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 SupplierSelect 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 SupplierSelect for futher refinement.
Whilst this is a reasonable approach, it's actually much more convenient to start working within SupplierSelect 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:
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.