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What is the Maximum Score in an RFP Project?

Posted in RFP Scoring and Bid Analysis last updated on March 19, 2014

The Maximum Score is a property of a SupplierSelect Project. It defines the scale that can be used when scoring individual answers from bidders. For example, setting a Maximum Score of 20 means that answers can be allocated a score from 1 to 20. The default maximum score is 10.

Background

Basic approaches to RFP scoring use the range of scores available to each question as an indication of relative importance. For example, the scoring range for an important question might be 1 - 20, but for a less import question it could be 1-3.

The advantage of this approach is that it's simple when used in a two dimensional spreadsheet - there are fewer calculations to get wrong. The disadvantages are:

  • Poor separation of concerns. Judging the quality of an answer is not the same as assigning importance to that question. For example, if a scorer thinks a question is unimportant, they are more likely to assign a low score, even if the answer is good (they don't wish that answer to unduly affect the outcome).

  • Difficult to compare priority perspectives. When weights are assigned independently of scores, it's possible to assign and compare different weighting sets, switching between them for comparison. For example, one might compare the priorities of the CFO with those of CTO. This is impossible when question scoring scales are used to assign relative importance.

  • Difficult to assign hierarchical weightings. A good RFP should break the decision down into smaller and smaller subcomponents, arranged in a hierarchy (sections, subsections etc in SupplierSelect). If question priorities are assigned according to a scoring scale, but sections are weighted by direct value, it's very difficult to derive the absolute weighting (contribution to total score) for any one question.

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