The Forrester Wave™ Vendor Review Policy

Opportunities For Vendor Review

Prior to Forrester Wave™ publication, Forrester asks participating vendors to examine our findings, provide comments, and suggest changes to improve the accuracy of the Forrester Wave at two points in the process:

  • Criteria review. The analyst drafts criteria for use in the scorecards as part of the product/vendor evaluation. Prior to sending out the questionnaire, the analyst gives participating vendors time to suggest adding, modifying, or deleting criteria. After we’ve gathered and reviewed all the inputs, analysts make the final call on which criteria to use and will distribute the questionnaire.
  • Fact check and scorecard review. After we’ve concluded our initial research, the analyst scores each vendor offering against the criteria. Forrester gives participating vendors an opportunity to examine their scorecards to identify any factual errors and bring them to our attention. The fact-check and scorecard review process is the last opportunity for vendors to point out factual errors so we can correct them prior to writing the Forrester Wave report. Each vendor also receives a copy of its write-up from the report and its placement on the Forrester Wave graphic during this period.

Vendor Escalation Options

We recognize that there may be times during the scorecard review process when a participating vendor may want to escalate feedback to a manager at Forrester. Forrester is committed to providing an independent, authoritative voice that provides the highest-quality advice to our clients. Sometimes, that mission may be in conflict with vendor viewpoints. We are committed to following the evaluation process and methodology correctly and fairly.

Forrester will consider escalations under either of the following circumstances:

  • Inaccurate scores. The vendor believes that the analyst has given a score that is inaccurate, based on the scale explanation and the information provided in its returned questionnaire and/or briefing.
  • Inconsistent process. The vendor believes that the research process was not consistent with The Forrester Wave™ Methodology Guide.

Forrester will not consider escalations when they:

  • Are based on criteria scales or weightings. The Forrester Wave uses criteria, scales, and weightings to express our analysts’ expert opinions about what should matter most to enterprise buyers in that category. Disagreements about scores have to do with the facts. Disagreements about criteria, scales, and weightings are a matter of opinion.
  • Occur outside of the fact-check and scorecard review phase. We don’t allow escalations during the courtesy preview period; at that point, the research is complete and not subject to further revisions.
  • Center on vendor concerns about other vendors. We do not consider escalations related to how other vendors in the evaluation scored or placed on the graphic.
  • Come from a vendor that did not fully participate in the research. For more information, see The Forrester Wave™ And The Forrester New Wave™ Incomplete Vendor Participation Policy.

When appropriate, vendors can escalate their concerns along the following path:

  1. The research director (RD). If a disagreement between the analyst and the vendor arises during a Forrester Wave and cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, the vendor may escalate the issue to the research director responsible for that Forrester Wave.
  2. The group director (GD). If disagreement remains after the initial escalation request, a vendor may then request an escalation to the GD (to whom the RD reports). The GD will decide whether the disagreement warrants further escalation. If the GD agrees to take an escalation call, the call will include the RD and the analyst for continuity as well as a peer from the senior research leadership team to provide perspective from outside the reporting structure responsible for the Forrester Wave in question. The GD may also decline the escalation request, in which case, Forrester will consider the research final.

It is Forrester’s policy, for the sake of the integrity and fairness of the Forrester Wave process to all participating vendors, that Forrester’s C-level executives and other employees not mentioned above will refrain from becoming involved in escalations. If contacted by a vendor with an escalation request, they will redirect the communication back to the RD responsible for the Forrester Wave in question, as outlined above.