How to write a request for proposal

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Choosing an external contractor for complex web projects can be time consuming!
This page offers some insight to help you write a Request for Proposal (RFP) - a detailed document written by a company looking for an external contractor to bid on a web project. It describes what information the company needs to provide to and request from an external contractor.

Information to provide to contractor

Background
• industry description
• organization description
• information on recent events or initiatives
• future plans
• competitors, along with a brief critique of their sites
Contact information
• decision makers
• one point of contact to mail or call with questions
• description of the group who works on the project
Schedule of deadlines
• for the entire process
Decision criteria
• deadline of proposal delivery
• qualifications of applicants
• how proposals are evaluated
• decision date & notification details
Project summary
• overarching goals & timeline
Target audience
• types of users
• target market demographics
• size of the audience/user base
• user characteristics
Detailed project
• primary & secondary goals
• budget
• general scope
• timeline
• business requirements
• design requirements
• functional requirements
• content & content development needs
• existing technical environment
• working relationship requirements
• ongoing support & maintenance requirements

Information to request from contractor

Company information
• history
• size
• % of overall business dedicated to web services
• overview of services & capabilities
• key personnel bios
• contact information
Proposed solution
• summary
• methodology/process: dev. plan, tasks, timeline
• details: original ideas, features, functionality, options...
• preliminary design compositions
• budget: cost of services, 3rd party costs, support...
• list of deliverables
• ownership
Project team
References
• examples of previous work
• client references
• awards & special certifications