The Debriefing:  An incredible learning opportunity


Thompson points out, “Most people have little opportunity to learn how to negotiate effectively.”  The problem is not lack of experience but a shortage of accurate and timely feedback.


Experience gained in academia demonstrates that 15-minute debriefing conducted by the negotiation team provides an incredible opportunity for learning and improvement in future negotiations.  After the completion of each negotiation, the negotiating teams are required to conduct a debriefing of their preparation process. They must identify both what was done well during heir preparation process and the lessons they learned {eg. What could/should have been done more professionally}.




Personal turnover and the frailties of the human memory make accurate documentation of a negotiation essential.  The documentation must permit a rapid reconstruction of all significant considerations and agreements.


Documentation begins in the supply management office with the receipt of a purchase requisition and continues with the selection of potential suppliers and their proposals. 


Documentation of the actual negotiation must be adequate to allow someone other than the buyer to understand what was agreed to, how, and why.


It is suggested by “Burt, Norquist and Anklesaria” that the following format to document be used.



This is a memorandum designed for readers with many different orientations. This section, together with the introductory summary, should give the reader a complete overview of the negotiation including information such as the supplier’s name and location, the contract number, and a brief description of what is being purchased.


Introductory Summary

This introductory summary describes the type of contract and the type of negotiation action involved, together with comparative figures from the supplier’s proposal, the buyer’s negation objective, and the negotiated results.



The purpose of this section is to discuss factors in the procurement situation which affect the reasonableness of the final price.


Procurement Situation

The purpose of this section of this section is to discuss factors in the procurement situation which affect the reasonableness of the final price.


Negotiation Summary

This section shows the supplier’s contract pricing proposal, the buying firm’s negotiation objective, and the negotiation objective, and the negotiation results, tabulated in parallel form and broken down by major elements of cost and profit.  Whether these are shown as summary figures for total contract value, summary for the total price of the major item, unit price for the major items or some other form of presentation depends on how the negotiations were conducted. The general rule is to portray the negotiation as it actually took place.