Invitations to tender

When it comes to IT invitations to tender, public authorities in particular face a major dilemma. For one, the systems they seek to acquire are essential and need to be procured as quickly as possible, and of course at a justifiable cost. In addition, because of the legally prescribed procurement procedure, they’re limited in their choice of tenderer: In reality, the highest bidder from the procedure often isn’t the company which can actually deliver the best solution within the given stipulations of time, budget and organizational framework.

As a result, public authorities spend great effort and expense on designing a “watertight” performance specification for their invitations to tender. This generally works well for invitations to tender bids for basic goods which are easily comparable. Unfortunately, when procuring complex technical solutions and specialized software systems, performance specifications are very often not rendered in an optimal manner. What is especially problematic is that performance specifications can contain latent problems which are often discovered only when the system is delivered or put into operation, or even when it is being used on a daily basis. This subsequently results in delays, inefficient work and excessive costs for change requests.

Our consulting approach to requirements engineering

We place requirements for IT solutions in the context of business needs and available technical options, and thus avoid costly mistakes in planning.

Service catalog as a success factor

Designing service catalogs is the supreme discipline of requirements engineering and represents an essential success factor for an invitation to tender.

The preparation of a service catalog must be preceded by a few key cornerstones:

  • Functional requirements were gathered and coordinated in a comprehensive manner.
  • Requirements were brought into line with business strategy.
  • The service catalog only contains requirements which are unambiguous, clear and consistent.
  • The service catalog is organized so as to be understandable to potential suppliers.
  • The service catalog supports tendering activities both in terms of content and structure.
  • The service catalog makes it possible for the offers which are prepared to be easily comparable.
  • If necessary, the service catalog supports negotiations, e.g. by properly prioritizing requirements.
  • The service catalog can be used as a basis for preparing procedures to test and accept deliveries.

Our experience clearly shows that clean requirements engineering in the tendering process saves money – this is because offers can be more easily compared and negotiated and problems which arise over the course of the procedure and in using the delivered systems are significantly reduced.

Karl SchottCEO