This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of The Rational Edge E-zine on-line magazine, copyright 2002-2003 IBM and Max Wideman.

The Rational Unified Process (RUP) is a rigorous software development process advocated by the Rational Software Corporation.

The downloadable PDF file of the paper on this site is the one prepared by the Rational Edge editorial staff with the special assistance of Ms Marlene Ellin.

Published here October, 2003.

PART IV | Recap | Progressive Acquisition Workflow
Specifying the Work | Selecting or Pre-Qualifying Suppliers
Making the Solicitation | Evaluating Submissions | Negotiating the Contract
Administering the Contract and Controlling the Supplier's Work
Terminating the Contract | Understand Progressive Acquisition
Appendix: Glossary of Terms for Progressive Acquisition

Selecting or Pre-Qualifying Suppliers

From the acquirer's perspective, it is always a good idea to seek more than one proposal because there are several benefits:

  • Serious proposers will invest more effort into understanding your requirements and produce a better response.
  • It is a useful way of collecting alternative ideas for solving the particular software problem (although this is frowned upon by the supplier community, which views it as "free" consulting).
  • Competition sharpens both the mind and the pencil.

The criteria for selecting suppliers typically include:

  • Technical capability relative to the required product.
  • Management capability.
  • Corporate financial strength.
  • Previous positive experience with the supplier.

You should carefully avoid and strongly discourage less desirable selection criteria, especially biases based on proximity, nationality, ethnicity, or political persuasion.

Under certain conditions, you may decide to seek bids from one supplier only:

  • There are few qualified suppliers for the work contemplated.
  • Time pressures preclude a competitive proposal process.
  • Quality rather than lowest cost is the overriding consideration.
  • Your company has a long-standing and comfortable relationship with the chosen supplier.
  • The work is highly confidential and can be assigned only to a trusted or legally bound supplier.
Specifying the Work  Specifying the Work

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