How to write a pain-free RFP for a learning management system
Writing a Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal (RFP) can be a slow and potentially painful process. Whether your organization is investing in a learning management system (LMS) for the first time or looking for a new system or provider, communicating the relevant information about your project and collecting the right information from your prospective vendor is vital to the success of your implementation.
The bottom line is: the better your RFP, the better the RFP response you’ll get from your selected vendors.
By creating a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow RFP, the responses you receive should allow you to determine the vendor's capability and capacity to deliver your project, and make an informed decision on which supplier will best meet the needs of your business.
For vendors - the more information you provide, the more information they will be able to offer you in return. Providers will also be able to evaluate which product(s) will be the best fit for your organization and perhaps even which staff they should allocate to your project.
Here are our top five tips on creating and issuing a successful and pain-free RFP:
- Before issuing the RFP/RFI, ensure all business units affected by the implementation of a new LMS are in agreement with the project.
- Give vendors plenty of time to respond to your RFP and give yourself plenty of time to review responses.
- Don’t expect a quote based on your RFP. No matter how detailed you’ve been, there will still be additional items to consider and choices to be made which affect costs. A ranged estimate should give you a good idea of pricing.
- Give vendors the opportunity to ask questions on your RFP. Not only will this help them understand your project and business needs, it’s a good indication of engaged and considered suppliers.
- Use a suitable template for your RFP. Rather than creating a document from scratch, invest your time in collecting all functional, non-functional and business requirements from all of your stakeholders.
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