Awarded to Methods Business and Digital Technology Limited

Start date: Tuesday 1 October 2019
Value: £1,500,000
Company size: SME
Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)

ESFA - Business Analysis capability (DfE)

10 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 3 large

26 Completed applications

20 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Thursday 11 July 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 18 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 25 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We are looking for Business Analysis Capability to support the development, delivery and communication of effective, user-focused digital services, taking products from vision to delivery by engaging with the teams and stakeholders across ESFA.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 October 2019
Expected contract length
24 months
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)
Budget range
A pipeline of activity is foreseen over the next 24 months, with an indicative budget against the requirements for this capability being £1.5m, but that scope could expand or contract.
Each SOW will give a cost to enable tracking. Budget approval is subject to Cabinet Office spending controls, service assessments and DfE governance.
DfE does not commit to any minimum or maximum spend at this point.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We are looking for Business Analysis Capability to work alongside our in-house digital teams and other capability suppliers, within the ESFA, as part of our digital transformation of services, in line with government service standards.
Problem to be solved
To address business and user needs Business Analysts are required to support either existing teams or potentially new delivery teams. The ESFA requires business analysis capability able to deliver outcomes based on user needs and government service standards and capable of supporting a range of projects from inception through to live. This approach will provide supportive continuity through the lifecycle of projects. We anticipate up to 5 projects at any time.
Who the users are and what they need to do
ESFA and Apprenticeship training providers
Further education colleges
Apprenticeship employers
Citizens (National Career Services)
ESFA internal users
For example:
As an Apprenticship employer I want to access my levy account so that I can view how much funds are there.
As an Apprenticeship provider I want to support my employers using the service, so that I can assist them in recruiting an apprentice.
As a potential Apprentice I want to apply for an Apprenticeship so that I can begin my career.
As a citizen I want to use the National Careers Service to get Information, Advice and Guidance.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The ESFA is supporting digital transformation across the ESFA and wider DfE. A number of these digital projects such as the Apprenticeship Service and National Career Service are well advanced across the GDS spectrum (Discovery, Alpha, Private Beta, Public Beta, Live and Continuous Improvement).
Existing team
The existing teams are comprised of multi-disciplinary agile delivery skills. These teams are involved in continual product improvement as well as providing brand new digital services, going through the standard GDS phases. Typical team size is up to 10 with a skills mix such as product/service managers, delivery managers, business analysts, user research and design professionals. Teams are made up of a combination of permanent staff and managed service suppliers.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
For any given SoW the work is likely to be based in Coventry, some activity may be required UK wide. Travel may be required to DfE offices in these locations.
The primary base will be detailed in each Statement of Work (SoW) and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location instead during the execution of the work relating to the SoW. e.g. If SoW primary base is in Coventry then no expenses will be paid for Coventry.
Working arrangements
This will be a 5 day per week (Monday to Friday) commitment and detailed working arrangements, including team location, will be contained within each Statement of Work. Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques. These could be either a Kanban or a scrum approach (depending on the work) but the standard agile ceremonies appropriate to those will be undertaken.
Security clearance
DfE requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS). There may be a requirement for some of the work to require security clearance checks. This will be detailed in the Statement of Work.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance and suppliers will be expected to co-operate in a manner that fosters healthy working relationships and quality delivery.

Suppliers must provide sufficient guarantees to meet the requirements of GDPR in line with Procurement Policy Note 03/17 Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation.

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
  • Demonstrable experience of successfully providing business analysis on a high profile large scale digital programme with a wide range of stakeholder groups.
  • Strong verbal, written and visual communication skills with the ability to proactively manage stakeholders and tailor to the needs of audience by collaborating on decisions.
  • Proven experience in delivering digital projects and products.
  • Proven experience of working closely with other team members on rapid prototyping and delivering at pace.
  • Must hold relevant qualifications in Agile methodologies and have extensive practical experience of working in /leading Agile requirements work for large scale Agile delivery initiatives, with good knowledge/experience of SAFe.
  • Evidence of recommendations for the creation of new and existing digital services.
  • Proven experience of working with Product Owners, Developers and Testers, to elaborate Epics into User Stories that are deliverable and testable and that provide business benefit.
  • Demonstrate expertise in maintaining the product backlog using appropriate tools (e.g. Jira and Confluence), ensuring it is prioritised accordingly with Business Owners.
  • Experience of creating and updating end-to-end user journeys, using evidence and user research findings to create easy to use services from complex policy.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Hold one of the following professional Business Analysis qualifications: IIBA Level 3 – CBAP; BCS Advanced Diploma in Business Analysis; BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis.
  • Experience of passing GDS service assessments.
  • Experience of Microsoft product suite in the education sector.
  • Experience in delivering public sector products/services.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate evidence of meeting the essential skills, together with representative CVs.
  • Experience and methodology in approach to agile project using both Kanban and scrum.
  • How you plan to transfer knowledge to permanent staff within ESFA.
  • Scalability, flexibility, deployment, skills and strengths of accessible capabilities.
  • How value for money will be achieved for the duration of the contract.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Establish a strong analysis based culture.
  • Experience of working with multi-vendor teams across multiple projects.
  • Experience of collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders with the aim to achieve a single objective.
  • Experience of transferring knowledge to permanent staff within client organisation.
  • Able to explain technical things to non-technical people, and non-technical things to technical people.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. DfE published two requirements for BAs, can I bid for both?
These two requirements have been published simultaneously as a result of an internal departmental review of business analysis needs. For convenience and to ensure better tailoring of requirements to meet the individual needs of Technology Directorate and the ESFA it has been decided to procure two separate contracts. It is anticipated that TWO separate suppliers will be successful for these two procurements to ensure maximum fit with the individually tailored requirements and ensure sufficient capacity to meet demand.
2. Could you please expatiate further on this “We anticipate up to 5 concurrent engagements at any one time.”
Are you expecting 5 individual BA Resources from a supplier or a single BA or two BA that could manage multiple projects together?
We are expecting to need up to 5 BA at any one time, but this may expand or contract. The requirement is typically for 1 to 2 BAs working on a project depending on the size/complexity of the project. There may be occasions where a BA is expected to cover multiple projects.
3. Which other DfE offices do you expect the projects to take place?
Coventry is where most of the resource will be required, but occasionally projects may be run out of other DfE offices, typically Manchester and London.
4. Are there any incumbent suppliers and who are these?
yes, the incumbent suppliers are Parity and LA International.
5. Could you confirm that, by “capped time and materials”, you are just referring to your having an overall budget cap and not that you are expecting the successful supplier to take on commercial risk, given your multi-vendor team structure?
The "capped time and materials" term is applicable to the call-off contract as well as each individual SoW. There is an overall cap for the contract. Within each SoW, cost for delivering that SoW is also capped.
6. Please can you confirm that you intend to provide feedback and scores for the stage 1 requirement responses, to each bidder?
At the sifting stage, the DOS evaluation guidance suggests that the contracting authority should provide the overall score for the bidder and the cut off score for the second stage.