Blog / Business App Development / Everything You Need To Know About An Effective RFP

Everything You Need To Know About An Effective RFP

Ajay Kumar By Ajay Kumar | August 30, 2019
mobile application rfp

There might come times when an organization needs the expertise of an outside firm. And trust me, finding the right one isn’t that easy.

And if we talk about in the context of the mobile app development journey, an RFP (Request For Proposal)- can certainly help.

RFP is the most important and integral part of the mobile app development journey.

Request For Proposals is exactly what it sounds like- you submit an RFP to different app development agencies and ask them to submit a bid along with their detailed proposal to decide which one wins your project.

Furthermore, as you submit RFP to different agencies, it is obvious that the whole process will be competitive which ultimately helps in ensuring that you are working with qualified developers, designers, testers, Quality Analysts, etc. who apparently aren’t overcharging.

Appveturez has seen a lot of Request For Proposal over the years and hence understands how to write an app idea proposal in an effective manner. Moreover, we also respond to RFPs actively along with helping our clients with the whole process of RFP.

Even though the concept of writing RFPs might seem simple but it is quite challenging to write. Here in this article, we will help you to understand how to write an effective RFP along with shedding light on its other parameters.

Meanwhile, there are a few terms that look a lot similar to RFP making it confusing for the people who are trying their hands first time for writing RFP.

RFP similar term

Let us first understand the difference between those terms and what differentiates them with RFP.

RFP difference

As we are done with the basic understanding of these almost similar words with a different meaning, let us now get a closer look at RFP more precisely and perfectly.

What is RFP?

RFP stands for Request for Proposal, it is sort of a document that lists all the requirements and needs of an app development project.

Many app development companies and agencies do create an RFP for their upcoming app development projects for the outside agencies. These agencies and firms then make a bid in order to win the project by meeting all the needs and requirements of the RFP.

Knowing the definition is not enough to know how effective and beneficial an RFP can be for your organization. This is the reason, understanding its basics like- understanding how to write an amazing mobile app RFP, how to distribute it along with how to evaluate the RFP responses are equally necessary.

RFP is a reflection of the company, thus you should take great care that it is done correctly and perfectly. 

Without further ado, let us now walk through the entire RFP process-

A Brief Overview of the RFP Process

Here is an overview of the whole RFP process to give you a quick understanding of the key steps of creating an RFP.

RFP process overview

Determine Your Needs

Writing an RFP is more like an advertisement saying “help required”. Similarly, when writing the RFP, make sure that you are able to communicate things and requirements of the projects while highlighting major things like skills needed, objectives of the project along with the timeline in which the project should be completed. Communicating clearly will help the applicants to understand your project needs.

Write Down the RFP

Similar to CV or resume, even RFP carry format. And it is quite obvious that it will change from one person to another, however it is wise to follow and stick to the common and basic formula.

Sticking to the regular and common formula will make it easy for the agencies regarding what to expect from the RFP. There are numerous RFP templates available online that can help you correctly.

Distributing the RFP

Like you need professionals from an outside agency, similarly, other organizations also want professionals for their project. This is the reason, distributing the RFPs is an art.

Evaluating the Responses

Though the process is time-consuming but it is really important. Your team should go through every response carefully in order to check who is the apt choice for the project.

Shortlist the participants, and once you are done with the process, you are good to begin scrutinizing them even more carefully.

Evaluating the Applicants Once Again

Even after shortlisting the final applicants, there is always space for more questions. Hence, it is wise to go for the second round of interviews.

In such a situation, when scheduling the second round, make sure that the applicants are willing to provide additional details. The terms of agreements and a final decision take the entry here in this step.

Make a Wise Decision

Similar to the concept of finalizing the app development company, finalizing the right and the apt applicant is also a task.

The process of finalizing the applications varies from organization to organization. Hence, in this step, make sure to select the one who is the apt fit for your project while delivering services as per your expectations.

As this was the brief overview of RFP, let us now check out how many types of RFP are available-

Types of RFP Requests

Types of RFP request

These are a few of the types of RFP and there are many more in the list available. 

Attending to this, let us first understand what to add in the RFP for mobile application development?

What to Add in Mobile App RFP

A mobile app RFP is important to establish an understanding of the project’s requirement. And a complete RFP can help you receive more exact and accurate information regarding the specific project.

what to add in mobile app RFP

Show More About Applications

When writing the RFP for your app development project, make sure to focus more on the specific features of the app instead of creating a bigger picture. Your RFP should be filled with information beyond the app.

Your RFP should outline your project scope requirements or better say the size and complexity of your mobile app development project. In addition to it, including what platforms are you looking to build for, do you have the budget for more than one platform, how are you going to handle backend development, etc. 

It is important to know about the kind of services you want from outside professionals, be it, Quality assurance, technical delivery, etc. Be blunt about the expertise you want from the professional under your estimated budget.

Delivery is Not the End

Your RFP should also include post-launch mobile app services. Hence, you should also ask about the maintenance and ongoing support. After the launch, your app also required updating and clearing of issues and bugs, ensure that the one who is willing to offer you service can also be able to provide you the appropriate level of support.

Budget will Filter the Responses

When putting your RFP in the marketplace, it is obvious that you will see mobile agencies come from all parts of the world varying in cost, scope, size, quality of work, etc. thus, by including budget you can eliminate those vendors who do not fit under your budget range.

Detailed Mobile App RFP is the Foundation of a Great Project

Include every possible information in your mobile app RFP. For doing this, you need to understand what exactly do you want in your mobile application. Meanwhile, if you are finalizing the reliable app development company for your project, make sure that they should be capable enough to offer you suggestions and recommendations on the functionality of the app. However, to let them help you, you still need to make a detailed mobile app RFP.

So, this was all about what to add in the mobile app RFP. It is the right time to indulge in the process of creating an effective mobile app RFP.

How to Write an Effective RFP

We understand that writing is not everyone’s cup of tea and if talking about writing a Mobile app RFP, it is a challenging task. 

So, now the question here is how to write an effective mobile app RFP. 

To help you, we have made a list of things you should know to write an effective mobile RFP that can help you in getting the best responses and ultimately connect you with the perfect app development partner.

Define Purpose and Project Strategy

This is the section where the issuer is required to give responders sufficient information to propose real and complete solutions. The one who is writing the RPF should state the necessary information related to the project. Meanwhile, it should also carry some edge making the app developer or the company gets attracted to the project. 

There are following points you should consider when writing RFP-

  • Synopsis of business problem
  • Leading person
  • Scope of the mobile app
  • Various users
  • Features of the app
  • Competitive overview
  • Design of the application
  • Devices and operating systems
  • Architecture 
  • Prototypes
  • Distribution and marketing
  • Timeline
  • Goals of the app

Synopsis of Business Problems

business problem

When writing the mobile app RFP, include what core business problem your mobile application is going to solve. In addition, write down KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and also write about the origin of the concept and how has it evolved?

Leading Person

Leading Person

The next point is to let developers and app development agencies know who is going to lead the project along with informing about other stakeholders involved in the project and their level of involvement in the project. Do not forget to add who is going to take the final decision regarding the project.

Scope of the Mobile App

Scope of the mobile

Here at this point, the scope of the mobile app should answer whether the project is part of any other larger project or is it going to establish a new line of business or is it going to enhance an existing one?

Various Users

Various Users

To get the best results, it is important to provide all the available information and research regarding the end-users of the app. All the information including user personas, journey maps, methodologies, user research, etc should be there in the RFP.

Features of the App

Features of the App

Features are the most integral part of the mobile application, hence it is mandatory to let developers know what features you want in the app along with features you might need in the future.

Competitive Overview

Competitive overview

You might have a revolutionizing mobile app idea but thinking your competitor is nowhere close to your app is a myth. Be forward regarding your competition along with mentioning their weakness and strength. A complete and elaborative competitive overview will help the developer understand the core values of the business along with coming up with better solutions.

Application Design

Application Design

The one who is issuing the RFP should provide references regarding the current style of the application along with showing the descriptions of what specific attributes the issuer does not entertain. At this stage, the importance of UI/UX can be seen, hence the detailed description should not be neglected here. 

Devices and Operating Systems

Devices and operating systems

Being the most important part of the mobile app development process, Issuers should be upfront about the devices and operating systems that will be supported. Here the decision between native apps versus mobile web, android or iOS, etc should be written clearly.

Mobile App Architecture

Mobile App Architecture

Here in this step, the questions related to API development, architecture, back-end, etc should be answered for the developer’s ease. 

Prototypes

Prototype

If there is any prototype made for the mobile application, the information should be mentioned, also, the prototype should be provided to developers.

Distribution and Marketing

Distribution and marketing

It should be clearly conveyed to the developers about how the app is going to be distributed and market to end-users. It should also be added about how a developer will be able to drive user engagement while making them use the app repetitively. 

Timeline

Timeline

Launching the app timely is another challenge often faced by the developers, hence the issuers should be clear with the target launch date along with seeing what drives that date as the target. Moreover, the developers should be capable enough to answer if there is any sort of dependencies required to launch the app on a particular date. 

Goals of the App

Goals of the app

Your RFP should be written so precisely that it should convey the expectations of the issuers to the developer. The ultimate goal, outcomes, expectations, etc after the app launch should be mentioned clearly in this section. 

Mobile App Developers Capabilities and Background

The ultimate goal of the issuer here is to find a mobile app development agency that can help them solve their business problems creatively, by innovation along with proposing incredible designing options and a promise of timely delivery that too fast and within the estimated budget. 

Also, it is the duty of the issuer to find out a partner with whom it is easy to work. We have made a list of questions to pinpoint the difference.

Mobile app developers capabilities and background
  • History
  • Differentiators
  • Portfolio
  • Rewards
  • Designing capabilities
  • Developing capabilities
  • Security
  • Process of Quality Assurance
  • Project management process
  • References

History

Here in this step, the short summary or better say the background of the company will be mentioned. In this way, the businesses will get an idea about the developer’s works or agency’s work if selected for the project.

Differentiators

The agency should mention points that differentiate them from their competitors. The answer to this point should be carefully answered with utmost attention as this is the deciding factor.

Portfolio

Here, a brief summary of the top mobile app development project and the challenges faced during the project should be mentioned here.  

Rewards

Mentioning about the agency’s awards and recognition received or something similar.  

Designing Capabilities

This segment deals with the details of the designing team members. The number of designers, their skill, the skills which they master, types of designers
(full time, freelancers, overseas, etc), the process of communication with the designers, a brief summary of how the team is going to design ADA compliant experiences, etc. 

Developing Capabilities

It is the responsibility of the agency to provide information about the number of developers in the agency along with their skills and specialization, type of developers, etc. 

Security

There is no denying the security of the app is the most crucial thing,  answering the security measures are a must. The agency needs to mention how the app will get protection from malicious codes, fraud, etc.

Process of Quality Assurance

Here, the details of the QA team members along with their qualifications, type of QA members, communication facilities, resume of the head of QA team, a summary of the QA process they are going to follow, should be mentioned properly.

Project Management Process

At this point, the information about the number of project managers, types of managers, will be there in the development phase. Meanwhile, it is mandatory for the agency to mention the communication process with the project managers along with their capabilities, etc.

References

It is mandatory for the agency to provide at least three similar projects for which interviews can be conducted,

Concluding the whole article, you must be aware of why you need an amazing RFP for your next mobile app development project. Follow them precisely and make sure to choose the best agency as market competition is fierce and finding the right agency is still a task.

Meanwhile, when in doubt, we are open to help you…!

FAQs

Q- What is the RFP Document?

RFP, itself is a document that lists all the requirements and needs of an app development project and many more project requirements.

Q- What is an RFP in Marketing?

Distribution and Marketing, both are part of RFP that underlines that developers should know how the app is going to distribute and market to end-users. Furthermore, it also indicates how a developer will be able to drive user engagement while making them keep coming back to the app.

Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar

A young entrepreneurial technocrat who is the Co-Founder & CEO at Appventurez Mobitech. After completion of his masters in Computer Application, he dived into the world of technology as an iOS developer. As a CEO, he firmly believes teamwork and collaboration are the essential tools for any company’s success.

⚡️ by Appventurez

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+49 7471 9699793
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+1-512-823-1002
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+521 332 393 9998