By Wendy Wates, MD QinetiQ Commerce Decisions Ltd
There is never any shortage of reports in the national and international press detailing the failures of large procurements, in both the public and private sectors.A recent government report highlighted that “the same kind of failures seem to be repeated again and again.” 
Getting it right means delivering the required capability – and that means focusing on evaluation criteria, rather than requirements. Instead of evaluating suppliers against numerous technical requirements and selecting the cheapest compliant bid, a structured method of developing criteria will identify a smaller number of high-level criteria which examine the things which ensure that the requirements will be met. The decision is then made on confidence that the bidder can deliver the requirements, balanced against price. So how do you identify the right criteria? Start by determining the goals and benefits of the project – thinking in terms of its high-level purpose, such as improved capability or savings – followed by dependencies. Then pinpoint the factors that will ensure the goals and benefits are realised – including the key enabling supplier capabilities, and how you’ll test these to mitigate project risks. Next, look at the issues you need to explore to obtain assurance that the dependencies will be effectively addressed. Once the criteria have been identified, they need to be analysed to enable the design of an evaluation process for each criterion that includes aims, weight, scoring scheme and the evidence required to justify an evaluator’s score. Going into a procurement process thinking “if we don’t get what we want we won’t pay” is no help to the end user who is left without key resources.
Focusing on criteria enables you to confidently buy a promise that you will get what you want. QinetiQ Commerce Decisions are experts in this field, and work alongside procurement teams to advise on evaluation strategies and processes. We drive best practice in the development of evaluation criteria and value for money calculations as part of programme delivery or as part of bespoke training programmes. These are delivered using our well-established and proven Structured Criteria Development methodology and Relative VfM capabilities.
Case studies from some of our client engagements can be found on our website at www.cd.qinetiq.com.