Weighting your criteria to achieve value for money

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

When managing complex procurements, upfront planning and preparation should be an essential part of your process. How else will you know that your objectives are realistic and that they’ll support you to achieve the best value for money outcome? One thing’s for certain, once the rules of the competition have been published, you’ll need to ensure weighting the criteria is a key part of your strategy as it will have a huge influence on your project’s final outcome.

With increasing scrutiny on Public Sector procurement, it’s not only important to ensure your project delivers value for money but just as critically, that the entire process is defendable and transparent. That’s where AWARD® Weighting Workshop can help. It’s part of the Real Value for Money (RVfM) module which provides a robust and transparent supplier selection mechanism, ensuring that a project team’s scoring methodology has the desired effect.

AWARD® Weighting Workshop gives project teams the confidence that their decision-making process won’t be exposed to any unnecessary risk, both in terms of being able to defend a decision and also how well the chosen solution actually meets the requirements of the internal stakeholders.

And involving stakeholders early in the process is key to giving them confidence that their requirements are being taken into account. Leave it too late and they won’t have input into determining the solution you ultimately get. This can lead not only to disgruntled stakeholders who aren’t onboard with your decision, but you also risk procuring an unsuitable solution that won’t work for your core team.

So, how exactly does the process work?

The process of weighting allows you to apply a meaningful set of weights across the project’s criteria set. In doing so, you’ll need to determine what makes one factor more important to a decision than another so you can choose which criteria should be emphasised over others. The output of the weighting process is a set of criteria where each criterion has a different impact on the result. Put simply, without a robust weighting mechanism in place, there’ll be little or no quantifiable relation to the difference between each solution, putting you at serious risk of making the wrong decision.

Weighting Workshop provides a platform for stakeholders to log in remotely and assess each criterion individually using criteria weighting factors, similar to the way evaluators assess bids and provide scores and rationale. This removes several pitfalls associated with the more traditional method of weighting which make it difficult to reliably achieve value for money when selecting suppliers and can leave your project open to the risk of legal challenge. Removing the numerical element from the decision-making process changes the way you think about the importance of each individual criterion, helping to give all stakeholders a voice on the criteria set.

Scores from each stakeholder are then recorded and stored in AWARD’s audit trail and this evidence can be used to support any discrepancies between stakeholder decisions further down the line. AWARD® then calculates all the scores using an algorithm and provides each technical criteria question with a weight dependent on your technical and cost weight split.

What are the key benefits?

Here are just some of the ways Weighting Workshop can help you make the best decisions for your procurements:  

  • Gives your Procurement or Commercial Officers the ability to leverage their criteria and set up their evaluation to get the best possible outcome
  • Provides your internal stakeholders with the confidence that their requirements are being fairly considered and considered when choosing a solution
  • Gives you best practice techniques and tools to create defendable weights
  • Enables a robust decision-making process that provides value for money
  • Provides the facility to use AWARD® to visualise how each of the potential solutions compare
  • Allows users to log in remotely to update their progress against the weighting exercise
  • Takes you through thorough testing and sensitivity analysis to help achieve success
  • Supports the transfer of the final design to the AWARD® Evaluation module.

Providing the confidence that your decisions can be defended if necessary, and that your chosen solution neatly aligns to the requirements of your stakeholders, AWARD® Weighting Workshop helps you deliver the best possible outcome on your procurements. To find out more, please get in touch.

You can find more information about AWARD® here or you may be interested in reading our blog, ‘What do best possible outcomes look like?’ In this blog we consider what these outcomes really look like for our customers and why it’s so important.