Harry Vos

Sketches for scaling digital public sector procurement


As our team approach the start of an Alpha to learn what works and what doesn't work before scaling, I've been sketching out an assumption that we should test.


We won't have scaled unless framework owners can create new frameworks themselves, without a digital team building a new thing.

Framework owners observe current framework performance could be improved, so they create a new one using this tool. They can use an existing framework as a template, or start from scratch. Entering the start date, and duration, they choose how users should buy products and services (known as "route to market").

They then list out which questions suppliers and buyers need to answer, giving shape to how value for money is evaluated. During supplier evaluation, the framework owner can design different ways for the buyer to run the evaluation. They can make buyers give different types of feedback to unsuccessful suppliers.

They can set permissions for what buyers can do during a contract, like ending the contract early, or extending it. They can invite previous suppliers to apply to the new framework. After a review, they will have scheduled the launch of a new framework to go live on a certain date.

At this point, both the commercial agreement for the framework, and all the online forms for suppliers and buyers have been built using the data from the previous flow. As part of their pre-market engagement, framework owners can test the various parts of the journey, making use of the Crown Commercial Service's user researchers. They would test these journeys, going back to the tool to iterate it where needed. Once the new framework is testing well for all users, it can launch.

At launch, the commercial agreement and online forms for suppliers and buyers have been made public. The framework owner can once again observe the performance, reviewing service performance data, as well as market trends, user feedback and any legal challenges or risks.

Next steps

I want to learn more about the Crown Commercial Service's ambitions for growing and scaling digital procurement in order to understand the different possible routes to achieve something like these sketches. This will inform what we prototype and test in Alpha.

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