What is a Multi-Category Decision Project and when should I use one?

What is a Multi-Category Decision?

The Multi-Category Decision (MCD) feature is a powerful way to set up and handle projects with multiple stages, decisions, or awards. Using this feature, you can set up one project to handle complex relationships and allow Vendors to submit to single or multiple aspects of a Project.

Once the project has closed, Project Owners can split the project into multiple child projects, thus allowing more customization and the awarding of multiple contracts or awards based on the required Decisions.

NOTE: This article provides a high-level view of what Multi-Category Decision projects are and what they look like. For a more detailed guide on actually setting up and running a Multi-Category Decision project, please see our Setting Up a Multi-Category Decision Project page!

When should you use a Multi-Category Decision?

Multi-Category Decision Projects can be used across a variety of situations -- for example, a university health network with multiple wide-ranging hospital locations may all need different types of hemostatic dressing, or a large construction RFSQ may require Vendors to bid from across multiple specialized trades (mechanical, electrical, etc.) 

If you are running a project that may require multiple vendors to be awarded, and that your vendors may be interested in submitting to various options for, then a Multi-Category Decision might be for you!

Example of a MCD Project Setup

When beginning to set up a Multi-Category Decision project, you must first determine what Decisions need to be made. For our example, let's start an animal shelter. In this project, we will need to decide a) which vendors are going to provide b) which services at c) which locations.


Categories are the different collections of services or items that your Vendors will be bidding on. You can set up a maximum of two categories. In this example, we need to make decisions based a vendor's geographical location, along with what kind of services or supplies they can provide. In our Animal Shelter example, we may have two categories: Location and Service/Supply.


You can set up as many Items as you need for your project. In this example, we need to specify what items will be required under each category. Let's assume we have two geographically distinct shelter locations, so we can set up an Item for each location under the Locations category. Under the Service/Supply category, we can set up Items that further specify the requirements, as shown below:



Once the Category and Items have been created, we can move onto creating Decisions that correspond to each combination of Category Items that you just created.

NOTE: Decisions form the basis for Child Projects and must be created prior to the Project's close date. 

Each Decision has two components: the Category and the Item. In our example, we will need to decide vendors for each item in both locations, so we will need to create Decisions for each item and location.


Once Decisions have been made, they can be mapped to Requested Information so that you can indicate exactly what documents/data will be requested depending on what Decisions your vendors choose to submit for:


When a Vendor submits their proposal to this project, the Requested Information they are asked for directly corresponds with Decisions that they have selected. 

Here's what that looks like:


If the Vendor only chooses to submit for any Decisions featuring the Foster Cat Barn location, they will only see the following:


If you think you could benefit from running a Multi-Category Decision Project, please check out our Setting Up a Multi-Category Project page for further instructions! 

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