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How do you evaluate and score new products?

By Bogomir ·
I am resposible for any client and periphery related products in my company (IT for an international finance and insurance co). That means having a set of standard, devotion to standardisation (not to create a hardware-zoo), select products with a long lifecycle, etc.
So far I have checked ITIL, but that was way to abstract on the subject. Then I made up my own evaluation grid (excel-sheet points, score ranking must-have and nice-to-have flags, busines-case calculation). I ask for a consolidated list of criteria from my customers for a specific request, as well as the same thing from my technical people (i.e. when I evaluate an all-in-one-printer, I ask the telecommunication guys for their FAX-technology requirements etc.).

Now...
What have you guys and gals for me, in terms of best-practice and experiences?

Let's have it! :-)

Tom

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I attacked that monster 3 years ago

by JimHM In reply to How do you evaluate and s ...

Oh have fun - I attacked that monster 3 years ago, used books and Meta to develop a fair and balanced weighting system.

So far it is working well - and once explained to the customer - they find it benefitual - and has past a number of audits with flying colors or is that colours...

Quickly - the RFP is broken into 3 sections - Business / Functional requirements, Technical Requirements and Architectural requirements. Each section has a number of requirement questions that the vendor will anwser. The questions must be written as a closed ended question to be answered as - Yes, No, No Plans, Future or 3rd Party product.

To weight the RFP - the RFP is assigned a total weight (say 1000 points) those points are then distributed between the 3 sections. Business - 500, Technical 300, Architecture 200 -

The Business team - then distributes those points (500) amoung their questions, same with the other two teams. Each question - is given a different weight - because requirement 1 maybe the most important where requirement 23 is a nice to have and only gets .5 points. Those distributed points must add up to that sections assigned points (500 in the business case).

When the RFP's are returned - scoring is done on a 0 to 3 system - 0 doesn't support requirement, 1 - 3rd party or future, 2 supports and 3 exceedes. (the vendors have space to comment on each question if they need).

All scores per question are added together and averaged - then multiplied by the weighting. Weightings are summarized by section - and by Vendor - for a total weighting ...

Thats the short story - have fun developing one... its interesting just doing the math to come up with a balanced score and weight card that will pass an audit.

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I will not go into great detail here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to How do you evaluate and s ...

But remember that not only do you need to evaluate products for their fuctionality/cost but you have to keep in mind that you are looking at a 3 - 5 year life cycle owing to taxation incentivies and the like. Most business computers are replaced every 3-5 years owing to the fact that they no longer after this time offer the tax advantages that a new system offers. So this is som ething else that you will have to keep in mind.

I also look at the Total Cost of Owenership of all the products as apposed to the initial price this works particuarly well with printers as the base line ones are really cheap to buy but expensive to run on a cost per page basis.

But at the end of it all you will have to work within the set budget that has been allocated for hardware/software and make your decissions from that point on as everything depends upon the allocated budget.

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