Department for Education

Service Delivery Capability

Incomplete applications

22
Incomplete applications
19 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

38
Completed applications
25 SME, 13 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Wednesday 12 February 2020
Deadline for asking questions Wednesday 19 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Wednesday 26 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work We are looking for Service Delivery capabilities, to work alongside our in-house digital teams and other suppliers, to manage the development, delivery and communication of effective, user-focused digital services, taking products from vision to delivery by engaging with the users, teams and stakeholders across DfE and wider.
Latest start date Friday 10 April 2020
Expected contract length 2 years
Location North West England
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range Budget approval is subject to Cabinet Office spending controls, service assessments and DfE governance.
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 outline the work required and the associated budget, suppliers will need to provide clear costs to enable tracking.
DfE does not commit to any minimum or maximum spend at this point.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done We are looking for Service Delivery Capability to work alongside our in-house digital teams and other suppliers, working with us to build digital services, as part of department's digital transformation of services, user needs and in line with government service standards.
Specifically focussing on leading, managing and developing teams, products and communications, suppliers will need to be capable of supporting a range of projects from inception through to live, delivering projects for;
- Teachers
- Parents
- Students
- Education advisors
- School administrators
- People that deliver children’s services
- DfE staff
We anticipate 5-8 projects at any time.
Problem to be solved Supporting a range of user led digital projects in the North West and North East of England, from inception through to live, the Transformation and Digital team are looking for a supplier to work with blended teams to deliver outcomes based on user needs and government service standards.

We anticipate 5-8 projects running at any time, however, each project may not require a full compliment of Service Delivery capabilities.
Who the users are and what they need to do - Teachers
- Parents
- Students
- Education advisors
- School administrators
- People that deliver children’s services
- DfE staff

For example,
As a school leader I need to know more about funding opportunities so that my school can apply for relevant grants
As a parent, I need to understand how to apply for financial support for my child
As a student, I need to know how to apply for financial support for my myself
As a Social Worker I want to spend more time directly supporting children and families so that I can offer an improved service
As a Senior Responsible Officer for a project,
I need agile capability to provide delivery management, remove blockers to progress and monitor teams
I need agile coaching to establish and embed an agile environment required for optimal delivery
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team You will work with internal DfE staff from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, user experience, service design, finance and commercial .

There is currently no incumbent for the Service Delivery capability in the North West or the North East of England.

The successful supplier will be expected to collaborate or work with other suppliers who are providing capabilities as part of a team.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place 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 Manchester then no expenses will be paid for Manchester.
This contract is to cover North West and North East England, primary bases for this capability is likely to be Manchester, Sheffield & Darlington.

Travel may be required to other DfE offices nationwide.
Working arrangements A Statement of Work will be completed, which will identify the base location, the expected working arrangements, and outline the outcomes and deliverables expected for each engagement.

The existing DfE digital team comprises of lead roles in Product and Delivery Management and User Research, as well as stakeholders from our finance, HR and legal services teams.

To improve DfE internal capability, build and support the applications/services, knowledge transfer back into DfE will be a requirement for each work package.

We anticipate a maximum of 5-8 concurrent engagements at any one time.
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, where this is needed it will be detailed in the Statement of Work.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions.
Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with CCS Travel and Subsistence Policy.
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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Provide high-level directional service delivery across the digital portfolio
  • Demonstrate working knowledge and understanding of agile methodology and the application through the delivery process
  • Evidence of recommendation of changes to new and existing digital services
  • Manage the full product lifecycles inc business analysis, user research, design, delivery and the continuous improvement of one or more transactional services or platforms
  • Illustrate the ability to develop and deliver communication plans for services/products which engages users across many channels
  • Proven experience of working closely with other suppliers/teams on rapid prototyping and delivering at pace
  • Experience taking products and services successfully through different phases of the delivery lifecycle and assessment process.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide insight, structure, guidance and support to digital delivery programmes,
  • Advocate for the importance of agile, iterative and user-focused delivery, as set out in the Government Service Manual
  • Proven experience prioritising user needs (using qualitative and quantitative data) with the team and incorporating user needs

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to deliver digital products and services to government service standards
  • Working with teams to understand their work, their operating context and constraints and identify & implement adaptations/improvements
  • Delivery of digital services/products using each of the service delivery capabilities
  • Demonstrate scalability, flexibility, deployment, skills and strengths of accessible capabilities
  • Ability to communicate effectively across organisational, technical and political boundaries, understanding the context
  • Makes complex and technical information and language simple and accessible for non-technical audiences
Cultural fit criteria
  • Establish a culture of service and continuous improvement in all teams
  • Reinforce a strong Service Delivery based culture
  • Experience of working with an organisation at the beginning of an agile culture change
  • 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 a client organisation
  • Understands how to be part of a multidisciplinary, agile service team
  • Able to explain technical things to non-technical people, and non-technical things to technical people
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

55%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

25%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Do you use (or would you consider) the ServiceNow Enterprise cloud platform for your digital transformation? We do not and are not considering using ServiceNow Enterprise cloud platform for our digital transformation
2. Is this contract to deliver capabilities in NW England? This contract is to cover the North West and North East of England supporting DfE digital teams in Manchester, Sheffield and Darlington.
3. Currently, the tender reads are being more for UCD and delivery resources/teams. Is there or will there also be a need for Technical resources i.e. Devs or Archs, under this contract? DfE are looking for a supplier who will be able to provide service delivery capabilities as set out on the digital marketplace:

Agile coaching
Agile delivery
Business analysis
Digital communication and engagement
Product management
Programme management
Project management
Service management
4. Will it be acceptable to work remotely in addition to on-site as per SOR please ? Each statement of work called off against the contract will outline the expectations on working arrangements. There may be opportunities to work remotely dependant on the outcomes required from the capability or how the project team has been set up.
5. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold? Both the assessment and evaluation will be scored by a panel of DfE staff, Head of Delivery Management, User Research and DDaT Business Partner
6. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. notification of shortlist, deadlines for the written proposal, presentation date etc? The indicative timelines for the next steps are below. Please note these dates are subject to change, suppliers will be notified if there are any delays -

Notify suppliers 6th March
Proposal submission date 13th March
Interview & presentation 19th & 20th March
Notify suppliers 30th March
7. Has DfE make a determination about whether the work is in scope for IR35? DfE will be using this contract to work with a supplier who can provide service delivery specialists for each SoW. Specialists must be employed or contracted by the supplier - known as working ‘off-payroll’ or ‘outside IR35’.
Work being supported by this contract will be outside of IR35.
8. Do you expect the successful supplier to provide individuals or entire multi-disciplinary teams of skilled Service Delivery personnel, across Manchester, Sheffield and Darlington? This contract will be supporting a range of projects, as such it is likely that the number of specialists required for each SoW will be different. Each project team dynamic differs dependant on the area, there will be occasions when an individual specialist will be required and other areas that will need a full compliment of service delivery specialists.
9. Could you please elaborate on what you mean by "high-level directional service delivery" in the first item in "essential skills and experience". We are looking for a supplier who has examples of strategic, effective, high quality end-to-end digital service delivery
10. Will you be appointing a sole supplier for all projects and capabilities or are you open to appointing a number of smaller teams / suppliers? We are intending to award this contract to a single supplier, however, we are happy to receive applications from suppliers who submit as a consortia
11. Is there an incumbent supplier currently delivering these services? There isn't an incumbent supplier for this capability in the North West or North East of England
12. Is there an incumbent supplier currently delivering these services? There isn't an incumbent supplier for this capability in the North West or North East of England
13. 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? Each Statement of work will have a budget attached which will be the limit on how much is available to pay for the work.

If the budget is exhausted prior to the work being completed, DfE would expect the supplier to complete the work at their own cost.
If the work is completed before the date agreed, DfE will only pay for the time taken to complete the work.
14. Please clarify what you mean by "the application" in: Demonstrate working knowledge and understanding of agile methodology and the application through the delivery process Suppliers should be able to demonstrate how their knowledge and understanding of agile is applied/implemented during project delivery
15. Please can you confirm the split of work between the three locations? We cannot confirm what the exact split of work will be between each of the locations. Each SoW will identify the base location for project delivery
16. Please can you provide more clarity around the specific services that are part of this procurement, and what your expectation is for the services to be provided? We are unable to confirm the variety of projects that will be supported through this contract. Each SoW will outline the work package and the specific capabilities that may be required. To ensure there is no gaps in delivery, DfE are looking for a supplier who will be able to provide all of the service delivery capabilities as set out on the digital marketplace

Agile coaching
Agile delivery
Business analysis
Digital communication and engagement
Product management
Programme management
Project management
Service management
17. For example, is it purely project management services you're looking for, or to provide consultative support and direction for the work being undertaken by your in-house teams? DfE are looking for a supplier who will be able to provide all of the service delivery capabilities at all skill levels, to support and work with teams that may be a mixture of permanent staff and other suppliers.
18. Please can you clarify what the digital services are you'll be building as part of the Department for Education's digital transformation? We are working on delivering a variety of digital services for teachers and schools
19. Which other suppliers you're currently working with would be involved in this project? This contract will support a range of digital teams across the department and so we are unable to provide a list of the exact suppliers who are part of our multi-vendor teams. DfE use the CCS frameworks, e.g. DOS, G-Cloud & PSR, for specialist skills.
20. From the outlined users and their needs, it feels that your requirements will be very content heavy. Can you confirm if your content strategy is being created in-house, or if agency support is required here? In-house teams are assessing our content strategy. We won't be expecting this contract to provide content strategy support
21. What is the size and skillset of the internal team(s) who we would be working with for this project? Each SoW will outline the project and team that will require support from this capability contract.
22. Can you confirm what technology stack you are currently working on, and what platform(s) the appointed supplier will be expected to work on/with? DfE digital's technology stack and approach consists of the following elements:
Microservices architecture, with internal and public facing HTTP and JSON REST based APIs for business logic and data access.
User facing websites built using Ruby on Rails, and deployed to the DfE Azure platform and GOV.UK PaaS. Code hosted in the DfE Digital Github.
Databases to be one of the provided managed databases on DfE Azure or GOV.UK PaaS such as Postgres.
DfE Digital Technical Guidance: https://dfe-digital.github.io/technical-guidance/
23. Can you confirm what technology stack you are currently working on, and what platform(s) the appointed supplier will be expected to work on/with? DfE digital's technology stack and approach consists of the following elements:
Microservices architecture, with internal and public facing HTTP and JSON REST based APIs for business logic and data access.
User facing websites built using Ruby on Rails, and deployed to the DfE Azure platform and GOV.UK PaaS. Code hosted in the DfE Digital Github.
Databases to be one of the provided managed databases on DfE Azure or GOV.UK PaaS such as Postgres.
DfE Digital Technical Guidance: https://dfe-digital.github.io/technical-guidance/
24. The advert states that you expect to have 5-8 projects active at any one time and that you are engaging a supplier for 2 years to work on various SOWs. However, the advertised budget does not appear to permit you to have many supplier staff per project on average. Is the 5-8 active projects just the whole DfE team’s active projects i.e. it is not the number of concurrent projects that the supplier should expect to work on, especially given the 3 geographic locations that you may need the supplier to work at? Each SoW will outline the support required for each project, however, we don't expect anymore than 5-8 projects to be running at any time or that each project will require a full team from this capability.
25. Please can you confirm what “Provide high-level directional service delivery across the digital portfolio” means? We are looking for a supplier who has examples of strategic, effective, high quality end-to-end digital service delivery
26. Please can you confirm how you will evaluate pricing at Stage 2 as the implication is that it can only be based on rate-card, but that does not allow suppliers to demonstrate additional/added-value. We will be assessing price based on rate-cards only.
We are very interested in understanding how suppliers are able to demonstrate additional value and would recommend that suppliers include what they are able to offer be included in the proposal
27. At stage 2 will it be permissible to provide different rates for the 3 different DfE delivery locations specified in the advert? We will be requesting that suppliers provide rate cards for each of the roles included in this capability for all three locations specified in the advert.
28. You state "If the budget is exhausted prior to the work being completed, DfE would expect the supplier to complete the work at their own cost.". Are there any safeguards for the supplier should the work not be completed due to reasons stemming from the DfE itself or external factors outside of the control of the supplier? We pride ourselves on building a collaborative relationship with our suppliers. As such, our expectation for any issues that may hinder delivery, DfE, supplier or external, should be discussed and solutions be jointly agreed
29. We note the unlimited indemnity (clause 34.2) in respect of losses incurred if the Supplier breaches Clause 14 and any Data Protection Legislation. However as market trends show that customers are not asking for unlimited liability and indeed the guidance from Cabinet Office to all public bodies is to cap data protection breaches to be commensurate with the value of the contract, can you confirm if you are willing to consider a separate liability cap in principle. Particulars can be discussed should we be down selected DfE would be happy to consider a discussion with suppliers