Whether you operate as a software development agency yourself or are looking for developers to lend your company a hand, writing an RFP can help. Request for proposal (RFP) writing revolves around creating a detailed document which can help development agencies reach out and offer their services to you.
In practice, RFP acts as a job posting intended for agencies rather than individuals looking for full-time employment. It can help determine your budget, development timeline, as well as help detect potential issues early on in the production cycle. Writing such a document in a clear and concise manner will also allow you to attract the right talent to your company in no time. That’s why we will take a closer look at request proposal writing aimed at software developers, which will make your project appeal to more professionals.
- Outline your Request Proposal Document
Outsourcing a project based on software development is always risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. While using a professional outsourcing platform will allow you to pick your software developers more carefully, a request proposal document will make it even easier. That’s why you should start your writing process by creating an organized outline of your RFP and slowly fill it with relevant information:
- Project summary (short description of your project and company)
- Goal of the project (what is the final product and its feature list)
- Development timeline (do you expect the project to be done in milestones or all at once)
- Project budget (how much are you willing to pay to the developer and in what manner)
- Developer selection process (how will you choose your developer and by which date)
These points can serve as the subheadings in your RFP in order to ensure clarity of the information presented to potential candidates. While you don’t have to title your subheadings in the same manner, make sure to rely on standard software development vocabulary to maintain good readability.
- Audit your Resources and Timeline Carefully
With the outline in place, you will have an easier time writing about your software development request. Start your research by carefully deciding on how much money you can allocate to your project and what your deadline is.
Scale creep is a serious issue in software development – you want to be as clear and decisive as possible when it comes to these elements. Consult your finance executive and coworkers in regards to budget and timeline before you write about these points in your request for proposal document.
- Write about your Expected Deliverables
What exactly do you hope to get by outsourcing your software development needs to a third-party agency? As we’ve mentioned, outsourcing can come in various forms, either partial or full depending on your own niche. You can work as a software development firm yourself and still look for assistance from a similar agency.
Likewise, if you have no knowledge of development whatsoever, you can outsource your project to a worthwhile vendor. Make sure that you are completely clear on what exactly you need from a development agency before you submit the RFP for review. Potential agencies and professionals will want to know as much about your app, website, or similar products before they consider reaching out to you.
- Describe your Development Bottlenecks & Special Requirements
Companies which decide to write a request for proposal document typically do so because they couldn’t get the project rolling in-house. It’s good practice to provide your potential software development collaborators with as much information on your current state of affairs as possible.
Write down information about the issues your team has faced while developing the software product. Also, make sure to describe any special development requirements you may have, such as the use of a specific programming language or visual style. These details will allow potential agencies to make a better judgment call on whether or not to pursue your project based on the outlined criteria.
- Write Up-to-Date Contact Information
While it may seem natural to most companies, it is crucial that you provide potential software development vendors with up-to-date contact information for convenience’s sake. Information such as email, phone, social media handles, as well as your company’s address, can serve as quick contact channels for the reader.
Be sure to check these channels periodically when your RFP goes live. It’s good practice to post your request for proposal on your website (if you have one at the moment). Avoid publishing it on social media since it can appear unprofessional to do so – RFP is an official document full of sensitive information. Instead, you can send your proposal request to software developers in your area or those recommended by your B2B network via email.
- RFP Specifics to Keep in Mind
Before we wrap up, it’s worth pointing out several details in regards to writing a request for proposal. While it may not seem so right now, it’s easy to attract numerous wrong agencies to your project and lose precious time due to miscommunication. These tips will help make your document more professional and likely to attract the right developers for the job.
- Familiarize yourself with software development (learn about programming languages/practices)
- Contextualize your final product (describe the practical application of your required software)
- Prioritize your feature list (write your features down into two groups, primary and secondary)
- Create a vendor shortlist (don’t reach out to dozens of agencies at once – choose them carefully)
- Don’t settle for the lowest bid (be ready to pay for professional services adequately)
- Be patient when choosing your software developers (wait until the deadline hits before you choose)
All you really need in order to write a good request for a proposal is some patience and an eye for details. Take your time and decide on what exactly you need a software developer for before you write an RFP for one. Consult your coworkers, create a list of features, and outline your budget and timeline constraints as clearly as possible.
While it may not seem so now, a lot of potential vendors and developers will reach out to you with counteroffers and additional questions. Be on the lookout for the right one, and your software development needs will be covered properly without a fault.
Bio: Marques Coleman is a college graduate of advertisement and mass communication and a professional content editor at Subjecto platform. His career is focused on outsourcing his editing skills to students and outlets in need of assistance with articles, essays, and papers. He is a blogger and podcast listener in his spare time.Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/X_JsI_9Hl7o
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