3 ways to get ready for Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3
Bidding on the Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 framework agreement won’t be easy. Here’s a few tips to get you going.
By 2020 the Government is planning to spend 33% of its budget with SME’s. That’s £3 billion extra a year in potential income for small businesses! A lot of this revenue is readily available via the DOS2 framework. And, it will only rise with Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 that’s scheduled to open in July. Don’t wait to get listed, start planning now…
Get to know the Service Design Manual and the Digital Standards
If you are on DOS2 then you have hopefully already heard about the Service Manual and Digital Standards. We will be going deeper into what exactly you need to focus on here in an upcoming post. But they are worth mentioning here as well.
As the guidance says:
“The Service Manual exists to help people across government build services that meet the Digital Service Standard and prepare for service assessments.”
So, it’s a Buyers document. Why is this relevant to suppliers? Well without knowing your audience and what they want, how can you expect to win any Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 bids?
Our two main pieces of advice on knowing your audience relate to Digital Standard 4 and 5, which clearly demonstrate the government’s dedication to agile methodologies. Agile is covered in depth in the Service Manual. Ideally your bid should clearly show your understanding and alignment with this approach by:
- Using the language of the Manual – yes read the Manual and use those words in your bid!
- Following the development phases– show how agile you are! Your bid should show how you understand the agile methodology and follow discovery, alpha, beta, live.
Not every Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 opportunity will be the right opportunity
Get ready to be picky! Don’t just apply for everything and anything. Rather than spending time churning out half-baked bids, really analyse what’s on offer. Ask yourself is this tender the best fit for my company and what are the chances of winning it?
There are thousands of opportunities on Digital Outcomes and Specialists. Picking the right ones will take time and effort. One of the tools you can use to help you is readily available on the Digital Marketplace- filters! The DOS opportunities portal has several filters that are very helpful in narrowing your search. From the very obvious Closed/Open filter to using the Search box, there are numerous ways to zone in on the most relevant opportunities.
Quick tip: the Search on DOS allows the use of Boolean Operators that can help. The three main ones are: AND (+), OR and NOT (-). For example to view all tenders related to security design but not those by HMRC you can search for: design +security -HMRC.
Once you have made your shortlist, carefully go though each bid and evaluate whether is it worth applying for. According to a research conducted by dxw last year, most suppliers saw Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework opportunities as lacking in clarity. If you are not clear on what the opportunity is about, you need to decide if it is worth your time. Can the value justify the staff time required to complete the bid?
Get ready to ask the right questions!
If you decide that an opportunity is worth your effort, even if the requirements are clear, there are always questions that can help you improve your response. One of the fallacies of public sector procurement is that buyers cannot talk to potential suppliers during a procurement process. This is simply not true and it is not true for DOS!
DOS opportunities have this built in. For example, check if the opportunity has Questions and Answers Session box or perhaps they have a dial in opportunity for all interested suppliers.
You will want to take advantage of this! Come armed with pointed questions that will tell you a bit more about the requirements, the problem and the culture of your buyer. Then use that to structure your bid and the examples you will provide to support your application.
With over £333m spent on DOS so far, there is no doubt that Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 is a brilliant opportunity to win some serious public sector business. Don’t let July sneak up on you. Start thinking about the best way to approach tendering on DOS3 now!