How to write and manage the RFP for software vendor

How to write and manage the RFP for software vendor

So, you have already made up your mind what kind of outsourcing services you need and how to choose an appropriate vendor. Now you need to make the RFP (request for proposal), and this is the main topic of our today’s post.

Firstly, let’s clear up what RFP is exactly (request for proposal).

Request For Proposal, or RFP is a request for commercial quotation from a potential outsourcing vendor. In other words, this is a document which you send to several potential vendors to get comprehensive information in the form of commercial quotation about what they can offer you according to your request. As a result, you get the most appropriate outsourcing vendor.

The main aim of the RFP is to get trustworthy and full-length information from the vendor about the services of your interest. But it’s a bad idea to think that it’s enough just to send a couple of requests and all your problems will be solved. Experience shows, to make a good RFP, one needs to execute titanic work to analyze huge amounts of information. Also, it’s not worth making bulk mail-out in order to save time. How one should act? How one should make the RFP in the quickest and wisest way possible? So, we can recommend some steps of making a sound RFP:

1. Don’t use patterns when making the RFP. You don’t need them. You should know for sure what your needs are exactly.

2. Engage your team when making the RFP, discuss aims that are to be reached and needs that are to be met. Also, your capabilities and forthcoming risks should be mentioned here.

3. Don’t try to select 20-30 potential vendors, 5-6 is enough. Choose those vendors who can really help using general criteria.

4. Before making and sending the RFP, contact the vendor directly. Find out his general work principles and enquire about his fulfilled projects. This can help you cut off some outsourcing vendors on this stage, also.

5. Include following paragraphs into your RFP: your project description, technical requirements (detailed specifications); budget; performance time; project owner and, of course, potential pitfalls.

Take into account that a vendor will search for maximum of the information about your company in your RFP: who you are, your financial stability (your ability to finance the project to the very end), which timeframe you offer, who is a decision-maker on this project and some other specific things. You have to understand the more information you provide about your project in the RFP, the more accurate quotation you’ll receive from the vendor. What’s more, in this case you will spend less time communicating with each of the potential vendors to get the appropriate quotation.

Consider the culture of services delivery within the company of the potential vendor. Sometimes, it can be crucial, especially when you are hesitating which vendor to choose.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, or would like to get any clarifications or consulting.

One thought on “How to write and manage the RFP for software vendor”

  1. Non-functional requirements – The technical requirements that define or describe how the system should behave or what is required to keep the system running securely and reliably. This includes such items as failover, clustering, roll up reporting, etc.

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