How to Create Your Own RFP for App Development

July 10, 2017

A mobile app RFP, or request for proposal, is key for finding the right development team. Your RFP will serve as a tool to pinpoint the most qualified candidate that fits your app startup’s development needs and budget.

Why Do I Need an RFP?

To get an accurate quote and proposal from an app development agency, you’ll need to send in a request for proposal. This document will provide the agency with an understanding of your app idea, company, and the way you want to structure the project.

It’s in your best interest to create a comprehensive RFP because you’ll receive more accurate information regarding your specific project. Not to mention, you’ll also be able to find the best developer to work with instead of choosing an agency that looks good on the surface and walking into development blind.

How to Structure Your RFP

1 ー Executive Summary

Your executive summary is a high-level overview of your company and your app’s purpose. Keep this section concise and to the point. Think of the executive summary as an introduction to your company and vision for your mobile project.

1.1 Company Description

What does your company do? Why do they do it? This brief description should be no more than six to seven sentences.

1.2 Business Problem

What problem(s) does your target customer have? Explain why the customer is experiencing that problem and what they’re currently doing to solve the problem. Paint a clear picture of the pain point.

1.3 Mobile App Solution

How will your app solve the problem? Define exactly how your company plans to meet your customer’s needs. Also, use this section to elaborate on your value proposition 一 what makes your app different than its competitors?

2 ー Company Information

List the important facts about your company’s background and structure. The company information will give the development agency a sense of the team they’ll potentially be working with.

2.1 – Overview

What’s your company’s vision? Where does your app fit in the picture? Include your mission statement, the year the company was founded, and any other key fundamental facts about your company here.

2.2 – Products/Services

What products and services do your company already provide? Will your app be a separate product or will it enhance existing solutions?

2.3 – Stakeholders

Who is overseeing the app development process? Who are they key decision makers? Identify who the project stakeholders are and include investors if you have any onboard. Make a note if funding is something you plan to pursue.

2.4 – Contact Information

Identify the best point(s) of contact. This team member will be responsible for handling all interactions with the agency throughout development and post-launch.

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Email

3 ー App Description

Include as many details as you can so the development team can gain a better understanding of your project. This will allow the development team to be on the same page as you 一 no detail is too small.

3.1 – Features

What core features need to be included? What features are nice to haves? What type of functions does the app need to perform? List every feature you have in mind, so no last-minute surprises spring up during development.

Source: The Prescription Mobile App For Chronic Disease Management

3.2 – Use Cases

What are the common use cases? Listing a few scenarios will make it easier for the developer to visualize and understand your concept. For example, Jane (the user) will open the app, sign in with Facebook, and be taken to a news feed.

3.3 – Sketches, Mockups, Screenshots

Include any designs or visuals you have on hand. Keep in mind these don’t need to look professional 一 they just need to get your point across.

4 ー Requirements

Define the details of the app in this section. Requirements refer to how the product will work and the technology you need to be built.

4.1 – Services

Are you interested in developing your entire app with a development agency? Or do you need certain services to assist in-house efforts?

  • Design
  • Development
  • QA and Testing
  • Strategy

4.2 – Platform

What platform will your app launch on? If you plan to launch on one platform first and then eventually develop for another, make a note of it.

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Web
  • Smart TV

4.3 – Devices

Which device(s) will your app be available on?

  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Wearables

4.4 – Backend

Do you need a development team to build the backend? Does your company already have an existing internal database you want the app to integrate with?

5 ー Project Scope

5.1 Milestones / Goals

Are there any milestones you want to achieve? Do you have deadlines? Be as transparent as possible. If the developer won’t be able to hit important deadlines, it’s better you find out now rather than later.

5.2 – Budget

You don’t need to list an exact number ー a ballpark estimate is perfect. A budget range will also suffice. An accurate project estimate will refine the number of candidates, and give you better responses.

5.3 – Timeline

What’s your timeframe for development? What’s the target launch date? Be as transparent as possible. Keep in mind the average development timeline is two to four months, depending on the complexity of the app.

5.4 – Deadline

State when you need the proposal by. Ask the development agency to include the following:

  • Proposal
  • Portfolio
  • Qualifications
  • List of references

What’s Next?

After you submit your RFP for review, the developer should get back to you shortly with a quote, documentation and next steps. If you’re ready to start your mobile project ー get in touch!