Select suppliers based on an evaluation of their ability to meet the specified requirements and established criteria.


Refer to the Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about analyzing possible decisions using a formal evaluation process that evaluates identified alternatives against established criteria.

Refer to the Requirements Management process area for more information about obtaining commitment to requirements.

Criteria should be established to address factors that are important to the project.


Examples of factors that can be important to the project include the following:
  • Geographical location of the supplier
  • Supplier’s performance records on similar work
  • Engineering capabilities
  • Staff and facilities available to perform the work
  • Prior experience in similar situations
  • Customer satisfaction with similar products delivered by the supplier

Example Work Products

  1. Market studies
  2. List of candidate suppliers
  3. Preferred supplier list
  4. Trade study or other record of evaluation criteria, advantages and disadvantages of candidate suppliers, and rationale for selection of suppliers
  5. Solicitation materials and requirements


1. Establish and document criteria for evaluating potential suppliers.

2. Identify potential suppliers and distribute solicitation material and requirements to them.

A proactive manner of performing this activity is to conduct market research to identify potential sources of candidate products to be acquired, including candidates from suppliers of custom made products and suppliers of COTS products.

3. Evaluate proposals according to evaluation criteria.

4. Evaluate risks associated with each proposed supplier.

Refer to the Risk Management (RSKM) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about identifying and analyzing risks.

5. Evaluate proposed suppliers' ability to perform the work.


Examples of methods used to evaluate the proposed supplier’s abilities to perform the work include the following:
  • Evaluation of prior experience in similar applications
  • Evaluation of customer satisfaction with similar products provided
  • Evaluation of prior performance on similar work
  • Evaluation of management capabilities
  • Capability evaluations
  • Evaluation of staff available to perform the work
  • Evaluation of available facilities and resources
  • Evaluation of the project’s ability to work with the proposed supplier
  • Evaluation of the impact of candidate COTS products on the project’s plan and commitments


When modified COTS products are being evaluated, consider the following:
  • Cost of the modified COTS products
  • Cost and effort to incorporate the modified COTS products into the project
  • Security requirements
  • Benefits and impacts that can result from future product releases

Future releases of the modified COTS product can provide additional features that support planned or anticipated enhancements for the project, but can result in the supplier discontinuing support of its current release.

6. Select the supplier.