Call for tenders

Type: Process


Rationale: This process can be used as a guideline for issueing and evaluating a call for tenders. It is suitable for requesting projects, products or other external services. It describes WHAT to do (the process itself) and what should be on your mind while doing it (resp. rule sets).

Note: A project I supported recently did a call for tenders in mid 2006. They wanted an external supplyer to develop a part of a IT system. The experiences gained during the time and some older experiences in requesting proposals for hardware components and COTS products went into the following descriptions.

Entry Conditions

E1: Management has stated or validated the need for an externally supplied solution.

E2 [COTS]: The requirements for the product has been (big-up-front-requirements, BUFR) and the people concerned really understand that defined requirements will change (by a rate of 2-3% per month).

E2 [others]: the requirements for the project or other service are defined.

Steps and Notes

S1: prepare the call

S2: send the call

S3: evaluate the tenders

S4: evaluate the supplier's presentations

Exit Conditions

X1: One supplier has been chosen.
X2 [COTS]: the specification has been updated.
X3: The time invested in the call for tenders (between preparation and descision) has not exceeded 5% of total projected time for the project

Note: in the project mentioned above preparation took 2 weeks, the suppliers had 2 weeks to answer, we needed 1 week for evaluation, added an extra chance for improvement for the suppliers (1 week), presentations 2 days, final evaluation and descision 1 day. This sums up to 6+ weeks or nearly 10% of total projected time for the project.

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