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What is the best way to gather RFP requirements in PostRFP?

Posted in Getting Started with SupplierSelect, last updated on Dec. 10, 2020

Identifying, gathering and collating RFP requirements is arguably the most important step in running an RFP.

A common approach is for the RFP manager to form an evaluation panel with important stakeholders and subject matter experts. A first meeting would agree a first cut of high level requirement categories - these will form the top level sections in a PostRFP RFP questionnaire. Often individual sections will then be allocated to different panel members. For example, if selecting a Human Resources software system, the section relating to employee benefits might be allocated to a representative of the Finance department.

Once high level sections are defined, it's common for each panel member to then work up a spreadsheet listing rfp requirements for their own sections. These spreadsheets are returned to the project coordinator and collated. The project administrator will then import these criteria into PostRFP for futher refinement.

Whilst this is a reasonable approach, it's actually much more convenient to start working within PostRFP at the earliest stage possible. Everyone can see the current stage of the project's development at all times, and there's no need to bother with merging spreadsheets or managing version control issues. Our recommended approach for the project administrator is as follows:

  • Preparation - create the PostRFP project and questionnaire
  • Create Top Level Sections - meet the stakeholders and agree the high level structure of the RFP project.
  • Delegate - Assign responsibility for gathering requirements in each section to an individual or group of evaluators
  • Draft subsections and question titles - stay at a high level - just note down the requirement as a title, don't try to frame full questions.
  • Review - check that each section is complete, and there are no duplicate requirements in different sections.
  • Agree question and scoring methodology. Will all questions be the same format (i.e. closed questions)? Will there be a mix of closed and open questions?
  • Build the questions as you wish them to appear in the final RFP.

This a very organic approach to developing an RFP. At all times the full RFP is visible to panel members so it's easy to get an overview of the project and to track progress. There's no time wasted with emailing and merging spreadsheets and Word documents.

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