June 26, 2024 4:46 pm

Peter Bonney

An RFP Go No Go Decision Template is a critical but frequently overlooked tool for overworked proposal teams. While RFPs present lucrative opportunities, they also demand significant time, resources, and effort. Not every RFP is a golden ticket; some might lead your team down a rabbit hole of wasted resources and missed opportunities. This is where the go/no-go decision template comes in.

A well-structured go/no-go decision process is essential to optimizing your team's limited resources. This process involves a thorough evaluation of the RFP to determine whether it aligns with your company's capabilities, resources, and strategic objectives. By carefully assessing the potential risks and rewards, you can make an informed decision about whether to invest your valuable resources in pursuing the opportunity.

Vendorful's Ultimate RFP Go/No-Go Decision Template provides the decision-making process you need. This simple document streamlines the decision-making process, providing a structured framework to evaluate the viability of an RFP. By considering key factors such as strategic alignment, resource availability, financial considerations, and competitive landscape, you can confidently determine whether an RFP is worth pursuing.

The Importance of Go No Go Decisions

Making an informed go/no-go decision is not merely a preliminary step; it's a strategic linchpin that can significantly influence your company's trajectory. The RFP process, while potentially rewarding, is a demanding endeavor. It necessitates a significant allocation of resources, including dedicated personnel, meticulous research, and the crafting of a persuasive proposal. Embarking on this journey without careful consideration can strain your team, divert attention from other critical projects, and potentially deplete your budget.

Moreover, the consequences of a poorly executed RFP response can extend beyond wasted resources. Submitting a proposal that falls short due to insufficient preparation or a misalignment with your core competencies can tarnish your company's reputation and diminish future opportunities. In a competitive landscape where client perception is paramount, a subpar submission can have lasting repercussions.

Conversely, a well-informed go/no-go decision empowers you to channel your resources strategically. By focusing on RFPs that align with your strengths and objectives, you enhance your chances of success. A targeted approach allows you to allocate your team's expertise where it matters most, ensuring that each proposal is meticulously crafted and tailored to the client's specific needs. This not only increases your win rate but also fosters a reputation for excellence, attracting more high-quality opportunities in the future.

In essence, the go/no-go decision is a pivotal moment that sets the stage for either a triumphant RFP response or a costly misadventure. It's a decision that warrants careful deliberation, weighing the potential rewards against the investment required. By approaching this decision with a strategic mindset and utilizing a structured framework, you can navigate the RFP landscape with confidence and maximize your chances of securing lucrative contracts.

Introducing the Ultimate RFP Go No Go Decision Template

The Ultimate RFP Go/No-Go Decision Template is not just another checklist. Think of it as a compass guiding you through the often turbulent waters of RFP evaluation. This template provides a structured framework, a series of carefully crafted questions and considerations that illuminate the path toward a successful RFP response.

By systematically evaluating key criteria, the template helps you uncover hidden risks, assess your competitive advantage, and gauge the overall feasibility of the project. It's not about simply checking boxes; it's about gaining a deep understanding of the opportunity at hand. With this knowledge, you can confidently determine whether an RFP aligns with your company's strengths, resources, and strategic vision.

Understanding the RFP Go/No-Go Decision Template

A go/no-go decision template typically includes a set of criteria that are relevant to your organization's goals and capabilities. These criteria may include:

  • Alignment with Strategic Goals: Does the RFP align with your company's overall strategic objectives?
  • Capability and Experience: Do you have the necessary expertise and resources to deliver on the RFP requirements?
  • Resource Availability: Can you allocate the required resources without jeopardizing other projects?
  • Financial Considerations: Are the financial terms of the RFP favorable and profitable?
  • Competitive Landscape: How strong is the competition, and what are your chances of winning?
  • Client Relationship: Do you have an existing relationship with the client, and what is their perception of your company?
  • Risk Assessment: What are the potential risks associated with the project, and can they be mitigated?
  • Compliance & Legal Requirements: Can you meet all the compliance and legal requirements outlined in the RFP?
  • Past Performance and References: What is your track record in similar projects, and do you have relevant references?
  • Proposal Development Effort: How much time, effort, and resources will be required to develop a winning proposal?

Each criterion is typically assigned a weight or score to reflect its importance in the overall decision-making process.

The Ultimate RFP Go No Go Decision Template

Here's a comprehensive go no go decision template you can use to evaluate RFP opportunities:

Criteria1 Point2 Points3 Points4 Points
Alignment with Strategic GoalsPursuing this RFP would require significant deviations from current strategic initiatives.Pursuing this RFP aligns with certain aspects but not all strategic initiatives.Pursuing this RFP generally supports strategic initiatives with some minor deviations.Pursuing this RFP is fully consistent with and supports current strategic initiatives.
Capability and ExperienceMinimal prior experience or expertise related to the RFP requirements.Some relevant experience and capability but may need additional resources or training.Substantial relevant experience and capability to meet the RFP requirements.Strong track record and expertise that precisely matches the RFP requirements.
Resource AvailabilityCurrent resource constraints make it highly challenging to commit to the project.Some resources can be allocated but would require considerable adjustments and reallocations.Most required resources are available but may require minor adjustments and reallocations.All required resources are fully available without the need for adjustments or reallocations.
Financial ConsiderationsThe financial terms of the RFP do not cover costs adequately or offer minimal profit.The financial terms cover costs but offer only a modest profit margin.The financial terms cover costs comfortably and offer a satisfactory profit margin.The financial terms cover costs well and offer a substantial profit margin.
Competitive LandscapeLikely many established competitors who have a strong chance of winning.Likely a fair number of strong competitors, but there is still a chance to stand out.Likely some strong competitors, but we have a good chance to compete effectively.We face few viable competitors for this RFP, and a very strong chance of winning.
Client RelationshipWe have no prior interactions or established trust with the client.We’ve had minimal interactions with the client, with limited trust and rapport.We’ve had regular interactions with the client and established a fair amount of trust.We have a well-established, trusted, and positive relationship with the client.
Risk AssessmentThe project has significant risks with few or no strategies to mitigate them.Project has considerable risks, but there are some strategies in place to mitigate them.The project has manageable risks with solid strategies to mitigate them.The project has very few risks, and there are robust strategies to mitigate any potential issues.
Compliance & Legal RequirementsThe company faces major compliance or legal issues in meeting the RFP requirements.The company faces certain compliance or legal issues but they are manageable with effort.The company faces minor compliance or legal issues that are easily manageable.The company fully complies with all legal and regulatory requirements with no issues.
Past Performance and ReferencesWe have a weak track record and few positive references in the relevant area.We have a satisfactory track record and some positive references in the relevant area.We have a strong track record and several positive references in the relevant area.We have an excellent track record and numerous positive references in the relevant area.
Proposal Development EffortThe proposal will require substantial time, effort, and financial investment.The proposal will require a considerable amount of time and effort but is manageable.The proposal will require a fair amount of time and effort with minimal financial investment.The proposal will require minimal time, effort, and financial investment.

Understanding Each Section of the RFP Go No Go Decision Template

Each criterion in the template is designed to assess a different aspect of the RFP opportunity. Here's a breakdown of each section:

  • Alignment with Strategic Goals: This evaluates how well the RFP aligns with your company's overall strategic direction. Pursuing RFPs that are not aligned with your goals can lead to wasted resources and missed opportunities.
  • Capability and Experience: This assesses your company's ability to deliver on the RFP requirements. It's important to be realistic about your capabilities and avoid overcommitting.
  • Resource Availability: This examines whether you have the necessary resources (personnel, time, budget) to dedicate to the RFP response process.
  • Financial Considerations: This analyzes the financial terms of the RFP, including the potential profit margin and whether the project is financially viable.
  • Competitive Landscape: This evaluates the level of competition for the RFP and your chances of winning. It's important to understand the competitive landscape before investing significant resources in a proposal.
  • Client Relationship: This considers your existing relationship with the client, if any. A strong client relationship can increase your chances of winning the RFP.
  • Risk Assessment: This identifies potential risks associated with the project and assesses your ability to mitigate them.
  • Compliance & Legal Requirements: This ensures that your company can meet all the legal and regulatory requirements outlined in the RFP.
  • Past Performance and References: This looks at your track record in similar projects and whether you have relevant references to support your proposal.
  • Proposal Development Effort: This estimates the time, effort, and resources required to develop a winning proposal.

Tips for Scoring and Evaluation

Scoring and evaluating your RFP go/no-go decision template is where the rubber meets the road. It's the process of turning qualitative assessments into quantitative data that drives your decision. Here's how to make the most of this crucial step:

  1. Weighted Importance: Not all criteria are created equal. Assign weights to each criterion based on its strategic importance to your organization. For instance, if aligning with your strategic goals is paramount, give it a higher weight than, say, the estimated proposal development effort. This ensures your final score reflects what matters most to your company's success. (Note that the base template above is equal-weighted to be as flexible as possible, but adding weights to each criteria is straightforward.)
  2. Scoring Scale: Utilize a consistent scoring scale, such as the 1-4 scale in our template. This allows for nuanced evaluation, where 1 signifies a poor fit or high risk, and 4 represents a strong alignment or low risk. Be sure to define what each score represents for each criterion to maintain consistency in your evaluation.
  3. Total Score and Threshold: Calculate the total score by summing the weighted scores for each criterion. Before you begin evaluating RFPs, establish a predetermined go/no-go threshold. This is the minimum score an RFP must achieve to be considered for pursuit. Your threshold should align with your company's risk tolerance and strategic goals.
  4. Regular Review and Calibration: As you use the template, periodically review your scoring and threshold. Are you consistently pursuing RFPs that align with your goals? Are you winning a good percentage of the RFPs you pursue? Adjust your scoring and threshold as needed to optimize your decision-making process.

By following these tips, you can transform your go/no-go decision template into a powerful tool that drives strategic decision-making, improves resource allocation, and ultimately increases your RFP win rates.

Implementing the Go/No-Go Decision Process

Turning your go/no-go decision template into action is a straightforward process that can save you valuable time and resources. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to seamlessly integrate this valuable tool into your RFP response workflow:

  1. RFP Acquisition and Review: The first step is to obtain a copy of the RFP and meticulously review its contents. Pay close attention to the client's needs, requirements, timeline, and any specific evaluation criteria. Understanding the RFP inside out is crucial for accurate assessment in the subsequent steps.
  2. Template Completion: With the RFP details fresh in your mind, begin filling out the go/no-go decision template. Carefully consider each criterion, referencing the RFP and your company's internal resources as needed. Be honest and objective in your evaluations, avoiding the temptation to overestimate your capabilities or downplay potential risks.
  3. Scoring and Evaluation: Assign scores to each criterion based on the scale you've defined. Use your pre-determined weights to calculate the weighted score for each criterion. Sum up these weighted scores to arrive at a total score for the RFP.
  4. Threshold Comparison: Compare the total score to your pre-established go/no-go threshold. If the total score meets or exceeds the threshold, the RFP may be worth pursuing. If it falls below the threshold, it's likely not a good fit for your company at this time.
  5. Decision Time: Based on the comparison with the threshold, make your go/no-go decision. Remember, this decision is not set in stone. You can always revisit it later if circumstances change or if you gather new information.
  6. Documentation and Review: Document your decision, along with the rationale behind it, in the comments section of the template. This creates a valuable record for future reference and can be helpful for discussions with stakeholders. If necessary, review the decision with key team members or decision-makers to ensure alignment and gather additional perspectives.

By diligently following these steps, you can transform your go/no-go decision template from a theoretical framework into a practical tool that streamlines your RFP response process. It empowers you to make informed, strategic decisions that maximize your resources and increase your chances of winning lucrative contracts. Remember, the goal is not to respond to every RFP but to strategically choose the opportunities that align with your company's strengths and goals.


The RFP go/no-go decision is a critical step that can determine the success or failure of your proposal efforts. By leveraging the Ultimate RFP Go/No-Go Decision Template, you equip yourself with a powerful tool to navigate this complex landscape.

Remember, the RFP process is not merely about responding to every opportunity that comes your way. It's about strategically selecting the right opportunities, those that align with your company's strengths, goals, and resources. By incorporating the go/no-go decision template into your workflow, you transform the RFP process from a reactive scramble into a proactive, strategic endeavor.

So, take the reins of your RFP response strategy. Embrace the power of informed decision-making. Start using our Ultimate RFP Go/No-Go Decision Template today and embark on a journey toward more efficient, effective, and successful proposal development. Your future wins await!

About the Author

Peter Bonney is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Vendorful. He has been helping organizations with their RFP challenges since 2016. Prior to that, in his role as an investment manger, he watched way to many companies get burned by poor RFP processes, and personally dealt with the pain of DDQs and other complex business questionnaires.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}