Bullet-Proofing Your RFPs: A Survival Guide for Practitioners

This popular presentation has been offered more than 40 times. Sponsors include more than 10 NIGP Chapters, 5 State procurement departments, and 7 Chapters of Supply Chain Management Association of Canada,

Audience / Technical Level

This presentation is focused on the entire RFP process, from project inception until the contract is signed. Since this workshop deals with the entire RFP process from inception to closing the file, it will appeal to both the novice and experienced practitioner.

Presentation Learning Objectives

You will learn:

  • Best practices from more than 60 jurisdictions
  • When to use an RFP
  • The worldwide trend to fair, open and transparent procurement
  • Choices in Selecting an Evaluation Methodology
  • Best practices for each step in the RFP Process
  • How to construct an evaluation process that works

 Summary of the Content

We have recently revised this agenda to include a new section dealing with Statements of Work.



The Rules of Engagement: When a public agency must use an RFP. What the Courts have said.

Topic 1 – The RFP Process

Policy issues; Design Issues; The RFP Document; Selecting the bidders; Issuing the RFP; Evaluating Proposals; Suppliers and contracts


Topic 2 - The Statement of Work: Getting it Right!

Users often produce incomplete, inaccurate Statements of Work and hand them to Procurement. These flawed documents cause major problems with the RFP process, lead to poorly planned projects with lots of change orders.

Most problems found in user-produced Statements of Work can be avoided.

In this session, Michael will:

  • Discuss ways of identifying flaws in the Statement of Work
  • Describe 5 techniques for verifying the accuracy and completeness of the SOW
  • Provide you with checklists, templates, examples and guides for creating an effective SOW.

Topic 3 -  Inside the Evaluation Process

What is an evaluation? Sample evaluations; Evaluations don't always work; Eight building blocks for constructing an evaluation; Establish compliance; Score the proposals; Develop a short-list; Interviews/demonstrations/tests; Evaluate the cost/value; Imposing upset levels; Best and Final Offers/Negotiations; Reference Checking; Standardizing the process

Topic 4 -  Six Avoidable, Seemingly Difficult, Major RFP Problems and Their Simple Solutions

1.  Every proposal is over budget. 2.  All the proposals are mediocre and contain significant risks of failing. 3. You can’t tell if the key players possess the critical skills needed for this project. 4. You can’t tell if the project plan will actually work. 5. You don’t know if the proposal staff can do the job nor if they will show up. 6. You don’t know how to evaluate the vendor’s past performance or whether they are embellishing their record, misleading you, or simply writing fiction.


Evaluation Results:

Speakers' ability to maintain your interest?
Excellent 84% Good 16% Fair Poor___

Speakers' knowledge of subject matter?
Excellent _99% Good 1%_Fair Poor ___

Was the topic relevant to your needs?
Yes 100% No __

Did topic present new/improved concepts?
Yes 100% No _



Michael is a great speaker. He provides valuable information while, at the same time, keeping the topic Interesting.

Liked that his presentation was tailored to our issues with developing RFP's.

Excellent program.

Excellent speaker!

Great relevance of topic for the association! Please have him back.

Most knowledgeable RFP speaker I have seen at RMGPA. Great member participation.

Informative and entertaining. Kept your interest.

I have a clearer understanding of what RFP's should be used for and the process of developing a system for handling them.

Good practical information and I liked the format.

Fun & informative.

Best RFP presentation I've seen.

So much information, so little time.

Excellent, made what could have been a sleeper topic fun and interesting?

Made a topic that can be boring interactive and fun, good information.

Michael is very entertaining &knowledgeable. Great information.

Risk analysis idea helpful. Enjoyed Mike's class.


Handout Material

We will provide you with a word file of the material to be printed (for each attendee) consisting of

  1. PowerPoint slides,
  2. Chapter 11 (104 pages) from The Request for Proposal Handbook, dealing with the Evaluation Process,
  3. List of additional references (web sites).

Value-Added Material

In Nov., 2015, we published the 5th Edition of my book, The Request for Proposal Handbook. This book sells for $170. We will make this book available to sponsors for each participant of this workshop at a reduced price of $60– a savings of $110!!

For More Information contact Michel Asner