Process for identifying, interviewing, soliciting proposals, evaluating proposals, reference checks, criteria and roles for decision making, contract negotiation & award, contract administration, and closure in a transparent, fair, and consistent manner.


A phrase coined by the CIO of a large organization in Richmond, Virginia.

A strategy that offers important benefits for a procurement or outsourcing cycle, is a planning and operational efficiency initiative that leads to a stronger negotiation position. With this approach the scope and deliverables are well defined, the organization’s roles and processes have been assessed and improved in advance, change is understood, and clear acceptance criteria can be established. Good scope control to minimize work change and associated incremental costs can be established at the beginning.

Procurement Plan-Example Initial Outline

Contract Planning:

  1. Establish rough budget for preliminary survey and discussion with prospective suppliers; validate stakeholder expectations before sending out formal requests for proposal.
  2. Understand signature authority, and establish line item in budget.
  3. Risk management review; what are the largest risks we can identify up front? Risk mitigation options; should we have a contingency fund for this project?
  4. Ongoing annual maintenance and support services required? Other consulting services?
  5. Prepare a proposal package: what additional materials or information can we provide in a proposal package that will make it easier and result in a better response from bidders? Document our volunteer resources/roles for proposal package
  6. Expected sequence and schedule (not an unlimited amount of time to complete the work)
  7. Milestones (early in development phase), acceptance criteria, link to negotiating strategy
  8. Other requirements: working meeting locations, website installation, and transition work location, etc.

Procurement Management and Contract Award:

  1. Who will manage the chosen design firm and administer the contract through its lifecycle to see that it is executed as agreed to, and meets both specification and timing? What is the milestone review schedule?
  2. Proposal evaluation methodology?  People? Documentation?
  3. Contract terms: what type of contract (firm fixed-price)? How to address everything from payment terms to IP rights to liability and recourse; should we negotiate an option for phase two as part of a package deal?
  4. Acceptance criteria (by milestone?) and resolution process-payment terms in contract? Define done.
  5. Will answers to questions submitted by bidders be distributed to all bidders (anonymously)?

Manage, Administer, and Close Contract:

  1. Understand change order process, request/prioritization management (now and in the future-who/how?), labor rates, fixed price options, signatory requirements, authorization, etc.
  2. Access rights and terms to site for installation and support work by supplier
  3. Warrantee period; Testing? Sign-off; Claims management?
  4. Record keeping: contracts, correspondence, etc (single-point-of-contact & repository)
  5. How, when, terms for payments be made?