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Finding teams and specialists to work on digital projects

Source: PSE - April/ May 16

Warren Smith, interim programme director of the Digital Marketplace at the Government Digital Service, writes for PSE about the development of a new framework, Digital Outcomes and Specialists.

The Digital Marketplace is helping the public sector buy what it needs to deliver great digital services. We’re working alongside the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and the Government Legal Department (GLD) to reduce barriers to the public sector market by applying user-centred principles to the design of procurements and contracts. 

For the last 12 months, our team has been working to deliver a new framework, Digital Outcomes and Specialists. 

We listen to buyers and suppliers to understand how they’re using the Digital Marketplace. We’ve been thinking about all aspects of the procurement and contracting process, building a service that meets user needs. 

Digital Outcomes and Specialists 

Digital Outcomes and Specialists will sit alongside G-Cloud and Crown Hosting in the Digital Marketplace and is broken down into four separate categories of service: digital outcomes, digital specialists, user research studios, and user research participants. 

Digital outcomes suppliers can help research, test, design, build, release, iterate, support or retire a digital service to a brief that’s been supplied by a public sector buyer. An example of an outcome might be the build of an online, front-end billing application to replace a paper-based system for an organisation or the development of online resources to support medieval history teaching in secondary schools. 

Individual specialists can be brought in to work on a service, programme or project. A digital specialist’s work must have deliverables and a defined scope. A specialist in this category might be a delivery manager working on the transition of the replacement driving licence product from beta to live. 

User research studios suppliers must provide user research studio hire in the right location on specific dates with the right facilities. All government digital services carry out user research to find out how their users are using, or will use, the service. Even after it’s live, each service undergoes usability testing so that the government body continuously receives feedback from its users and can improve the service design. 

The final category of Digital Outcomes and Specialists is user research participants. Suppliers in this category will be able to recruit user research participants with a wide range of skills and experience. As the best user research is inclusive and representative, it should always consider diversity, people who are digitally excluded, as well as those who have low literacy or digital skills, and those who need assisted digital support. 

Go live 

We’re currently working on the earliest usable product and we expect this to be available in the Digital Marketplace in April. 

When services are first available to buy from the Digital Outcome and Specialists, buyers will be able to publish their requirements, information on the way they’ll evaluate suppliers (including their evaluation criteria and weightings), and supplier questions about their requirements, along with a response and view a shortlist of suppliers who’ve registered their interest on the Digital Marketplace. 

We expect that later iterations of the product will allow buyers to evaluate their shortlist, notify the successful supplier, give unsuccessful supplier feedback, generate a contract (or ‘call-off’), create a statement of work and sign a contract digitally.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


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