An overview of rating criteria for evaluating software RFP’s
You can use many different scoring schemes for rating criteria for rfp’s. Whatever you use, however, should be applied consistently across all proposals for evaluation.
Types of scorings
- Simple Yes or No scores. Quick and easy to use, but omits how important specific features or functionality are to you.
- Combined weighting and scoring method to indicate to what degree your rfp requirements are met by the vendor/software. Slower to do, but does take into consideration the importance of different criteria within an RFP.
- Scoring schemes and weighting, may be as elaborate as you require. They need to provide you with sufficient analysis/evaluation, without being too complex, confusing or take too long. Our preference is for something that is quick to use and provides the required information eg both option 1’s below - see the RFP Evaluation Template. However, ultimately the choice is yours. Just ensure you have a written justification for your chosen scoring and weighting schemes.
Scoring schemes include
- 0 to 3 range, where your requirements are: not met (0), partially met (1), fully met (2), exceeded (3). Straightforward and easy to use.
- -3 to +3 range, where your requirements are: not met (-3), fully met (0), exceeded (+3), with points in between. More complex, more aggressive scoring, which will separate out the software/vendor’s scores. However, confusingly, a zero score is actually a good score!
- 1 to 10 range, where your requirements are: not met (1) and exceeded (10), with points in between. Again, will separate out software/vendor’s scores more than with a ‘0 to 3’ range. But because of the wider range, it may be more difficult to agree a consensus scoring.
- Percentage of points available overall (adding up to 100) eg software functionality (0 to 50%), support and maintenance (0 to 20%), implementation assistance (0 to 15%) and price (0 to 15%).
- Percentage of points available for each requirement eg exceptional (100%), exceeds requirements (80%), meets minimum requirements (60%), not meeting minimum requirements (30%), unacceptable (0%), with percentages in between.
Weighting schemes include
- 1 to 3 range where an essential requirement is (3), desirable requirement (2), nice to have requirement (1).
- 1 to 5 range, where an essential requirement is (5), desirable requirement (3), nice to have requirement (1). Will give greater emphasis towards the essential and desirable requirements.
- Overall percentage weights eg 50% software functionality, 20% vendor capability and 30% price.
Using scores and weightings
Consensus scores, multiplied by weighting in a matrix provide an unbiased evaluation of the vendor’s proposal. Weighted scores may be summed to arrive at scores for certain functionality criteria or software modules.
Proposals ordered by total weighted scores, form a basic priority list - highest scores first. The results provide a short list of the top 2 or 3 vendors to include within the final software selection process.