Request for Proposals: Project Manager to Assist with Transition of Twelve Michigan Legal Aid Programs from Pika to JusticeServer

1. DESCRIPTION, PURPOSE, AND OBJECTIVES

The Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) seeks to hire an experienced project manager to help transition twelve of Michigan’s legal services providers, including four LSC-funded programs, from the Pika Case Management System (CMS) to JusticeServer. This a large and complex undertaking, and requires assisting with

  • designing the new system;
  • helping programs clean up stored data for ease of migration; and
  • training and deploying the new CMS for each program.

The project manager will

  • hold stakeholder meetings with the programs and TechBridge, who is building the new CMS;
  • ensure programs and Techbridge are meeting all milestones and assist in accomplishing milestones when needed;
  • take the lead on certain milestones such as user testing and data structuring/cleanup; and
  • actively participate in deployment and training with each new instance.

2. BACKGROUND OF ORGANIZATION

The Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) is a non-profit statewide legal resource program located in Ypsilanti. MPLP provides state support services to local legal services programs and other poverty law advocates. We work directly with local advocates by providing open access to case consultation, co-counseling, or referrals for current clients, and trainings. MPLP is part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services (MSAS), a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to low income and senior persons through several statewide programs. MSAS is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through civil legal aid offices and statewide advocacy programs. MAP’s mission is to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. Visit mplp.org and miadvocacy.org for more information.

3. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Many of Michigan's legal services programs are currently using the Pika Case Management System (CMS), but support for Pika (beyond security patches) ended in 2019. Michigan's legal aid programs need a modern, powerful, and convenient CMS in order to continue providing efficient and effective legal services to their clients. A program's CMS is not only where they store all their client and case data, but also where all reports are generated; where time records are created; where pro bono case placements and reporting are done; how some attorneys exchange text messages with clients; an efficient way to do an intake and legal needs screening; a way for clients to submit online intakes and for partner agencies to refer clients to legal services; a place to store case-related documents; a way to check conflicts; a way to track impact work; a way to transfer cases between programs, which is essential for programs working with the CALL hotline; and a way to perform many other essential functions. The need for efficiency and uniformity across the state was made greater by the COVID pandemic.

These twelve Michigan programs have selected JusticeServer as their new CMS and MPLP, as the state support program and provider of Pika CMS services in the past, is implementing this solution through an organized state-wide approach to create time, staffing, and cost savings for each individual program. MPLP is issuing this RFP to hire a project manager to facilitate the communication between individual programs and between the programs and TechBridge as the prototype is being built and tested, and as individual programs' instances are being rolled out. The project manager will also ensure consistency in data fields across programs and help programs clean up data to reduce the cost of migration.

This project will be supervised by Angela Tripp, Co-Managing Attorney of MPLP, who will hold regular check-in meetings with the project manager in addition to attending the regular project team meetings and providing insight/guidance as needed throughout the project. Microsoft Teams and Trello are already in use for this project and the hope is to continue using these tools.

4. BUDGET AND TIMELINE

Work on this project is scheduled to begin immediately. MPLP, a small committee of legal services staff, and Techbridge are meeting weekly to discuss the design and build of the prototype version of JusticeServer. The timeline of the overall project is:

  • Coordinate efforts between Michigan programs and TechBridge to build Michigan Prototype Instance of JusticeServer: February – November 2021
  • Coordinate user testing of prototype by Michigan programs, and sharing of results with TechBridge: May – November 2021
  • Manage collective data structuring and clean-up efforts by Michigan programs: May – August 2021
  • Manage individual programs’ deployments of JusticeServer, including training and data migration: November 2021 – August, 2022

Our maximum budget for this contractor is $100,000. Payment will be made in response to monthly invoicing. Proposals should be “total cost” bids covering all specifications outlined in this RFP.

5. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

All work done on this project is “work for hire” and all intellectual property rights shall be owned by MSAS, its successors and assigns.

DEADLINE: Proposals must be delivered to Angela Tripp by email at trippa@mplp.org no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on 4/9/21. All proposals must include a statement of authorization to bid signed by a principal of the bidding company. All proposals must use the proposal format outlined in this RFP. Bidders must disclose any relevant conflicts of interest and/or pending lawsuits.

6. FORMAT FOR PROPOSALS

  1. Introduction/executive summary, including your understanding of the project purpose, vision, and objectives and recommendations for how to complete this project most successfully.
  2. Detailed timeline to execute project according to the deadlines above.
  3. Project Budget Estimates and Cost Projections, including a breakdown of all costs associated with the project and identification any additional expenses, fees, etc. that you will require to complete the project.
  4. Company or Agency Profile, including:
    • background, capabilities, experience with working with the legal services technology community, experience with project management, experience with developing or migrating case management systems, and other relevant experience/skills
    • customer communication and evaluation procedures
    • examples of similar projects you have completed or participated in (if any)
  5. Provide two (2) references (with phone and email contact) for other similar projects you have completed or participated in.
  6. The selected vendor must be willing to provide all deliverables as a “work for hire” and to assign all right, title, and interest in deliverables to MSAS. If vendor has employees or proposes to use subcontractors for this project, vendor must affirm that all employees and subcontractors will be bound by this agreement. Proposals should indicate the company or entity’s understanding that this contract is for a “work for hire” and its agreement that vendor’s work product produced in its services shall be and at all times remain the exclusive property of MSAS; that vendor will not sell, transfer, publish, disclose, or otherwise make the work product available to third parties without MSAS’s prior written consent; and that with regard to any works that vendor acquires ownership of from third parties, vendor hereby irrevocably assigns to MSAS all right, title, and interest (including any copyright) in such works in perpetuity. Please affirmatively state your willingness to do this.
  7. Provide resumes/CVs for all who will work on the project.

7. SELECTION PROCESS

This RFP will be released on March 23, 2021. Proposals are due by 5:00 pm EST on 4/9/2021. Between now and then, we will respond via email and phone to any questions you may have. Our staff will review proposals, conduct interviews, and select a final vendor by 4/23/2021, with work to begin shortly thereafter. The selected vendor will be expected to enter into a contract with MSAS. Vendors whose responses have not been selected for further negotiations or award will be notified via e­mail.

8. THE SMALL PRINT – MISCELLANEOUS OTHER TERMS

  1. Costs of Preparing Responses: MSAS will not pay any vendor costs associated with preparing responses submitted in response to this RFP.
  1. Responses Property of MSAS: All responses, accompanying documentation and other materials submitted in response to this RFP shall become the property of MSAS and will not be returned.
  1. Proprietary Information/Public Disclosure: To the fullest extent possible, all responses received shall remain confidential.
  1. RFP Amendments/Cancellation/Reissue/Reopen: MSAS reserves the right to change the RFP Schedule or issue amendments to this RFP at any time. MSAS also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP. All such actions will be posted on mplp.org and miadvocacy.org.
  1. Minor Administrative Irregularities: MSAS reserves the right to waive minor administrative irregularities contained in any response.
  1. Inability to Enter Contract: MSAS reserves the right to eliminate from further consideration any vendor that MSAS, because of legal or other considerations, is unable to contract with at the time responses are due in accordance with the project timeline outlined above.
  1. No Obligation to Enter a Contract:
    • The release of this RFP does not compel MSAS to enter any contract.
    • MSAS reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any vendor that has responded to this RFP whether or not the vendor's response has been evaluated and whether or not the vendor has been determined to be qualified. Exercise of this reserved right does not affect MSAS’s right to contract with any other vendor.
    • MSAS reserves the right to request an interview with any vendor and/or a demonstration from any vendor prior to entering a contract with that vendor. If a vendor declines the request for an interview or demonstration for any reason, the vendor may be eliminated from further consideration.
  1. Multiple Contracts: MSAS reserves the right to enter contracts with more than one vendor as a result of this RFP.
  1. Non­-Endorsement: The selection of a vendor pursuant to this RFP does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor's services. The vendor agrees to make no reference to MSAS in any literature, promotional material, brochures, sales presentations, or the like without MSAS’s express written consent.
  1. Contract Payment Limitations:The contract may provide for periodic payments based on completion of agreed upon milestones. Vendors should anticipate payment at the end of the invoice period in which they provide services or after they submit any deliverable for which a payment is due.
  1. EVALUATION PROCESS AND THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

Questions regarding this RFP should be emailed to Angela Tripp (trippa@lsscm.org).

Date Posted