Evaluation Groups can be best thought of as silos, or sections in which a Project Owner can use to segment reviewers, documents, and criteria.
Evaluation Groups give the Project Owner the flexibility to map documents and criteria to specific reviewers. This allows the user to control document and criteria visibility appropriately across a team of evaluators and procurement staff.
One typical use for Evaluation Groups is setting "Technical Evaluation" and "Pricing Evaluation" groups, where only purchasers are assigned to the Pricing Evaluation group, and all other reviewers are assigned to the Technical Evaluation group. This ensures that only the purchaser can view and score pricing while allowing the technical evaluators to review all other documents and criteria. In essence, creating a two-envelope evaluation process.
Another common use for Evaluation Groups is for projects requiring a presentation by the vendor, where only the attendees of the presentation are allowed to score the presentation criteria.
Evaluation Groups are created in the project creation wizard and can be edited at any time from each Project Details page by scrolling down to the Evaluation Groups section and clicking on the Manage button.
To learn more about creating an Evaluation Group, see How do I add Evaluation Groups?
Evaluation Groups also give you the ability to run a multi-stage evaluation project by manually releasing the document and criteria to Evaluators in each Evaluation Group as required. In the example shown below, two Evaluation Groups were created. One for the Technical Evaluation and the second for the Signed Forms Evaluation.
The green label symbolizes an Evaluation Group that has been released to Evaluators (i.e., they can access the documents and criteria) while an orange label symbolizes an Evaluation Group that is being withheld (Evaluators cannot access the documents and criteria).
Being able to release to Evaluation Groups on demand enables you to run a multi-stage process where each stage is evaluated in sequence, or run a project in parallel where each Evaluation Group is simultaneously working on the evaluation. How the releases are staged is completely up to the Project Owner.
A few things to note:
Withholding an Evaluation Group that had been released freezes all the scores and does not allow any of the Evaluators to make changes.
Every time you Release to an Evaluation Group, the Evaluators on the group get an email notifying them of the release and asks them to start the evaluation.
Bonfire does not Release or Withhold an Evaluation Group automatically. These actions can only be performed manually by the Project Owner or a Manager. (For more on User Roles, see User Roles in Bonfire)