Is Your Mobile App RFP Ready to Submit to Potential Partners?
Deciding on a mobile app development company to build your app requires careful planning and clear communication. A mobile app Request For Proposal (RFP) is the best tactic for choosing a partner to work on your project. An RFP will help your team present the criteria and expectations of your development project. This strategy will help you narrow down the best vendor applicants for the task.
Creating and distributing a mobile app RFP is an involved process. For the document to serve its purpose, you will have to include enough information about what you are intending to achieve within the partnership. For the best results, explicitly lay out what you’re paying the vendor for and what they are expected to deliver. On top of that, your RFP will have to thoroughly communicate product requirements and the full extent of services your budget covers.
RFP templates will vary from project to project, but should generally follow a standard formula, so vendors know what to expect from the document. To get started, download our Mobile App RFP Template and customize it as you work through your specific requirements.
The remainder of this blog will list four key considerations to keep on your radar throughout the entire RFP process, from researching to distributing the document. By paying attention to these considerations, you will know if you’ve communicated the right amount of information to assess vendor responses accurately.
1. Consult Mobile App Development Experts
Your mobile app RFP will likely require particular information you may not be prepared to answer on your own. For that reason, you should consider consulting with mobile app development experts before beginning to write the document.
An RFP needs to include as much information as possible, so the vendors you approach can return the most accurate and valuable solution for your money. To ensure your RFP acknowledges the entire scope of your project, we recommend investing in a Product Discovery Session before writing or distributing the RFP document.
At Clearbridge Mobile, we run a concentrated five-day Product Discovery session which allows your project team to set product goals and business outcomes, prioritize product features, and collect essential assets like user journeys, wireframes, mockups, and a clickable prototype. By the end of these five days, your team will understand the scope of your project fully and have a better idea of how your required services align with your budget.
2. Consider the “Big Picture”
Another major benefit of product discovery for writing an RFP is the process helps your team think about the “big picture.”
A mistake many companies make in the RFP process is focusing on only the app itself. To be honest, it is scarce that you will only need app development services, and you can’t get caught emphasizing product features without looking at the entire lifecycle.
First of all, what are you building? More specifically, what platforms are you targeting and what devices are you developing the solution on? Answering these questions will help you determine what services you require and whether or not you need services throughout the entire project lifecycle from consulting to quality assurance.
Back-end server development needs to be addressed in your RFP, as well. Do you have existing systems like web services or CMS, and if you do, do these systems have available APIs and documentation to access? The list goes on; do you need push notifications? Do you need analytics for your solution?
It’s also important to remember that mobile app development doesn’t end at delivery. Your mobile app RFP needs to give thoughtful consideration to maintenance and ongoing support. Your mobile app will inevitably need maintenance along the way, and your RFP needs to specify the level of support you need from your development partner. The more detailed your RFP is, the more tailored your vendor responses will be to the exact solution you need.
3. Choose Your Mobile App Success Metrics Early
This consideration may be relatively self-explanatory, but while you write your RFP, you need a solid grasp of how you will define the success of your application. A mobile app RFP is the foundation of a successful development project, and to write a comprehensive document; you need to understand what you want your app to accomplish.
An RFP is used to eliminate ambiguity, and while experienced app development companies will make recommendations, you need to provide enough information to understand what is required. Will you determine the success of your application from performance metrics, engagement metrics, or business metrics of the app? Don’t begin writing your RFP unless you know how you will measure the project’s success.
4. Be Clear About Your Mobile App Budget
Mobile app development projects range in price dramatically. It is vitally important to present all of your project requirements in your RFP so that vendors can return accurate estimates. Again, this is why it is so important to understand the scope of your project entirely; when you have a thorough understanding of what you’re building, you have a better idea of the costs you’re facing. This knowledge also helps you qualify vendor bids accurately.
Your project budget may not be the first conversation of you have with potential vendors, but the topic is going to come up eventually, so whether you choose to include hard numbers in your RFP is up to you. If you’re hesitant, you can ask bidders to respond with an itemized list of what their services would cost. Or you can check out our Definitive Guide to Mobile App Development Costs for an in-depth analysis of app budgeting benchmarks.
Budget is a serious determining factor when it comes to selecting an app development partner. It’s important to make it very clear that you expect accurate communication for every factor related to cost.
A mobile app RFP is a requisite for finding the right development team. However, there is a substantial amount of research that needs to take place before you can send off your proposals. If you have questions about writing your mobile app RFP, talk to us today, or download the template directly.
As a full service custom mobile app development company, Clearbridge Mobile handles the entire lifecycle of your product from Planning and Strategy, UX/UI Design, App Development, QA/User Acceptance Testing, to Technical Delivery. We use a unique agile development process that gives you control over scope, reduces your risk, and provides you predictable velocity. Start a conversation today to get started on your mobile project.