A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a business document that has a precise description about a project. Writing a RFP properly is crucial before starting any business. The software vendor needs to know exactly what you need before they work on your project. Here’s how to write a successful RFP.
Step 1: Introduce yourself
You will obviously begin by letting the vendor know who you are and what you do. This includes a short brief about your company and yourself.Some things that would be included here are:
- Point of contact (PoC): The PoC is the person who would be responsible for all further communications with the vendor. The RFP should have the PoC’s name and contact details so that the vendor can coordinate further proceedings with them.
- How did you find this vendor: It’s also nice to mention how you found this vendor. Whether it was through an ad, online search, or even through a referral from their previous client.
- Project description: A short description of your project requirements can be useful for the vendor as they can understand what you may need and begin the conversation with this information.
Step 2: Project details
Moving on to a more detailed description of the project, the more details you provide, the easier it is for the vendor to give you an estimate on the time and budget. Here are some details you should include the following as part of your RFP:
- Features: What features do you want in the software? Try to give as much information as possible.
- Links to similar solutions: If there are any existing solutions that have same or similar features, you can include these to give a more visual representation of what you need.
- Budget: While the budget is quite subjective, giving the vendor an idea of how much you’re willing to spend can also help them understand the scope of the project.
- Timeline: If you’re on a strict timeline, it is important that the vendor is aware of it beforehand. They can then plan their process and resources accordingly.
- Preferred technologies: If you have any specific requirements of certain technologies or programming languages to be implemented, mention this in the RFP. All vendors may or may not have the same expertise, so if this is a priority for you, then let them know.
- Design requirements: If you have any design mock-ups ready, share them in the RFP.
Step 3: Explain the purpose
What problem does this project intend to solve? Explaining the purpose of the project can put the vendor to look at the project from a better perspective and plan it better. Here are some key things that dictate the purpose of a project:
- Business goal: What is the overall concept of your business and where does this project fit in?
- Target audience: Who is the target audience that would use this? This also helps in creating the UX and UI.
- Target industry: Is there a niche industry that would use this solution?
Step 4: Share your outsourcing experience
Have you worked with outsourcing companies before? Let the vendors know!
- If you’ve never worked with outsourcing companies before, let the vendors know so that they can guide you better.
- If you have worked with outsourcing companies before, mention the good things as well the pain points faced during those projects and what difference you’re looking for in the current project.
- If you’re currently working with any other outsourcing company, let the vendor know hoy the two projects go together and if there would be any collaboration required. Would there be any parts of the solutions that should be integrated? If so, assign PoCs who can coordinate the project and collaboration between the vendors.
The key to a successful project is to find the right vendor. A well-written RFP lets vendors know exactly what you’re looking for, so that they can tell you beforehand whether they are a good fit.
At Devcom, we have worked with multiple clients over the years and have seen various types of RFPs. To make things easier for you and us, we have an RFP form that makes RFP writing easier. For further details, contact us and we’ll get back to you in 1-2 business days.