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Answering a Request for Proposal – Challenges and Proposed Solutions

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNPSE,volume 7195)


[Context and motivation] The tender process is a special requirements engineering process. The customer provides a request for proposal (RFP) with requirements of varying detail. Several software companies answer with a solution proposal. The customer chooses the supplier according to the price and the quality of the proposed solution. So far very little has been published on how the requirements engineering process of the suppliers in producing the solution proposal should be performed. [Question/problem] The main challenges of the tender process for the supplier are that the RFP is very big and the solution proposal has to be produced in a very tight time frame. Furthermore, there is typically very little direct communication between customer and supplier, which is needed to clarify the requirements in the RFP. So, the supplier needs to guess the meaning of the requirements. [Principal ideas/results] The main idea to overcome these challenges is to produce a structured documentation of available solutions and typical risks experienced in former tender processes. This documentation can be used to identify the most important risks of the current tender process and to efficiently produce a viable solution proposal. [Contribution] In this paper we report on the experiences of a supplier company with tender processes. We summarize the challenges of the requirements engineering for tender processes from the viewpoint of the supplier and we describe the solutions envisaged by this company for these challenges.


  • Tender process
  • requirements engineering
  • request for proposal
  • risk assessment
  • knowledge management

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© 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Paech, B., Heinrich, R., Zorn-Pauli, G., Jung, A., Tadjiky, S. (2012). Answering a Request for Proposal – Challenges and Proposed Solutions. In: Regnell, B., Damian, D. (eds) Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality. REFSQ 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7195. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-28713-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-28714-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)