How to write an effective RFP for your websiteOctober 30, 2018
I’ve been involved in the designing and building of dozens of websites since 1998. That’s over 20 years of sitemaps, wireframes, page mockups, database queries, content management systems, and browser testing. And while so many things have changed over the years, most website projects still begin the same way– with a request for proposal (RFP).
A potential client releases their RFP, and agencies like Electric Citizen spend hours going over page after page of documentation, asking client questions, doing research, and writing lengthy proposals in response. While there have some very well-reasoned articles written about getting us away from this RFP-cycle, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
And that’s not the point of this article anyway. As someone who’s responded to countless RFPs over the years, I have some insight as to what makes a “good” RFP. I’ve seen some well-written documents that make the process more effective. And I’ve seen some cut-and-paste monstrosities that make even the mightiest soul cringe in fear.
That said, I’ve never had to write an RFP. But what I can do, as a veteran participant of RFPs, is share some suggestions that may help your organization write a better, more effective RFP for your next web design and development project. A well-written RFP leads to many advantageous outcomes, such as:
- Higher quality responders. The best agencies are busy and don’t want to waste time on confusing documentation or guessing at requirements.
- Better communication between all parties
- More accurate, effective proposals
- A clearer understanding and roadmap
- Fewer surprises and misunderstandings
- Happier business relationships
Doesn’t that sound better? Let’s get to the tips.