RFP Lab: Forms - Training - Templates

RFP Training Course


  • Establish vendor competition
  • Convert vendor “sales talk” into enforceable contractual commitments
  • Codify all requirements in a single document
  • Align objectives and evaluation criteria
  • Stop vendors from bypassing the procurement process
  • Obtain multiple solutions to your “problem”
  • Gain, improve and retain negotiating power
  • Provide a disciplined, repeatable approach to the RFP process

Upcoming Events

Loading Events

Upcoming Events › RFP Lab: Forms - Training - Templates

Events Search and Views Navigation

Event Views Navigation

Available At-Your-Site

Online or In-person

Customized to Your Specific Needs

Learn More


A well-designed RFP will address your needs effectively. It should require that responding vendors propose concrete solutions and be accountable for those solutions.

Your RFP process should determine

  • How willing is a vendor to accept contractual commitments?
  • Does the vendor have the skills and experience to do the job right, on time and within budget?
  • What responsibilities will the vendor have?
  • What deliverables can you expect to see? When?
  • What happens if the vendor does not deliver as expected?
  • What is the best deal?

If the solutions to these issues are left ambiguous, the results are often disastrous. Project delays, cost overruns, wired deals and overall project failure are common outcomes from using an informal approach. Unfortunately, many projects fit into this undesirable category.

With the help of a well-crafted RFP, issues that are left for future negotiation with a vendor are minimal.

What Differentiates This Workshop?

More than conceptual in nature, this RFP Lab is an advanced workshop featuring specific examples from highly experienced practitioners. It’s designed to give professionals exactly what they want—enough how-to information and hands-on tools to significantly improve their RFPs.

In addition, each professional who attends the workshop will receive information-packed takeaways, including RFP examples, templates, sample documents and checklists.

Return on Investment

Some training programs promise a return on investment but rarely deliver.

RFP Lab offers a return on your investment in two distinct ways:

  • First, the documents you will receive have a value worth multitudes of this workshop investment.
  • Second, by improving the overall effectiveness of the RFPs you produce, you’ll get additional savings and increased contractual assurances.


  • Getting Organized
  • Produce (activate the team, responsibilities, develop outline, gain approval)
  • Request (issue the RFP, conduct the bidders’ conference, answer questions)
  • Evaluate (receive-review, evaluate, considerations (ZOC), document)
  • Manage (project plan, contract and relationship)
  • And more


You will receive more than 20 tools and resources, including:

  • RFP template
  • Potential Vendor Evaluation Matrix
  • Potential Vendor Pricing Matrix
  • Bidders’ Conference Agenda
  • Position Paper
  • RFP Checklist
  • Request For Information (RFI) Template
  • Various form letters to communicate effectively with potential vendors
  • Sample Reference Check Questions


CTPEICN courses qualify for CTPE credits. Caucus awards up to 12 continuing education hours to attendees of this workshop toward their Certified Technology Procurement Executive certification.
C.P.M.Those successfully completing this workshop can receive up to 12 C.P.M. points. ISM’s consent to award points is not an endorsement of this program or its contents.
C.L.E.Those successfully completing this workshop can receive up to 12 C.L.E. units.


Online Agenda Each Day

11:45 a.m. Start checking in with ICN staff
Noon – 1:30 In session
1:30 – 2:15 Break
2:15 – 3:45 In session
3:45 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 5:00 In Session
Subject to change

3 Ways to Register

  • Register Online Now
  • Register by Phone: 407.740.0700
    Monday–Friday between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm ET
  • Register by Fax: 407.740.0368 using our Fax Registration Form

Multi-registration discounts are available. Call us now to find out your level of discount!

Workshop Outline

The Power of the RFP

Leveraging Potential Vendors Early

1. Organize

  • Form team(s)
    • Why?
    • Who?
    • How many teams?
  • Research internal
    • The current situation
    • Begin defining the problem
  • Research external—Eight sources, including
    • User groups
    • Trade periodicals
  • Decide results or resources
  • Collect objectives
    • Types—Ten different categories, including
      • Technical
      • Infrastructure
      • Performance
    • Sources
  • Prioritize objectives
  • Conduct additional research on vendors
    • Types of vendors
      • Those who responded to the RFI
      • Those identified after or as a result of the RFI
    • Information to gather­­—Five significant things to consider, including
      • Vendors’ financial viability
      • Vendors’ business model
  • Develop Position Paper
    • Documents the essence of the deal­—Seven things we must document, including
      • Prioritized objectives
      • Negotiating considerations
    • Signed by all team members and senior management
    • Updated throughout the acquisition process
  • Determine evaluation criteria
    • Fact-based and objective rather than subjective
    • Provides for a consistent comparison of vendors
    • Develop detailed criteria utilizing a matrix
    • Includes all prioritized objectives
    • Goes in the RFP in a generic form

2. Produce

  • Activate team
  • Assign responsibilities
  • Conduct RFP-based research—Seven key sources including
    • White papers
    • RFP Lab materials
  • Develop RFP outline
  • Incorporate prioritized objectives
  • Draft RFP text
  • Conduct peer review
  • Compile initial draft
  • Review by disinterested third party
  • Revise as necessary
  • Proofread
  • Format
  • Gain approval
  • Publish

3. Request

  • Issue RFP
    • Deliver RFP to vendors
    • Document receipt of Intent to Bid Letters
    • Document receipt of signed Confidentiality Agreements
    • Document receipt of Relationship Agreements
  • Conduct bidders’ conference
    • Procedures—Ten things to consider, including
      • Prepare agenda
      • Brief team members on roles and responsibilities
      • Develop seating chart
    • Benefits­—Five advantages to conducting a bidders’ conference
  • Answer questions

4. Evaluate

  • Receive/review proposals for
    • Compliance
    • Completeness
  • Separate financial/pricing info from other parts
  • Issue deficiency notices, if necessary
  • Evaluate responses from each vendor
    • Review evaluation procedures, scoring methods and evaluation tools
    • Break into subparts and give to appropriate team members
    • Apply evaluation criteria
  • Issue requests for clarification or additional information
  • Conduct reference checks
  • Prepare for implementing the Zone of Consideration (ZOC)
    • Rank vendors
    • Invite “successful” vendors into ZOC
    • Notify “unsuccessful” vendors
  • Finalize the negotiations strategy for each potential vendor
    • Update based on RFP proposals
    • Update based upon clarifications received
  • Negotiate­—Twelve major principles, including
    • Negotiation is a process, not an event
    • Negotiate with all potential vendors who can meet requirements
    • Select vendor(s) after negotiations are complete
  • Execute agreement(s)
  • Document the results
    • Update the Position Paper
    • Communicate with senior management

5. Manage

  • Manage the project plan/transition plan
  • Manage the contract
  • Manage the relationship


Best practices­—Fourteen Essential Concepts, Including

  • Always include your form contract
  • There is no substitute for preparation
  • Do not accept unsolicited offers—tie all offers to your published RFP
  • Do not limit potential vendor creativity in proposing alternative solutions
  • Do not underestimate the amount of time required to prepare a complete response