils across the country so that will mean on occasions the whole team will not be at the primary site.
14. Would you consider a Commercial Off The Shelf package (COTS) like Microsoft Project Online? Rather than writing your own solution?
No, Pipeline as a concept is an open, community-owned platform that should be available to anyone in the sector. A COTS product is likely to mean on-going licensing costs which would create an unnecessary administrative overhead and significant on-going funding requirement.