Vendor Assessment

The type of Vendor Assessment undertaken will typically depend on the sizes of the organizations involved and the level of formality required. Enterprise Architect has a number of tools that can assist with performing the analysis of vendors ranging from the creation of a Request for Information/Quote/Tender /Proposal using a Document Artifact to simply defining the criteria using Non Functional Requirements. There are a number of other tools that could be used including the Documentation Generator to create the Request documents directly from the model. The Specification Manager is useful for creating and managing the Non Functional Requirements and Element Discussions provide a convenient place for analysts to discuss the results of the Vendor Assessment .

Document Artifact

Whether a Request for Information (RFI), Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Tender (RFT), Request for Proposal (RFP) is required or just a simple document a Document Artifact can be used as a place to create this information directly inside the model. A template could be specified for the document allowing sections to be defined and reused with different Vender Assessments for the same or different initiatives. Other model elements that exemplify some aspect of the assessment, such as Requirement, Constraints or Business Rules can be dragged into the document as links.

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Requirements Diagram

The Requirements diagram can be used to model Non Functional Requirements representing the service levels expected from a third party or vendor. These Requirements are often displayed using a package element showing the category of the requirement. In other diagrams the modeler can show the Non Functional Requirements linked to other elements such as Use Cases and User Stories or Functional Requirements. Traces could also be created between the Non Functional Requirements and system Components or Interfaces that describe the Vendor's offering.

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Stereotyping

A Performance Measure is not defined as an element type in any of the built-in Toolbox palettes but can be created as a type using the Unified Modeling Language (UML) Stereotype extension mechanism. The defined Stereotype can then be applied to a Requirement or Class to create a Performance Measure that can be added to the model. In the case of Requirements a new Requirement Type can be added.

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Specification Manager

The Specification Manager is the primary tool for working with text based elements such as Non Functional Requirements used to define service levels expected of a third party. These and other requirements can be created directly in the Specification Manager and their name and descriptive text can be added in a compelling Word Processor or Spreadsheet like format. Other built-in properties such as status, version and phase can be managed directly in the columns of the Specification Manager and where property lists are available these can be chosen or changed from drop down lists. Additional properties in the form of Tagged Values can also be managed from within the Specification Manager. The Non-Functional Requirements visible in the Specification Manger can be included on diagrams if necessary and linked to other modeling elements.  Changing any of the Requirement's details in the Specification Manger will update the element in all other locations such as diagrams and vice versa, since there is a single element in the Repository that is visible in many views.

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Documentation

Enterprise Architect has a powerful and flexible documentation generator that can produce Docx and RTF Word Processor files, PDF and HTML reports. Request for Information (RFI), Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Tender (RFT), Request for Proposal (RFP) and Non Functional Requirements stored in the repository can be conveniently generated and included in documentation. A sophisticated template facility exists that provides a range of built-in templates and allows the user to create their own templates defining styles, images and a wide range of other formatting options to assist with the creation of Vendor Assessment documentation.

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Element Discussions

Team members will often want to comment on or question the definition or details of a Non Functional Requirement or a Document Artifact describing the Vendor Assessment. The Element Discussion facility provides a perfect mechanism for conducting these conversations. The discussions are posted in a purpose built window and are kept separate from the notes and details of the element. This ensures that the Requirements definition is not 'polluted' with comments that are intended for modelers rather than other stakeholders. As the discussions are posted a Discussion Review window conveniently displays the latest entries across the entire repository.

Learn More: Element Discussions