Mobile Application Development RFP: How to make a mobile app?

Mobile Application Development RFP: How to make a mobile app?

Are you someone who wants to know more about mobile app development RFP? Do you want to know how to fill out a mobile app development RFP brief? If you said yes to both these questions then keep scrolling down because we have just the solution you have been looking for.

How to make a mobile app?

If you are someone who is thinking about launching their mobile app, you must keep a few things in mind. Usually, when people know how to write an application and they have enough resources to do the job on their own, they just do it. In other cases, there are mobile app development services that people can use for their convenience. Once you are done doing your research and looking into options, you would be required to fill out a request for proposal (RFP) for the mobile app development. It will help you get a fair idea about the best vendor in the market.

What is an RFP?

The request for proposal (RFP) is an official document that is filled out by the client who is interested in purchasing the app development service. The RFP helps the client in gathering offers from various vendors. It enables them to choose a development partner that will meet the requirements of the project they are aiming at. The document helps in giving an overview of the challenges that they might face when doing business, the current barriers in the business and the desired aims and objectives of the clients. The RFP also serves as a reference for both the client and the vendor during the process of mobile app development.

Here is what you are likely to find in an RFP brief:

A detailed overview of the entire project

When the client fills out the RFP, it has all the details about the project, as well as the goals and the criteria for evaluation.

The vendor’s proposal 

This type of RFP is called the vendor’s proposal, which is filled out for a specific project. It helps in better understanding the requirements of the project as per the needs of the potential client. It helps in simplifying future communication with the client.

Why is a mobile app development RFP so essential?

Finding the right vendor for mobile app development can be quite a challenge. However, having an RFP is essential to keep you from paying a hefty amount for mobile app development. It also saves you the trouble of getting in touch with a poor vendor.

Here is why compiling an RFP is so essential:

Value

You must understand the value of filling out an RFP for mobile app development. You need to start thinking of the contractor beyond them being a good or a bad choice.

You need to ask significant questions like:

  • How much value will the developer add to your project?
  • How can they further amplify your idea?

Thus, the RFP must be filled out keeping the value of the project in mind.

Price

You might not believe it but an RFP can be used as a tool to help you negotiate a better price. Yes, you read that correctly. Many companies in the market can reach a lower price due to the properly filled proposal document. You can make a brief estimation of the app development cost using this guide.

Expertise

When you fill out the app proposal document in the form of an RFP, it makes way for a qualitative analysis much easier. You are letting the developer know about the technical requirements that you are looking for. On the other hand, you also get a chance to choose between different contractors based on their expertise. One thing that you need to keep in mind regarding the RFP is that it is a document that is designed to help both parties involved.

7 Questions About Mobile App RFP

Who should fill out the RFP for the mobile app development?

When we talk about the RFP, it is one of the most important documents that should be filled out by the people who are dealing with the project first hand. Whoever fills out the brief should be aware of the constraints that they could face while working on the desired development project.

Another quality that the individual or team who is writing the RFP should possess is being good at making decisions. This quality is needed because they would be required to take some timely decisions like choosing a vendor for the project.

Important things to look for before filling out the mobile app development RFP

When you are sure about outsourcing the mobile app development services and have set the goals for the project, you would be tempted to immediately fill out the RFP brief.

However, you must ask these important questions before filling out the brief:

What should a mobile app development RFP look like?

The overall structure of the RFP brief could vary based on the project and industry it is targeted at. Here is a list of some of the essential points that should be covered for the RFP process to workout successfully:

The part filled out by the client 

  • Executive Summary
    An executive summary includes an entire overview of the project. It has everything; from the goals of the business to the constraints that might occur at a later stage.
  • Company Information
    Here is a list of the company information essentials that you should provide:

    • The mission of the company
    • Goals
    • Industry
    • Existing products
    • Market position
    • Key stakeholders
    • Leadership ability
  • Project Description

You should carefully provide an in-depth overview of what your project is about.

Here is what you should include in the project description:

Problem overview

The problem overview should include all the information about the issues that the mobile app is aimed to solve. It can also include any vision details about the product and give an overview of the target audience.

Aspired business objectives 

It is important that you set some business aims and goals from the beginning. You should let the vendors know about what criteria and benchmarks you have set for them. Based on the same, you will be required to evaluate the progress of your project. You can add any figures and statistics for the same reason. Try describing your short term and long-term goals, explaining your final agenda.

Product’s functionality

The functionality of your product will entirely depend on how feasible the solution to your problem is. You should come up with application prototypes, wireframes, etc.

Use Cases

You need to build a proper case for the mobile app. Make sure you write down everything clearly in the RFP brief.

Stakeholders

You also need to introduce the individual or the team working on the project. Make sure that you put in a few lines about the people who are responsible for making the important decisions.

  • Project Requirements 

Here is a list of the project scope requirements:

Services 

Make sure you have a list of all the services that you want to outsource beforehand.

Here are some services that you would want to outsource:

      • Consulting services
      • Development services
      • Design
      • Quality assurance testing 
      • Technical delivery services

Operating Systems

You need to make sure that you specify if the mobile app is built on iOS, Android or some other operating system.

Backend Requirements 

The mobile app development RFP should have all the backend requirements. There should also be a mention of all the available APIs.

Push Notifications

You need to specify how you want the push notifications to be added to your mobile app. 

Analytics 

You need to be mindful of the analytics of your mobile app. You must specify how you would like to collect the data.

Budget

The budget is the most essential part of filling out the mobile app development RFP brief. You need to explicitly mention any budget constraints that you might have while developing the mobile app.

Project Timeline 

Like any other project, you must specify a timeline for this mobile app development project as well.

Proposal Timeline

You need to have a timeline for the proposal of the project as well. This way, you will be able to keep a track of things.

Part compiled by a potential contractor

Here is a list of important information that you would be required from a potential contractor:

Company Overview

You need to ask your potential vendor to give a company overview.

Here are some details that you might need to ask them:

  • How long have they been operating in the market?
  • What is the selling proposition that sets them apart from others in the market?
  • What is the size of their company?
  • What is the size of their team working on the project? 

Service Offering

You need to request them to give you a written description of all the services they have agreed to provide you.

Lifecycle Philosophy 

You need to make sure that the company’s development philosophy is in line with the morals and ethical values that you hold. 

Case Studies

This part should comprise of the following:

  • A list of clients
  • A list of awards
  • Overview of different projects they have worked on

Proposal

Here is what a proposal should contain:

  • Solution Overview

The contractor should be able to give you an overview of the different solutions to the problem you are consulting them for.

  • Project Scope

The contractor should be able to comment on the project outline and what scope it has in the future.

  • Project Timeline

You should always ask for a project timeline to avoid any issues later during the project.

  • Pricing

Pricing is required for the scope of the project. Generally, the cost of hiring a mobile app developer varies from $10,000 to $82,000 depending on the developer’s location and expertise, and the complexity of your project (source).

  • Maintenance Plan

The vendor should also have a maintenance plan.

What are the mistakes you should avoid? 

Despite having the above-mentioned guidelines, you could still be making some typical mistakes when filling out a mobile app development RFP.

Here is how you can avoid making those mistakes:

  • Do not draft an RFP without prior consultations 

You need to hold a series of prior consultation meetings with the project team before you start filling out the RFP brief. Make sure that the team agrees to all the important points that you raise in the meeting.

  • Provide enough details about your company and project

There is never too much information when it comes to giving out details about your company and project. Make sure you put down everything in the RFP brief as well as hold an in-person meeting with the team to avoid any issues later.

  • Do not only focus on the project’s technical requirements

There is no doubt about the fact that mobile app development cannot function without the technical requirements of the project. However, you must not only keep the technical aspects in mind.

  •  Ask the right questions

Do not be shy of asking too many questions from the vendor. After all, you are outsourcing your mobile app development to them for a reason. You can add as many questions as you like and add them to the RFP brief. There is no limiting yourself when it comes to asking the right questions.

  • Do not Underestimate the budget

You must leave some room for additional costs in the budget. Do not be too rigid when deciding a budget for the project.

What is next?

Here is a list of six steps to make after a mobile app RFP is done:

  1. Distribute RFP among development companies.
  2. Collect and evaluate the submissions
  3. Identify and shortlist candidates.
  4. Re-evaluate the shortlisted candidates.
  5. Discuss the contract with the selected vendor.
  6. Sign the contract and begin working on launching the development process.

Good luck with your projects!

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