Optimize Decisions™

"​​​Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Optimize vendor partner selection decisions by creating cooperative knowledge and engaging in an interactive dialogue.

The fourth mastery of business capability teams is Optimize Decisions™.

Critical actions to optimize vendor partner evaluation and selection decisions include:

  • Focus on vital needs.
  • Employ a mindset that you're acquiring a business process and accepting/configuring that process to avoid software customization.
  • Adopt a vendor partnering mindset and attitude to optimize your return on investment.
  • Avoid venturing too far from a vendor solution's standard use cases.
  • Use an RFP-based approach only when required by statute (for public sector organizations.)
  • Research solution and vendor market and identify three viable contenders.
  • Manage intermediaries, such as procurement, and engage in direct dialogue with vendors. Engage procurement, legal, and finance for necessary support.
  • Design your vendor questions carefully using a combination of open-ended and yes-no questions.
  • Align on evaluation and scoring processes and methods before engaging vendors.
  • Watch and mitigate biases that may marginalize the decision process.
  • Don't rely on the software vendor's project management. Manage the effort using your project manager. Do rely on the vendor's solution/product architecture and configuration expertise.


  • Overview
  • Establish Goals & Avoid these Gaffes
  • Think Twice Before Creating an RFP
  • Initiate Work

Do Your Due Diligence

  • Research Your Problem & Solution Space
  • Network with Peers
  • Focus on Vital Needs

Align on Evaluation Process

  • Establish Guiding Principles
  • Align on Scoring Methods
  • Finalize Evaluation Process

Publish RFP

  • Design Questions
  • Create RFP

Evaluate & Select Vendor Solution

  • Assess Vendor Proposals
  • Conduct Interviews and Software Demos
  • Contact Vendor References
  • Engage in Sandbox Software Experiences
  • Conduct Vendor Site Visits
  • Recommend Vendor
  • Negotiate Agreement

Skip RFP & Accelerate with JITDE™

  • Engage in Dialogue

Recap & Reference

  • Critical Takeaways & Reference