How to Write an Amazing Mobile App RFP, With a Free Template
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Whether you’re starting your first mobile app development project or you need to modernize an existing product, you eventually will fill out a request for proposal, or RFP. 

Sometimes, your company can’t take on the entire project internally, and when your business needs to purchase app development services, chances are, you want to shop around. A mobile app RFP allows you to collect offers from various vendors so you can choose a development partner that best meets the criteria of your project, both in regard to experience and budget. 

At Clearbridge Mobile, we deal with hundreds of mobile app RFPs a month, and not only do we respond to RFPs, but we also help with the RFP writing process with strategic consulting and product discovery services. Our product discovery or ideation services help businesses capture the necessary elements to write a thorough and intelligible mobile app RFP. We’ve also created a customizable mobile app RFP template that provides the basic structure of the document. The following article details how to fill out an RFP template and also includes an example for further assistance. With that said, a mobile app RFP document is not one-size-fits-all—you need to modify your RFP to communicate exactly what your company needs. 

To get the most out of this article, download a copy of our free RFP template below


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What Does a Mobile App RFP Include? 


The first half of an RFP document is filled out by your company. This portion of an RFP contains the following sections:  


  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Information
  3. Project Description
    • Product Functionality
    • Use Cases
    • Stakeholders
  4. Project Scope Requirements 
    • Services 
    • Operating Systems and Platforms
    • Backend Requirements 
    • Push Notifications
    • Analytics 
  5. Budget
  6. Project Timeline 
  7. Proposal Timeline


The last have of an RFP document is completed by the development vendor and includes the following sections: 


  1. Company Overview
  2. Service Offerings
  3. Development Lifecycle Philosophy 
  4. Case Studies
  5. Proposal
    • Solution Overview
    • Project Scope
    • Project Timeline
    • Pricing Model
    • Maintenance Plan and Product Roadmap


How to Write a Mobile App RFP, Step-by-Step 


Part One: To be completed by you 


1. Executive Summary 


Provide a summary of your organization, the business case the mobile product will address, and the required solution. 


2. Company Information


Provide a high-level overview of the company: 


  • Why does the company exist (what problem is it trying to solve)?
  • What products or services does the company provide? 
  • What industry and market(s) does it operate in? 
  • Who is the internal project lead(s)? 
  • Who are the key stakeholders/leadership? 


3. Project Summary


Provide as much detail as possible about the project to provide a thorough understanding of the required solution. 


Problem Summary


Describe the core business or customer problem the mobile solution intends to address. 


  • What are the business objectives?
  • What is the product vision? 
  • Who are the target users of the application? 
    • Provide preliminary user personas 
    • What are your users’ goals? What are their challenges? 
    • What situations might keep your users from converting? (ie. failure to understand the benefits of the app, difficulty navigating the app, etc.)
  • Will this be a mobile-only solution, or is this project attached to a larger project? 


Goals & Success Criteria 


Describe the criteria, metrics, and benchmarks that will determine the success of the mobile solution. 


  • What are your quantifiable business goals? 
  • What are your user/download goals? 
  • What are your goals for three months, six months, and a year post-launch? 
  • How do you intend to measure these goals? 




Describe in as much detail as possible the end-to-end solution you’re looking to develop and describe the core functionality of the mobile app. 


  • What kind of functions is the app to perform? 
  • What features are necessary to create the required functionality? 
  • Please include a prioritized list of features? 
  • Please include user journeys, wireframes, and mockups for the solution. 
  • Please include a clickable app prototype. 


Is your mobile app RFP missing essential information? Learn more about how our product ideation services can help you capture all the necessary deliverables for your RFP. Click here.


Use Cases


Take us through a use-case of the app. From start to finish, how would a user interact with the app? 




Who are the project decision-makers and key leaders? Specifically, who will be leading the project on a daily basis? What level of involvement do other stakeholders have in the project? 


4. Project Scope Requirements




What services do you require? Are you looking for services throughout the entire project lifecycle or only specific stages of production? 


  • Consulting and Product Strategy 
  • Development 
  • Design and User Experience
  • Quality Assurance and Testing 
  • Technical Delivery




What platforms will the solution be built on? 


  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web
  • Connected TV (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Tizen, etc.) 
  • Other


Please distinguish which platform is your main priority. Several restraints (timeframe, resources, target audience, budget, etc.) can affect the number of platforms you’re able to develop on. The number of platforms you require has a direct impact on the cost of your project. If you develop for multiple platforms you are asking for multiple codebases: keep in mind, each platform mandates different developer backgrounds and skillsets, which carry cost implications. 




Do you have existing systems such as web services or CMS? If so, describe them. Do the existing systems have available APIs and documentation to access? Is there a need for the vendor to develop web services or APIs? Do you have a current internal database? If so, what type (Oracle, Salesforce, MongoDB, etc.)? 


Push Notifications 


Will you require push notifications for your solution? If so, how often do you intend to customize push notification content? With what frequency will you need to send push notifications? 




Will you require analytics for your solution? If so, what kind of data do you need to collect? 


5. Budget


Mobile app development budgets vary significantly. The budget is affected by two primary factors: 


  • Scope (size) of the project
    • Number of platforms 
    • Number of functions and features
    • Number of user flows 
  • Quality and experience of the vendor


Providing a budget in a mobile app RFP is essential for receiving accurate responses from vendors and setting exact expectations for the project. Including a budget in your RFP allows vendors to understand exactly what services they’re able to offer to meet your business goals. 


6. Project Timeline


  • What date is the project due to launch? 
  • Is the launch date associated with an event? 
  • Are there dependencies that influence the launch date? 
  • When do you need development to start? 
  • Do you have expectations for how long the project will take? 


7. Proposal Timeline


Please provide a due date for proposals to be submitted by, and an ensuing timeline including evaluation of proposals, shortlisted presentations (if required) and selection of the winning bidder. 


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Part Two: To be completed by the vendor


1. Mobile App Development Vendor Overview


Company Overview 


Please provide an overview of the company, the leadership, and the executive team. 


  • How long has the company been in business? What is its mission? 
  • How does the agency provide value above its competitors? 
  • What is the size of the company? 
  • What are the sizes of the development, design, quality assurance, product, and project management teams? 
  • Where are the employees located? Will any work be done overseas? 


Service Offerings 


What kind of services does your company offer? Please provide a description of each? 


  • Consulting and Product Strategy
  • Development
  • Design & User Experience
  • Quality Assurance 
  • Maintenance and Future-proofing 


Development Lifecycle Philosophy 


  • What development philosophy does the company follow? 
  • Why has it elected to follow this philosophy? 
  • What has the company done to refine or improve it? 
  • Who owns the code? 
  • What coding standards and best practices are followed? 


Case Studies 


Please provide a list of clients, awards, and summaries of client projects. Please summarize the challenge, solution, and end result of each project. 


1. Proposal


Solution Overview 


Please provide a summary or description of the product being built. 


  • Who will be involved in the project? Please provide the resources you would use to tackle the requirements listed above and weekly cost for the team involved. 
  • What product management, project management, communication, and development tools will be used? Will the client have access to these tools? 
  • What will the key features be? Please provide a short summary. 
  • What platforms will the solution be developed for? 


Project Scope


Please provide comments and concerns about the supplied project scope in relation to the proposed timeline, budget, and project risks. 


Project Timeline 


Please provide a detailed project timeline including estimated start dates, schedule of activities, deliverables and resources to be used. 


Pricing Model 


Please provide an estimated price based on the scope of the project. Please include a fee breakdown in relation to time, scope, and weekly team costs. 


Maintenance and Support Plan


Please provide a summary of the types of service level support plans that are offered and a breakdown of services and costs. 


To write the best possible RFP, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of your end-to-end product strategy. It’s helpful to fully define your product before you begin writing a Mobile App RFP; ideally, you should have a list of prioritized features, a visual solution detailing the user experience and user interface, as well as a clickable prototype. Our Design & Discovery session gives you access to mobile subject matter experts to help you validate your ideas and understand best practices for mobile to set your RFP up for successful bidding.


Keep Reading: 

5 Things You Need to Know About Writing a Mobile App RFP

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Mobile App RFP

Is Your Mobile App RFP Ready to Submit to Potential Partners?


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