What exactly is a request for proposal (RFP) for a mobile app? In simple terms, it is actually a comprehensive document that business developers prepare to outline a particular app development project requirements. They then seek out competitive rates from mobile app developers with said document. With a good RFP, you will also be able to find the most suitable development partner to work with instead of choosing one that appears to be capable, but isn’t fitted to work within the constraints of your particular project. Now that we have covered what an RFP is and why it is so important, let’s go through the 5 tips that will enable you to write the best possible RFP for a mobile app proposal.
Tip 1: Mobile App Proposal RFPs Should Cover More Than Technical Requirements
Many business owners usually do not see the bigger picture and instead, emphasise too much on specific app features when preparing RFPs. However, what they fail to realise is that it is very rare for a business to find themselves only in need of solely development services. As such, your RFP requires more information beyond simply the product’s technical requirements. The first thing that must be addressed is the core business problem you’re trying to solve with the product, and the current process that you have in place for solving it and its shortcomings. Next, it is important to specify exactly how you wish to effectively transform your business strategy into a mobile app strategy. As such, your RFP needs to indicate the vastness and intricacies of your project scope requirements. This may include your budget size, the platform(s) you wish to leverage and whether there are any existing backend systems such as content management systems (CMS) or web services. Then you need to outline the exact services that you require from the vendor, such as consultation and business strategies, design and user experience ideation and delivery, quality assurance and technical delivery. Always be upfront about the types of expertise you need from the vendor, but at the same time, you need to be practical about working within the constraints of your budget.
Tip 2: Mobile Apps Don’t End with Delivery
The second tip to include in your mobile app proposal RFP is to ask whether your vendor provides continual support such as regular updates, additions, modification and bug fixing for your mobile app development. You do not want to be in a situation where your newly launched app becomes outdated a few months down the road. Consequently, this may cause you to lose your target audience and customers to competitors with better quality alternatives. Hence, it is very important that you get a vendor that can provide the necessary degree of support for the long term success of your mobile app and business.
Tip 3: Your Budget Will Help Qualify Responses
It is a common misconception that omitting budget information from an app RFP will cause your vendor to compete more vigorously, thus increasing the amount of value you get from them. However, you must realise that not all mobile app development vendors are the same, and they vary in terms of team size, level of expertise, work quality, services and skills, which ultimately determines how much fees they may charge. In addition, each vendor will interpret your project objectives differently, so even if they are very detailed, you will not be able to effectively gauge your vendors’ response and determine which one is the best fit. As such, it is very important that you provide your project budget in the RFP. If you are unsure of exactly how much budget you should allocate for the project, then take note that small apps with basic features usually cost around $10,000 to $50,000 while bigger and more complex ones can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000. Always bear in mind that by indicating the tentative budget in your RFP, you will get more qualified responses from vendors who are a better fit for your mobile app development.
Tip 4: A Comprehensive Mobile App RFP is the Foundation of a Great Project
It is very important that you understand what you want in your app and include all the sufficient and relevant information in your RFP. A comprehensive RFP helps to eradicate any vagueness, reduce the risk of unforeseen issues that may arise, and set the stage for a project that will meet deadlines and stay within the budget. While an experienced app development vendor usually makes recommendations on the functionality of the app, you should still provide enough information to make them understand the general requirements. This will give them a better understanding of your project goals, which in turn leads to more precise pricing and timeline completions.
Tip 5: Timelines are Heavily Influenced By Scope
Mobile app development vendors usually provide many different types of services such as consultation, UX development, app development and even app store delivery. If your RFP’s scope is ambiguous, this will prolong timelines as vendors seek responses from you on matters such as product definition and project management before they can determine the specific type of service you need. In worst case scenarios, you may even end up in situations where vendors do not even bother to respond to your RFP due to the lack of sufficient details. As such, you should always spell out the exact scope of your project, to allow these vendors to quote the appropriate services they can provide and ultimately, avoid delays in developing and delivering your app.
A well written RFP is essential if you are looking to source for the best mobile app development vendor. As such, you should ensure that you follow the tips stated above so that your project will proceed smoothly to the developmental stage, and your app will eventually turn out the way you always wanted.