Request For Proposal is a significant part of the starting of any mobile app development journey. The proposal written by businesses who wish to get an app built states all the important information, requirements and necessary details of the contract.
Businesses write mobile app proposals when they are looking for long term, custom made solutions that will help them achieve their goals. Going through an RFP process means that the business is looking at the app development process for its long term benefits.
Appinventiv has seen many requests for proposal over the years and knows well how a perfect one is written. We respond to RFPs on a regular basis and also help our clients with the RFP process so that they are able to define their projects better.
To make the knowledge of drafting the best RFP a common language, it was only about time that we shared a template for everyone who wishes to start the process of their mobile app development journey on a sound note. And so, we have prepared an RFP template for entrepreneurs for you to pass your requirement to the app development agencies with utmost clarity.
But before we move on to the mobile app RFP 2019 best practices, let’s first go through some terminologies associated with the procedure.
What are RFP, RFQ, and RFI?
An RFP or request for proposal represents a company in front of its potential collaborators.
Basically, RFP for mobile application development is a document that outlines all the necessary requirements for a specific project. This is a mobile app business plan doc that identifies the most qualified developer for the project.
There are certain terms that sound close to RFP and are often misunderstood. Terminologies like:
RFI – stands for Request for Information. RFI is used to gather information from various sources but there are no intentions of making any proposal. This is solely used to gather necessary information which may be used in the RFP process later on.
RFQ – stands for Request for Quote. This is used to get the pricing information, delivery and supply policies from the seller. Businesses send an RFQ to developers asking about the final pricing and other details of the deal.
These three are the terms that are often used during the proposal of a document for any project.
Now that we have attended to the Whats of RFP and what are the concept’s similar terminologies, it is only normal for one to wonder, why is the business plan for mobile app concept so important? The answer is in the next segment.
Before we move on to the mobile app RFP template, we need to see why is it so important to write a good RFP for your app development. For one, the proposal helps in conveying all the necessary requirements a business has. And two, finding the right app developer that meets those requirements and qualifies to carry out the project.
RFP process takes a lot of effort and time so only two reasons cannot be enough for its necessity. Following points will give you some more solid reasons why good RFP should be written for your mobile app.
An RFP helps your business in stating the requirements in an organized and detailed manner. The RFP template should be designed such that it holds space for all the information to be noted down. When these documents reach the app developers, they know exactly what the business wants. A better approach is made by the developer and the business when both know what the exact project is about.
When an app development company responds to the RFP of any business then these responses can be used for comparison. The comparison then gives an idea of the right app developer. The pricing, skills, time of completion and other additional information are used for comparison. Choosing the right fit is important as mobile app development process is one that costs both money and time.
Return on Investments
When comparing different responses, businesses are also able to analyze the return on investment from various app developers. It also helps in comparing the advantages that a business will be getting from different developers. It’s always better to have options so that the fittest one can be chosen.
These were some compelling reasons to write a solid RFP for your mobile app development. Let’s now move on to the most awaited segment that answers the question ‘How to write mobile app RFP?’.
How to Write Mobile App RFP?
Following is the sample of mobile app RFP template for writing a proper Request For Proposal:
1. Purpose and strategy of the project
This is the section filled by the issuers or the business. Each business has a different purpose and therefore the templates may differ. The business should state the necessary information related to the purpose of building the project here. It should also contain details that would convince why an app development company or a single developer should respond to the RFP. Often the purpose and app strategy are not known to businesses so it’s important to learn those. Following pointers must be included in this section of the RFP:
- Business problems: The problems that the mobile app will be able to solve for the business should be mentioned here. The reason why this problem arose and what brought in the idea of having a digital solution should be explained.
- Leading body: The next thing that should be mentioned is the leaders of the project. The developers must know who is involved and in what level in the project. The decision makers, stakeholders, funders and project leaders are mentioned here.
- The scope of the project: The scope of the project answers whether the project is part of a larger project, does it mean a new line of business or an extension of an existing one, etc.
- End users: The information regarding the end users of the app must be disclosed to the app developers. Information like Personas, journey maps, and user research and methodologies should be mentioned here.
- Features of the app: The features are the most important part of an app. Businesses should mention what features they want in the app in the beginning as well as in the future updates.
- Competition: The ones building your app should know who is a threat to your business. Both the weakness and strengths of the competitors should be mentioned here. A proper competitive overview will help developers understand the business and find solutions that give you an edge over the competitors.
- App design: The issuers should provide references for app designing to app developers. The importance of UI/UX in app development is just too huge to ignore, therefore detailed description must be included in this section. The latest designs are most recommended in today’s market.
- Platforms and OS: The platform of development and supporting OS should be decided in the initial stages. This is one of the most important decisions in the app development process. The decision between native vs mobile web apps, Android vs iOS apps, etc are some important ones.
- Integration: The app’s architecture and integration is another thing that must be mentioned in the document. The questions of API development and architecture should be answered for the developers.
- Prototypes: If the app has any prototypes that have been built earlier then it must be mentioned. The prototypes should also be provided to the developers.
- Marketing the app: The developers must know what will be driving engagement for the app and how it will be used to market the app. The promotion, distribution, and marketing of the app depend on how the app will be built. Also, many businesses start the marketing of the app way before the app is developed.
- Launch date: The completion of the project on time is very important. Developers need to know the estimated date of launch to see if they can deliver it on time or not. There should also be time for any improvements in the app so the completion of app and launch date should have some gap in between.
- Goals and outcomes: What any business is expecting from the app developers must be known to them. The goals, outcomes, and expectations after the app are launched should be mentioned in this section. Goals and outcomes will be measured in certain ways and those should also be mentioned here.
2. App developers background and capabilities
This section is designed by the business and has to be duly filled by the responding party. It consists of questions that analyze the capabilities of the agency. The main goal of the issuing business is to find out which companies match the requirements for app development. The questions are designed such that they help to issue businesses gather all information for comparison between different development agencies.
- History: The background of the company and a short summary of the company will be mentioned here. This way the businesses will be more familiar with their work if chosen for the project.
- Differentiators: The agency should mention some key points that differentiate them from other agencies. This should be answered very carefully as it may be one of the deciding factors for the project.
- Portfolio: The summary of the top app projects and the problems faced during the project should be mentioned here. Also, mention the ways how the problem was dealt with.
- Awards and Recognitions: Mention the awards and/or recognition that the agency has received or anything similar.
- Designers: Details of the designing team members are mentioned here. The number of designers, their special skills and their mastered skills, types of designers (freelancers, full-time, overseas, etc.), the process of communication with the designers (direct or indirect, weekly or daily basis), a summary of how the team designs ADA compliant experiences, resume of the head of Designing team and resume of two more members of the team.
- Developers: The agency should mention how many developers does the agency has, their skills and specialization, type of developers (freelancer, full-time, overseas), the way of communication with the developers and how often will the interaction take place, resume of the head of the development team and resume of two more members, the development process followed and measure taken to ensure proper development.
- App Security Protocol: The security of the app is crucial, therefore, answer the security measures that will take place. Mention how will the app be protected from malicious codes, use open source libraries, security of third-party libraries and client materials.
- Quality Assurance Process: Details about the QA team members and their qualification, type of QA members (freelance, full time), interference with QA team and communication facilities with them, resume of the head of QA team and two other members, a summary of the QA process they follow, etc. should be mentioned here.
- Project Managers and Management Process: Information about the number of project managers, type of managers (full time or freelancing), any overseas work or in office team, etc. The agency must also answer the communication process with the project managers, capabilities of the PM team, resume of the head of PM team, a short resume of two PM members, communication with the two PM members and the automation strategies.
- Reference Projects: The agency needs to provide at least three similar reference project for which interviews shall be conducted.
This was all about the practices to write RFP for mobile app development. Contact our app developers’ team at Appinventiv for further details.