Track 2: 1.5 Day Intensive Workshop on RFP Best Practices

Embassy Suites San Marcos | San Marcos, Texas
November 15 – 18, 2022

Session Facilitator:
Brian Lines, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Professor
Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering (CEAE) Department
University of Kansas

Session Description:
Looking to enhance your RFPs?  Tired of the low-bid procurement process and the headaches that go with it?  Join us for this 1½ day workshop to enhance your purchasing toolbox. You will learn how to create better RFPs, work with your clients to develop effective Statements of Work, enhance your Proposer Submittal Protocols, and implement Evaluation Best Practices.

Session Objectives:

  • 5 foundations of RFP excellence
  • Content and structure of a High-Performing SOW
  • How to create a more streamlined RFP process
  • Understand the most efficient evaluation team structure and steps
  • Appreciate the importance of offering comprehensive debriefings to vendors

Session Details:

Module 1 of 4 – Organizing a High-Performing RFP.

Writing a Request for Proposal (RFP) can be a daunting task, however, selecting the best supplier team is one of THE most important steps in delivering successful project outcomes.  This session will explain the elements that make up a “High-Performing RFP” and the importance of positioning your organization as a “Client of Choice” to attract the most qualified contractors. We share specific tips for different project types to help you approach your next RFP with confidence and ease.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the Five Foundations of RFP Excellence
  • Learn how to organize a High-Performing RFP (document structure, topics, and content)
  • Understand tips for different industry sectors (IT, Facilities Management, Business & Professional Services, Design & Construction, etc.)
  • Elevate your RFP practices to become a “Client of Choice”
  • Access the Center for Procurement Excellence RFP Template 

Workshop: RFP Report Card

How does your RFP rate? Receive the training, tools, and skills to review and grade your organization’s RFPs and track their quality over time. In this workshop, you will work in teams to review, assess, and discuss a variety of RFPs, including those provided by your fellow attendees. Using the CPE RFP Scorecard, you will hone your RFP review skills and be prepared to take action on your next buy.

Module 2 of 4 – Organizing a High-Performing Statement of Work & Current Conditions  


Developing a clear Statement of Work (SOW) and Current Conditions can be challenging. Some SOWs are vague and lack critical details; others have requirements that are overly prescriptive or limit the ability for suppliers to bring innovative ideas. A factual Current Conditions statement will reduce your pain points and arm vendors with a better understanding of how to do the work, reduce their guesswork, and increase their accountability. This session will identify the surprisingly simple objective of a High-Performing SOW and Current Conditions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand How Statements of Work directly impact Supplier proposals, pricing, and performance
  • Discuss the most overlooked SOW details that Suppliers always need
  • Explain the specific content and structure of a High-Performing SOW
  • Review the Center for Procurement Excellence checklist on “Preparing a High-Performing SOW”

Workshop: The Perils of the Statement of Work: Too Much or Not Enough

A Statement of Work (SOW) is a critical item in any RFP.  Its content should be just enough to express your needs and wants and not too much that it limits competition.  When is enough, enough and not too much? In this interactive workshop, you and your fellow attendees will work as teams of suppliers to offer proposals on a series of SOWs.  This workshop will test your abilities, make you think, and will include a lot of laughs.

Module 3 of 4 – Proposal Submission Protocols & Evaluation Best Practices


We’ve all seen the job posting which seems as if it were written for a specific candidate…it’s frustrating because you don’t have a chance when the outcome is predetermined!  Unfortunately, suppliers often feel the same way about Owner RFPs and Evaluation Procedures. This session will kick off with a practical discussion on 10 specific changes that will make your next evaluation process faster, leaner, and easier. We also explain CPE’s research-based evaluation criteria and scoring recommendations. This session will close out with detailed recommendations on “Procurement Scheduling” best practices (key procurement activities and recommended timelines).  These next practices will help suppliers know that they have a fair chance to win… after all, better evaluations lead to better projects!

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the most efficient evaluation team structure and steps
  • Learn how to conduct interviews that are focused on expertise
  • Access the Center for Procurement Excellence’s “Source Selection Plan Template”

Workshop: Navigating the Perilous Waters of Procurement Scheduling

One of the best ways to learn how to chart your procurement schedule is by actually creating one.  Every procurement has different constraints.  Do you ever find out at the last minute about a new procurement need?  How do you handle unrealistic schedule expectations?  What recommendations should you provide to your clients?  This workshop will help you address a variety of real situations and be the captain of an exceptional procurement experience. 

Module 4 of 4 – Vendor Debriefings


this session will discuss the importance of providing debriefings to proposing vendors as a key component of a fair, open, and transparent RFP process. We’ll explain the key items to discuss in debriefings and provide advice on handling difficult situations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Appreciate the importance of offering comprehensive debriefings to vendors