Some view RFP’s as a necessary evil. A document which takes much time to write. And pull together a response. Sometimes they are written with a particular consultant in mind (which rather defeats the purpose), other times a multitude of response need to be waded through.
But, if written well, an RFP can be a very effective way to communicate in clear language a projects requirements. We will talk in this blog post about how to write a winning RFP.
3 Tips for Writing Winning GIS RFP’s
We’ve read, written and applied for many RFP’s over the years. We commonly see 3 simple mistakes which can be easily corrected:
- Ask your users – Too often management huddle together and write and RFP based on what they perceive as the need. Too often they forget to ask actual users what they see as pain points, what workflows make sense etc. Without user input you are whistling in the dark, resulting in a deliverable few will want to use.
- Get expert input before writing your RFP – Get help writing an RFP. GIS is complex, many of us in the business have advanced degrees in GIS and geographic sciences. Too often we have see RFP’s written by the inexperienced. Your RFP is your requirements document; your statement of work. If it makes no sense, you can guess the end result.
- Avoid putting too much into an RFP – Sometimes an RFP can resemble a lengthy laundry list of needs. This functionality, that tool, this integration. Think in phases. Don’t try to build Rome in one day. If that means multiple RFP’s, so be it. Develop a solid base in your first RFP, then grow the solution from there.
There you have it. These three simple suggestions will help move you from an expensive nearly deliverable to a comprehensive solution.
Need RFP help? Contact us on 801-733-0723.
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Author: Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter: