Request for Quotes: Systems Architecture Analyst
Westminster Foundation for Democracy (“WFD”) is the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. Operating internationally, WFD works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make political systems fairer, more inclusive and more accountable.
We are a problem-solving, practitioner-led organisation that offers:
- High quality and impactful regional and country programmes that directly support the full spectrum of institutions in political systems to develop inclusive political processes, more accountable political systems, protection of rights and freedoms, and more pluralistic societies;
- Specialist analysis, research, and advice to inform policy makers on a range of democratic governance issues through its Centre of Expertise; and
- International elections observation on behalf of the UK.
Aim of this Request for Quotes
WFD is issuing this Request for Quotes (“RFQ”) to a range of potential suppliers of services and would welcome a proposal or quote from you/your organisation.
We are looking to enter into an agreement with a single supplier (individual or organisation) who will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of WFD’s current systems architecture. The review should consider the choice of systems/applications, their current configuration and functionality, and the alignment and/or interoperability between systems. The analyst should develop a set of actionable recommendations for addressing identified requirements and improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of WFD’s architecture. The primary output for the contract will be a report documenting these findings.
For full details and background, please refer to the ‘Detailed Specification’ section
All proposals or quotes should be submitted by 17:00 BST on 14 July 2023 in writing and include:
- The supplier’s name, status, company number, and registered office address
- An overview of the supplier’s relevant experience, expertise, capability and capacity
- A description of the service(s) to be provided and clear explanation as to how this meets the specification in this RFQ.
- A transparent quotation of the charge for the service(s), in sterling, to include: a clear breakdown of all costs; any proposed discount applied for WFD as a not-for-profit organisation; and a separate identification of any VAT charges (and/or any other applicable tax, excise or other charges).
- Proposed report layout (see ‘Deliverables’ section)
- Supporting references / case studies
The proposal or quote should be sent electronically and addressed to: Luke Commander, Head of Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The same email address should be used for any questions related to this RFQ.
WFD’s standard terms and conditions for tendering and key policies are found at https://www.wfd.org/governance/policies and you can find a copy of WFD’s Code of Conduct at https://www.wfd.org/policy/code-conduct.
The third goal in WFD’s 2022-2025 Strategy is to ‘reinforce our outstanding organisation,’ through our systems, culture and values. To contribute towards achieving this goal, we have committed to reviewing the architecture of our core systems. This is partly driven by a recent internal survey where it was identified that our systems are comprehensive but complex, and that we should look for opportunities to rationalise and simplify these where we can, and also because we need to assess the continued feasibility of hosting one of our systems, known internally as the ‘Evidence and Impact Hub’, outside the Microsoft suite.
WFD hopes to use this review to better understand the options, costs, and level of effort associated with potential solutions that will result in de-duplication of data inputs, improvements in the user experience for system users, and significantly increased search and reporting capabilities.
The objective of the assignment is to provide WFD with a report containing specific and actionable recommendations and options to improve the current system architecture.
Specific details on the report content can be found in the ‘Deliverables’ section.
Scope of work
The analysis will cover the following core systems (and linked processes):
- A database known internally as the ‘Evidence and Impact Hub’, used to collect programme data for monitoring, evaluation, and learning – outside the Microsoft suite.
- Microsoft SharePoint.
- Microsoft PowerApps-based system known internally as the ‘Programme Approvals and Information System,’ used to track proposal approval processes and to act as an interface to access programme-specific documents via SharePoint.
- Financial accounting ERP system (Microsoft based).
- Human Resources Information System – outside the Microsoft suite.
- Learning management platform – outside the Microsoft suite.
We require a consultant to analyse our core systems architecture and produce a report outlining key findings and actionable recommendations to improve their independent and combined usability for system users and consumers of reporting. The report should also include a prioritised and costed implementation plan.
The analysis will involve a combination of key informant interviews, documentation review and evaluation of the current systems and related processes (see Scope of Work). It should be guided by our principle, ‘that we will aim to put users in the centre of the design and development of our technology products, by prioritising user requirements, expectations, objectives, and feedback. We will embrace that WFD is a flexible and adaptive organisation with ever-changing needs. To do this, we will introduce agile product development methodologies that allow us to build on product iterations and act rapidly to user feedback.’
When conducting the assessment, the following factors should be considered:
- Whether the current approach to information management and our use of technology are optimal for a programming organisation like WFD.
- Time taken to input data / interact with each system (time wastage analysis).
- A comprehensive mapping of existing data inputs and the business requirement/justification for the information being collected, input, and processed across our systems.
- The reliability of current arrangements to validate the accuracy of data held across systems.
- Demand for accurate and simple ways to generate consolidated reporting and system-level reporting products and key word search functionality.
- Inefficiencies in the current configuration of WFD’s information management systems and cross-system integrations.
- Variations in the operating conditions and technological infrastructure across our network of offices that may affect accessibility and usability (e.g., poor internet connection, intermittent electricity supply, etc.).
- Resourcing limitations (e.g., internal capacity to deliver the recommendations and budgetary constraints).
- The need for an agile approach to systems architecture based on an expectation of WFD’s continuously evolving requirements.
- System security features required (e.g., MFA, encryption).
The recommendations should seek to address the following requirements:
- Reduced time and effort required to manually input information across systems and avoid duplication, input of identical data across different systems.
- Improved user experience for system users, including those in more challenging operating environments.
- Increased quality control of the accuracy of information held.
- Clear roles and responsibilities for system owners and system users
- Expanding good practice through user behaviour change
- Demand for consolidated, interactive and insightful reports and/or dashboard(s) that represent a single source of truth drawing on data held across systems and system-level reporting products that are useful for system users to enable better programme management and implementation, decision-making and oversight, donor reporting, and learning/adaptation.
- Feasibility analysis of transitioning to a single data warehouse solution.
- Identifying skills required to implement the recommendations in-house.
- Identification of opportunities to consolidate, rationalise, integrate, or replace existing systems, including configuration changes that would minimise manual tasks and maximise automation. In particular, WFD would like to understand potential solutions that will enable WFD to achieve our future aspirations for the ‘Evidence and Impact Hub’ – either through optimisation of the existing system or recommendation for a new system.
- Futureproofing of system architecture to accommodate future aspirations for project management solutions, customer/stakeholder relationship management systems, and bespoke generative AI solutions.
The above list is for illustrative purposes, and not exhaustive. The recommendations should be clear, precise, actionable independently over a period of time, and should be realistic in terms of budgetary and resource constraints. The proposed methodology and structure / template for the report should be included as part of the quote.
The anticipated timetable is as follows:
Suggested Activity Description
Kick-off meeting and introductions
28 July 2023
Key informant interviews
11 August 2023
System / documentation review (including process maps and documented statements of required outputs, where applicable and these are held)
25 August 2023
Draft Report submitted to WFD
8 September 2023
Review of WFD comments and report finalisation – final report delivered
22 September 2023
Presentation of report findings (to be recorded for internal dissemination)
29 September 2023
It is anticipated that the assignment will consist of 15-20 days’ work.
The supplier will report to WFD’s Head of Operations at an interval to be agreed upon contract. It is anticipated that this will be in the form of fortnightly touch-point meetings.
It is anticipated that work will be carried out remotely, although face-to-face meetings can be facilitated in our London office, as required.
Minimise experience and expertise
- Expert knowledge of the Microsoft 365 platform and products
- Significant experience of selecting, configuring, and deploying SaaS platforms covering a wide range of functions (finance, operations, project management, HR)
- Familiarity with coding languages
- A relevant qualification and/or at least 10 years’ experience in a role relevant to the assignment (e.g., systems analyst, systems architect, solutions architect)
- Experience with both agile and waterfall project methodologies.
- Familiarity with relevant industry standards relating to information management systems (e.g. ISO 9001:2015)
- Proven track record in delivering similar assignments, supported by references and case studies.