What is a Request for Proposal (RFP) in Software development?

What is an RFP?

From Wikipedia:

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that solicits proposal, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service, or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.[1] It is submitted early in the procurement cycle, either at the preliminary study, or procurement stage.

RFP is one of the initial documents you create when outsourcing your project to a vendor. A good RFP can provide detailed requirements of the product or service, and helps you get highly informative bids from other vendors.

Why do you need RFP?

There are some merits: Correctly convey the system requirements required by your company to vendors Easy to compare vendors Review the current status of your system and confirm issues Clarify what kind of system you want in the future

RFP process


RFP format for software projects

Here is what a RPF should contain:

  • Project overview
  • Company background
  • Goals of the project
  • Scope of work and expected deliverables
  • Specifications about tools, technologies, methodologies, systems, and/or software that are preferred
  • Technical requirements
  • Target deliverable schedule
  • The principal point of contact
  • Potential and existing roadblocks
  • Budget constraints
  • Criteria for selection
  • Proposal timeline

There is no standard template for writing an RFP, you can search on the internet for some samples.

Final thoughts

Software development RFP is difficult to make and could be time-consuming. But if you want to build your system with an external company, you should create one. A good RFP can help you achieve your goals within your budget and schedule.


Wikipedia - Request for proposal

NTT Data - RFPとは?提案依頼書の基本を解説

Qulix Systems - RFP: How to Write a Request for Proposal for Software Development Outsourcing

Svitla - Request for proposal software development