Procurement Project Preparation Checklist

3 vital steps to a successful outcome

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Preparing for a complex procurement takes time and effort to set up correctly and in a way that gives you the best possible chance of success. We previously shared our early procurement planning checklist, and now we’re sharing our three steps to procurement preparation. The steps outlined in this article reflect the actions you need to take in order to prepare the tender brief and the process by which you’ll evaluate the responses.

Think of the planning stage as digging out the foundations of a new building – you’ve mitigated as many opportunities for risk as possible, so it is now ‘safe’ to begin the next phase.

The preparation stage is the point where you are laying the concrete. Successfully completing the three steps below ensures a solid base for your project to build upon. These are the heaviest actions in terms of effort required, and they must be thoroughly thought through. It can be tempting to cut corners to save time, but doing this opens you up to unnecessary risk – it would be like trying to build the house before the foundation has set.

You’ll have established some processes in your planning stage that will dictate how to document your journey to contract award, and it is important to reiterate here that every decision made throughout this next part of the project should be accurately recorded.

So, to prepare your complex procurement, here are your three key steps:

1. Structured Criteria Development

Taking time to understand which goal(s) you are trying to achieve and what stands in your way of accomplishing them allows you to put together a robust set of standards that any tender bid must meet in order to be considered.

Your chosen criteria defines what it is that the contracted solution must be able to do, and may also cover how, where, and when it must do it. There is no minimum or maximum number of criteria, but they must each be measurable, comparable and unbiased.

The AWARD® Structured Criteria Development (SCD) module assists you to develop criterion that are fit for purpose and defensible. It ensures a consensus view of all variables and removes undue influence from individual stakeholders.   

The ‘Requirements Management’ functionality, which forms part of the module, provides a collaborative environment for the criteria development to take place.

To learn more about the best practice development of structured criteria, watch the ‘How to Successfully Manage Complex Procurements’ webinar.

2. Hold a Weighting Workshop

Once your criteria are in place it’s time to apply a weighting system, whereby you’ll assign a value to each individual criterion based on how critical it is to the success of the final outcome. This scoring method allows you and your team to understand the scale of importance for each aspect of the tender and will ultimately ensure a fair, unbiased result.

Setting the values for each weight relative to one another can be a challenge, but that’s why we include the ‘Weighting Workshop’ tool within the Real Value for Money (RVfM) module of the AWARD® Suite.

This enables you to undertake a thorough sensitivity analysis, giving stakeholders confidence that their requirements are being fairly considered throughout the evaluation stages of the project.

You can find out more about the ‘Weighting Workshop’ tool.

3. Develop your RVfM methodology

To conduct a successful complex procurement, you must be able to demonstrably show that your contracted solution will provide you with value for money. There are a number of methodologies you can use to find the most economically advantageous tender, and which one you choose will depend on many factors, such as finance, quality and technical capability.

Using the AWARD® RVfM module alongside the support of our expert services will help you to determine which method is best suited to your overall outcome. The module will allow you to:

  • Avoid the pitfalls of commonly used methodologies
  • Define what your unique value for money looks like
  • Undertake sensitivity analysis
  • Ensure a robust ranking for each bid
  • Utilise a transparent scoring mechanism
  • Allow bidders to optimise their bid in order to deliver the best value for money solution possible

Find out more about the AWARD® RVfM module.

Setting you up with AWARD®

Our proven AWARD® Solution contains three elements – Plan, Prepare, Execute. Each element is broken down into multiple modules that are designed to support you at every stage of your procurement journey.

The AWARD® Prepare element guides you through the most critical points of the entire process, setting you up to ensure you achieve the best possible outcomes.

The three modules within Prepare are underpinned by our pioneering methodologies and thought leadership. It is focused on empowering you to:

  • Ensure your expected outcome is aligned with your project objectives
  • Create a defensible set of weighted criteria
  • Select the most appropriate value for money method to assure the right outcome
  • Protect your decisions from challenges

Evaluation design

In addition to the modules, you’ll also have access to support from our Procurement Evaluation Design Team. They can be on hand to help with the technical training of the whole AWARD® Solution and they’ll add extra (highly qualified) resource to your project.

By leveraging this additional support, you can confidently work through your procurement with the knowledge that you’re achieving value for money via a fully compliant and documented tendering process. Our experts can skilfully guide you through the development of your structured criteria and weighting strategy, and the evaluation of your cost. They’ll also share advice on how to fine-tune your procurement at each stage to ensure an even more successful execution.


We already know that managing a complex procurement requires upfront planning and an investment in the right tools and processes. But it is the time and effort taken in the preparation stage that really shapes the outcome of your overall project.

By defining a water-tight set of criteria and applying a weighting system that has been thoroughly tested, you’ll create a reliable dataset from which to evaluate your value for money stance.

By engaging our AWARD® Solution for the end-to-end process, you’ll be on track from the word go. With specific tools to support each individual step of the journey and a dedicated team of experts at your fingertips, you can have full confidence in every decision made.

Support the most critical stages of your procurement design to achieve the best possible outcome.