How to Write an RFP for Software Development,

A Request for Proposal is well-known as a business document of a project. The RFP of a software development solution includes the details of a specific project. This type of proposal is used to request bids from different vendors that you pre-selected regarding the capabilities to bring the project to completion. However, submitting or sending a proposal requires a convenient range of data for the preparation, where you need to tackle the project covering everything from needed resources to costs. Making or creating proposals software development requires a high level of concentration with all the core points and requirements. The RFP format or template reflects the knowledge and aims of a software development project. It also helps to adjust the document to the requirements of the project at hand to work smoothly. A better evaluation of the working process requires a good range of RFP to manage everything efficiently. 


In that sense, we will guide you with the best approaches to the software development RFP templates. It also includes several formations and procedures to guide you through the writing process of your final RFP, not to replace the said document.

What is an RFP?

A Request for proposal is the initial stage of working with a vendor for software development or other projects. An RFP is a professional way to describe a project with the working processes and activities. However, a convenient RFP for software development projects contains project specifics to create the best working facilities. It also provides detailed requirements for the product or services and gives timelines. Additionally, an RFP reflects the entire working process, including the details of the project, requirements, deliverables, and timelines. A request for proposal also represents the company to potential partners and composes them accurately. Ultimately, a well-crafted proposal comes with the best outcome and returns with quality proposals, smooth-running projects, and ultimately better results.

The Structure of RFP- Request for Proposal

The structure of an RFP needs to be comprehensive enough to cover the essential working aspects of the project. It provides a clear concept with a transparent picture of what you want to achieve without being overwhelming. There is a structure outlined in this document below, which will help you to write the best RFP for software development for achieving many responses conveniently.


However, the following factors of a software development RFP are;


  • Executive Summary of the Project

  • Project Overview

  • Project Objectives

  • Format and Timeline for Proposals

  • Scope of Services & Deliverables

  • Technical Requirements

  • Budget Details

  • Evaluation Criteria


These are the following factors that need to be included while writing a responsive RFP. Let’s see the brief details and the reasons below why you need them in your RFP.


Executive Summary of the Project

Highlighting the executive summary of a project is negotiable for a better understanding. The executive summary includes the project’s goals, objectives, requirements, restrictions, and other formations by following a simple and comprehensive way. You need to make this stage informative and compressed. This phase also includes information about the target audience. Moreover, you may need to edit or re-write this section later but make sure to start with the best. Here, you can also include a few paragraphs about your company and its background. While writing the executive summary of a project, you need to list the project's goals for two things.


These are;

  • Goals activities with the scope activities

  • Get quantitative goals set


The goal activity of a project is essential beyond the scope of this activity. It is preferable to make sure the website's goal for creating, which helps to promote omnichannel interaction with customers for selling products or services. In the case of a B2B platform for designing, it reduces costs and increases turnover through automation. It is also negotiable to ensure the project’s real goals and objectives to offer a software solution as per the needs and requirements. 


The quantitative goals set may be attainable and final or indicate the direction of business development. 


This section of an RFP is considerably direct and strategy-related. Here, you can include the uniqueness of your company, including the project vision, implanting ideas, target audience, pain points, obstacles, and the current solution if required.


Project Overview

In this section, you need to add the project overview as per the requirement. It is also necessary to add some of the crucial details regarding your project to make this understandable for your potential partners. Also, they can learn about the exact requirements of the project and its desire. You need to keep in mind one thing while describing the problem you want to solve rather than the solution you hope to achieve. Naturally, you can also add some of the digital solutions that you are imagining, but you do not need to completely layout the whole idea here.


Project Objectives

The project objectives are also a crucial part of an RFP. It comes with the requirements of the contractor, which will need to meet the consideration for your project. It is obvious to include the requirements for the final product, including the specific goals that you want to accomplish with them. In this section, you can add some of the information about your target audience, including an engaging objective of all software development projects.

Format & Timeline for Proposals

In this part of an RFP, you need to include the working format and timeline for proposals. This section is preferable to add to the proposal when you are writing an RFP as a service provider. Here, you need to include the information for your potential partners to let them know with brief details how you’ll handle your proposals’ process. You can represent the proposal using specific deadlines to organize your search while allowing the companies to answer you when you expect them to and in the format you need. Note: you can also add the format and proposal of the working project after the scopes and deliverables segment. 


You can add the following factors below;


  • RFP Release

  • Answer to RFP Questions

  • Proposal Assessment

  • Proposals Due

  • Demonstration for Selected Providers

  • Contract Execution

  • Project Compilation


These are the informative details while evaluating the format and timeline of the working project proposal.


Scope of Services and Deliverables

Describing the scope of services and deliverables is essential to go deeper into the project. In this section, it is necessary to include crucial information and explain the resources you expect to play a role in the project. It is the technical part of a project, where you need to define a potential timeline with a deadline for the project’s completion. It also helps to establish a list of deliverables you expect during the lifecycle of your project. The more you provide and specify details regarding the project, that will be more accurate the cost calculation you can get from your vendor. 


However, this stage includes several essential factors and these are;


  • Project Management: This section is preferable for adding the pose questions about methodologies, specifics of hybrid team management. It is also preferable while working with overseas customers. The SDLC-software development life cycle based on Agile principles is more effective than the other formations. This thing is also preferable for regular sync-ups with all the Product teams to ensure quality communications, which is critical in Agile. While working with the larger team, it is necessary to coordinate with the local team at the software development company’s side. Also, you need to emphasize the project documentation regarding its issues with development and testing. Test automation is crucial in streamlining the delivery for a better working process, including the operation and testing processes as a part of cooperation on the project.

  • Infrastructure: Adding the project infrastructure by asking the following questions to make sure that the vendor’s approach to reliability, data security, and physical security completely match up with your expectations. The first question can be about your company, like What infrastructure does your company have? The second one is about what is software protection & security implemented? How are intellectual property rights protected with this system? What are the facilities you have for the system data security and reliability?

  • Functional Design: The functional design of a project includes the general requirements management and the elaboration process. In this part, it is essential to define the UX/UI concept based on the initial business requirements. It is also necessary to ensure the adaption of UX regarding the new business requirements coming into the project. The UX improvement and review are essential for UX-refactoring after several implementation stages. It is preferable to rethink the UX, which may involve many minor edits may lead to dramatic UX changes.

  • Product Requirements: Adding the project requirements are also essential to set functional requirements apart from non-functional ones. It includes several factors in the project requirements like user-centered, product-centered, optimization, object-centered, and processes-centered. It is also crucial to add vital information regarding the working project like functional, system analytics, subject matter experts, UX designers, and technical specialists. 

  • Development: In this part, you need to add questions about general software delivery project workflow and management tools. Also, you can highlight the advantages of the working software. Also, you can add the typical output of the development stage, which includes source code, built scripts, brief development documentation, and release notes. Additionally, it is necessary to ensure the source code documentation sufficiency, and that should be ensured by corresponding code style checker rules and regular manual code reviews.

  • QA: Quality assurance is also a significant part of your RFP. In this section, you can add the project testing gets adjusted to the business workflows, including the communication between in-house and outsourcing teams to ensure a better working process. You can also add the approach to test automation, which will include the use of tools and metrics.

  • Product Management: Product management is a significant part of the RFP. It is necessary to provide the best management ever for creating business requirements backlog and planning. It also includes the UX/UI sessions, functional design, QA sessions, and so on.


Technical Requirements

The technical requirements of the software development process are essential to add in this section. Here, it is necessary to specify the essential requirements regarding the project technologies with the final product and specific features. You can also add additional features of the project that would be nice to have. It will be more helpful for software development companies to understand your current digital environment with the new product integration into it. Additionally, you can provide details about your existing software solutions, including the previous working process with system architecture and overall environment. These things will help you to assemble a clear concept regarding the entire working process, where you can handle a complex project with better estimates. It will also drive you to make a more informed and precise decision about your future partnership.


Budget Details

The budget details are essential to an RFP. It comes with a clear concept to the vendor, including an idea of how much money is required to invest in digital projects. In this phase, you should give a price range or a more detailed budget if possible. It will help the vendors to understand whether they are a good financial fit for your project or not. You can also add the price range as per the core working processes of this project with the essential stages, which will be more manageable to scale the project conveniently.


Evaluation Criteria

After the completion of the project finally, you can evaluate the working criteria for better performance. In this part, you explicit the criteria of work, where you will evaluate the candidates to pick the one that better suits your needs. However, some of the criteria you can use are listed below;


  • Overall obligations and the performance

  • Pricing

  • Scope definition

  • Technical and functional resolution of the project

  • Data security management

  • Proposed methods

  • Suitable experience in the field

  • Compliance with modern principles


These are essential criteria that can be added while evaluating the criteria of the exciting project. 


The entire RFP of a project covers several points with brief formations. It is worth including an appendix to gather further information about your potential suppliers. The RFP will provide a brief description with all the information you need to know if the candidates are capable of handling your project. The appendix will shed further light on those companies and teams, which can end up helping you in making a final decision efficiently. 


The request for proposal plays a vital role in software development projects. It is essential to know how to write an RFP to get better responses. All of the details that we described above are essential to writing a software development proposal perfectly. There are so many things that need to be included to create a convenient proposal. Also, the necessary objects of this article are to provide help and information concerning how to write an effective RFP-Request for Proposal. We discussed every essential part of the software development RFP, which will ensure a better working process with the best responses ever. It will show a transparent concept regarding the entire project.

Additionally, a well-written request for proposal will show the vendor exactly what you are looking for and the requirements to make the work successful spontaneously. It is hard to compose an RFP for a software development project, but by following this guide, you can create the best template for your project ever. Ultimately, a proposal helps to contribute to reaching the goal conveniently. If you are looking for a development partner, we “REXO IT” can provide you best service for your software & mobile app development initiatives. Our professional software engineers are enthusiasts of developing innovative and modern software efficiently.

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