Is Your RFP a 'Recipe For Problems'?

By Joshua Weinberger Print this article Print

Think you're ready to take bids on that big multi-year implementation? Not so fast.

There are many ways to gauge the success of a project. But how do you measure the success of the request for proposal (RFP) that outlines the project?

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If you wait to match a project's actual return on investment against that expected by the RFP, you're too late. In fact, by the time project leaders even begin an initiative, the outcome may already be ordained. A poorly constructed RFP puts a new spin on an old cliché: "Garbage out, garbage in."

Project managers can help themselves by following some fundamental steps when crafting RFPs, says Bud Porter-Roth, an information-technology consultant and author of "Request for Proposal: A Guide to Effective RFP Development." Writing skills, for example, never go out of style. Most important, Porter-Roth says, "is to ensure that all requirements are fully researched and valid." Otherwise, "The buyer always loses."

This article was originally published on 2003-12-10
Assistant Editor
After being on staff at The New Yorker for five years, Josh later traveled the world, hitting all seven continents in a single year. At Yale University, he majored in American Studies, English, and Theatre Studies.

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