Management Concepts

Best Value Source Selection Using Tradeoffs

Available dates

Mar 23—24, 2020
2 days
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
USD 829
USD 414 per day
Apr 20—21, 2020
2 days
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
USD 829
USD 414 per day
Jun 1—2, 2020
2 days
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
USD 829
USD 414 per day
+3 more options


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About the course

The tradeoff approach, one of the most flexible—yet most complex—source selection approaches, is designed to yield a best value acquisition. However, many members of the acquisition community aren't sure when and how to appropriately use this approach. You will practice the strategy of achieving best value in negotiated procurements using the tradeoff process by analyzing source selection cases and applying your learning to real-world scenarios that will make your next acquisition a success.

Learning Objectives

  • Use the tradeoff method to select the best value offer for award

Course Topics

Introduction to Best Value Source Selection Using Tradeoffs

  • Best Value
  • Basic Buying Processes
  • Comparison of Federal Government Processes
  • Policy Background for Obtaining Best Value
  • Rules for Obtaining Best Value
  • Summary
  • Exercise: Are Tradeoffs Appropriate?

Acquisition Planning

  • Acquisition Planning Process
  • Deciding When the Tradeoff Process Is Appropriate
  • Organizing for Source Selection
  • Summary
  • Exercise: The More You Know

Selecting Evaluation Factors

  • Responsibility for the Proposal Evaluation Plan
  • Latitude in Selecting Evaluation Factors and Significant Subfactors
  • Ground Rules for Selecting Factors
  • Scoring Methods for the Tradeoff Process
  • Preparing the RFP
  • Evaluating Proposals Pursuant to the RFP
  • Summary
  • Exercise: Evaluation Factors for the Ash-Laden Lake
  • Exercise: Case Study: Key Personnel
  • Exercise: Case Study: Mark-Up Alone

Evaluating Technical and Cost Proposals

  • Proposal Parts
  • Complex Requirements
  • Organizing for Proposal Evaluation
  • Proposal Evaluation Board Nominations
  • Instructing the Proposal Evaluation Board
  • Standard Formats
  • Proposal Evaluation Board Process
  • Cost Proposals
  • Cost Realism Analysis and Probable Cost
  • Summary
  • Exercise: Case Study: No Score Change on Reeval
  • Exercise: Case Study: Only the Most Competitive to Present

Exchanges Other than Discussions

  • Notification of Intent in the RFP
  • Exchanges Involving Award without Discussions
  • Exchanges Prior to the Competitive Range
  • Discussions
  • Summary
  • Exercise: Clarifications or Discussions?
  • Exercise: Case Study: Equality?

Establishing the Competitive Range and Holding Discussions

  • Establishing the Competitive Range
  • Holding Discussions
  • Proposal Revisions
  • Summary
  • Exercise: Establishing the Competitive Range
  • Exercise: Misleading Discussions?
  • Exercise: Unequal Discussions?
  • Exercise: Case Study: One is a Lonely Number
  • Exercise: Case Study: The Canceled RFP
  • Exercise: Case Study: More Misleading Discussions?

Selecting a Contractor for Award

  • Discretionary Power
  • Rationality and Consistency
  • Treating Cost in Tradeoff Source Selection
  • Cost-Reimbursement Contracting
  • Documentation
  • Independence of the Source Selection Authority
  • The Source Selection Decision
  • Summary
  • Exercise: Selecting a Contractor for Award
  • Exercise: The Lower Priced Award
  • Exercise: Case Study: The High Cost Award
  • Exercise: Case Study: Unstated Factors?
  • Exercise: Case Study: Evaluation of Final Proposals

Notifications and Debriefings

  • Notifications
  • Debriefings
  • Summary


  • Definition of a Protest
  • Forums for Protest
  • Impact of Protests
  • Eligibility and Timeliness
  • Remedies
  • Summary

Who should attend

This course is designed for members of an acquisition team who expect to participate in a tradeoff source selection.

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