Blog Posts Process Analysis

Project Selection Process S520

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

S520 – Issue Invitation to Tender

SIIPS Selection Processes (S).png


S520 - Get vendors to respond to Requirements Matrices.pngPrepare and issue Invitation to Tender.


Prepare Invitation to Tender (ITT) document containing tendering rules, explanation of overall requirement and key requirements in Requirement Matrix “question and answer” format.


This process is normal practice in Requirements / Selection Fast Track.


Prerequisites (Finish-Finish):
  • Define key requirements (S500)
  • Assess potential vendors (S510)
Dependent procedures (Finish-Start):
  • Evaluate Responses (S530)


  • completed Requirement Matrices
  • short list of vendors identified in previous processes


  • Invitation to Tender (ITT)


  • Examples: Request For Proposal (includes questionnaires in appendices)
  • Examples: Request For Proposal Sign Off Letter
  • Examples: Request For Proposal Review Workshop agenda
  • Requirements – library of example requirements matrices
  • Examples: System Requirements Worksheet



In this document we are using the expression “Invitation to Tender” or “ITT”.  Many organisations have their own normal expression for this concept, for example:
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Request for Tender (RFT)
  • Request to Tender (RTT)
Similarly, the expressions “Proposal”, “Tender”, “Offer”, and “Bid” can normally be taken to mean the same thing, ie a formal offer to supply specified goods or services subject to specified terms and conditions.  In many situations, subject to the precise wording used and the legal system that applies, the information stated may be legally binding once accepted by the buyer.
During an engagement it is normal to adopt the form of language most familiar to the client organisation.

Format of the Invitation to Tender (ITT)

Application Software Selection and Implementation Projects  do not require a specific format of ITT.  Where the client has specific requirements these should be followed.  This is frequently the case with public sector organisations which have specific rules about tendering procedures.
A general discussion of the purpose, nature and contents of an Invitation to Tender document can be found in Process S080 – Prepare and Issue ITT.  The Invitation to Tender produced in a “Fast Track” approach is usually simple in nature and is concerned with the key requirements, rather than the full detailed requirements of the client organisation.  Typical contents might include:
  • covering letter,
  • general description of the requirements in the form of a brief textual overview,
  • tendering rules – details of how to respond etc,
  • Requirements Matrices showing key requirements and questions.

The Requirements Matrix questions and the overall Invitation to Tender will have been kept as simple as possible, whilst still covering the essential needs and discriminating factors.  Vendors will be expected to respond rapidly to the ITT.  To speed up the process, vendors will normally be dealt with directly by the team.  They will be made aware of the urgency and that they are on a small short list.  They will be asked to co‑operate with the Fast Track approach by responding very quickly.

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