Request For Proposal is the first form you’ll need to write before choosing a software development vendor. Here, we go through the must-do parts of a RFP creating process, so you know how your goals and objectives could be communicated to the supplier clearly and concisely to minimize misunderstandings. Your RFP should contain generic and specific requirements for your project, details about your company and deadlines.
WHAT IS A RFP?
Suppose a municipality is looking to create a new parking app. In this case, they’ll put out a request for proposal from software developers and IT engineers, saying something like, “we’re seeking to build a new mobile application for our residents and non-residents parking their cars at a city-owned parking garage.” Thus, the municipality has a general idea of what they need. Next, the municipality should put it in writing, listing every detail of the app they would like to have developed by a software development company. Ideally, the municipality (a customer) follows the next steps.
STEP 1: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
First, define your project and decide how much you can afford to spend on it. This is what your statement of purpose or an executive summary is for. It provides the framework for what your company is searching for regarding the problem, the solution, services, and objectives.
The statement of purpose should not be too long or elaborate – this is more of an outline of the idea of the problem.
Going back to the example of a parking app, their Statement of Purpose could probably say, “We are looking for a new kind of an app that will be available for iPhone and other mobile platforms and support a universal credit card payment system Our budget is $50,000-$75,000”.
STEP 2: PROVIDE BACKGROUND INFORMATION
This is where you need to go a bit deeper in talking about your business so that suppliers have a better understanding of what your company does and wants to get as a result of your collaboration. For example, let’s say that the municipality prefers that the new parking app be built by government-approved contractors with expertise in responsive design and building applications for multiple mobile platforms.
The background is also a good place to provide your business requirements. Focus on those unique to you as an organization and essential to your company to help providers get the complete picture of what you are looking for.
STEP 3: SCOPE OF WORK
Here, the customer should lay out what is expected from the potential partner in greater detail. Highlight any sort of skills, expertise, and services required for consideration. Also, define your target customers.
Thus, the municipality in our example above could say something like, “We need the app in seven languages, with five payment options, a service chat, and 24/7 tech support that will service 100,000 users”.
Every project is different and has its own nuances. For Sprinterra’s customers, the scope of work is one of the most straightforward tasks because our team built a RFP generator for application development. Check it out here.
Put everything down in this as part of the RFP, and don’t assume that something should be obvious. Be as specific as possible. The scope of work should have:
- Product infrastructure outline
- Your overview/vision of the final product
- Functional requirements
- Product capabilities
- Graphic interface and user experience
- Non-functional requirements:
- Collaboration approach, e.i., dedicated project manager; pre-scheduled sessions with engineers and specialists; milestone updates.
Additionally, don’t forget to mention the implementation process and the technical services. You might want to consider securing a post-development (post-delivery) support. In that case, ask your potential supplier to provide quotes on those services or an SLA (service level agreement) draft.
STEP 4: PROCESS SCHEDULE
It is important to be upfront and clear about the timeline of your project. Even if you are flexible on your time, think of a time frame of when you think you’ll need to start using the product. Set a specific deadline for a proposal, a decision due date, and a final delivery. Moreover, always give your potential partner an end date.
STEP 5. POINTS OF CONTACT
Add all the pertinent contact information. Both sides need to know who to reach out if need be. This section could also help minimize miscommunications surrounding the scope of the work and the financial compensation.