Thursday, 13 January 2011

The RFP process

Writing a proposal in response to an RFP is hard work. It is a process I have gone through countless times over the past twenty years, numerous proposals submitted to meet the requirements of clients who have posted a Request For Proposal (RFP). I've learned a great deal in that time period. Recently, I was involved in writing an RFP, helping a client to solicit solutions. Building an RFP is challenging. First you must be fair giving all proponents the same information and equal chance to respond. Second you must balance the requirements of the client while also giving leeway to the proponents to present innovative solutions. This is difficult at times. Having worked on so many proposals you learn to read the signs within the RFP writing. Evaluating and determining if you should respond to a RFP is the first decision a company must make. The chances of winning a proposal is only one factor. There is the determination of the cost to response versus the value of the win. Time is another element to consider, having the resources to respond is as important as having the resource to deliver on the project should you win the bid. Through out the process you hope that the writer of the and issuer of the RFP will give you a chance to show what you have. A proposal is words on paper, even pictures can only tell 1000 words. Sometimes you need to whole story, but first your proposal must meet the needs as stated in the RFP.

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