So you’ve got a project and you’re in the market for mobile app development services, which means it’s time to source vendors.

The process of selecting the right mobile app development company can be tough. You need to find a partner that is the right fit for your organization and for your particular project. But an effective Mobile App RFP can make it a lot easier, helping weed out the weak links and connecting you with the best company based on what you need.

Why Do You Need a Mobile App RFP?

A mobile app RFP is a document that both you and the app development vendor use to establish an understanding of the mobile app requirements. This document becomes the statement of work for the contract.

A comprehensive mobile app RFP will help you receive more accurate information regarding your specific project. You’ll also be able to find the best development partner to work with instead of choosing one that appears to be good, but doesn’t have the expertise needed when development begins.

Below are 5 things you need to know to write an effective mobile app RFP that will get you the best responses and ultimately, connect you with the perfect vendor for your project.

1. It’s About More Than The App

Your mobile RFP needs to focus on more than just the app itself. This is because it’s rare that you will need only app development services, and people tend to focus too much on the specific features rather than the bigger picture. Will the project require APIs to connect with other services or tools? Will you need back-end server development as well? Are full UI/UX services needed or will you be designing the solution internally? Do you require analytics integration? These considerations will allow you to create a more detailed RFP that will elicit better responses.

2. Mobile Apps Don’t End At Delivery

A comprehensive mobile app RFP should also ask about maintenance and ongoing support. It’s not uncommon for a mobile app to be considered “outdated” in 6-8 months if left unattended after launch. You will need updates and maintenance along the way, so you want to ensure the vendor you work with is able to provide the appropriate level of support.

3. Budget Will Help Qualify Responses

If you’re hesitant about including a budget range in your mobile app RFP, keep in mind that it can help you qualify in/out responses that are a poor fit very early in the process, saving you time in the long run.

Since mobile agencies come from all parts of the world and vary in size, the cost, scope, and quality of the work will also have a broad range. Including a budget range can help you eliminate a large number of vendors that are not the right fit. It’s a good idea to engage with vendors before you even start writing your RFP so that they can get an idea of your budget beforehand.

4. Timeline is Heavily Influenced by Scope

Mobile app agencies typically offer a number of services that range from consulting to app store delivery. You may require additional time to build and deliver your app if your project isn’t thoroughly and accurately scoped. It comes down to the degree of detail – if you send out an RFP that poses more questions than it answers, with general ideas rather than specifics, you can expect that your responses will include additional time for areas like product definition and project management. Some vendors may even choose not to submit responses if the RFP significantly lacks detail.

What exactly do you need built? What features are must-haves? What platforms do you need your solution built for? What are your business and marketing goals? It’s important that you have a good understanding of the scope of your project, and that this vision is reflected in the overview you provide in your RFP.

5. A Comprehensive Mobile RFP is The Foundation of a Great Project

It’s important to include a lot of detail in your mobile app RFP. In order for you to do this, you really need to understand what you want in your app. If you partner with an experienced app development company, they will make recommendations on the functionality of the app, however, there needs to be enough information to understand what is required.

A detailed mobile app RFP helps eliminate ambiguity and sets the foundation for a project that is more likely to stay on time and within budget. Vendors will better understand exactly what you are looking for, resulting in a more accurate price and timeline estimation; less likelihood of unexpected issues arising during the project; and even the added advantage of saving valuable time once the project has started, which can ensure the product is shipped by the deadline.

What Makes a Great Mobile App RFP?

A great mobile app RFP includes the specific qualifications of a project that few vendors can provide. Put simply, the more effective the RFP is in providing the right information, the more effective the final selection will be. Here’s what a mobile app RFP should include:

To Be Completed By Your Company:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Information
  3. Project Description
  4. Project Scope Requirements
  5. Budget
  6. Project Timeline
  7. Proposal Timeline

To Be Completed By The Vendor:

  1. Mobile Agency Overview
  2. Proposal

Ultimately, the quality of your mobile app RFP will affect the quality of the responses you receive. The better it is, the more likely you are to get proposals that convey the capabilities of the vendor, include more accurate timeline and price estimations, and help you choose the company that is the perfect fit for your project.