The Telco Training Academy


RFP/RFI Preparation

The time has come; the initial excitement associated with starting a new project has ended; and now, someone has to write the RFP or RFI that will be sent to vendors for their review and response.

In many cases, the chances that you or someone else in your organization have all of the experience, skills, background information, and expertise needed to put together an effective, comprehensive, accurate, and informative RFP or RFI is highly unlikely. Often, the RFP or RFI is for systems that are new to your organization or that are so radically different from your existing systems that you have little experience to draw upon.


RFP Writing ... Not the Time for Experimentation!

There is a school of thought that believes that junior staff members will learn much about the business if given the job of preparing an RFP or RFI. Unfortunately, although this is at least partially true, a poorly written, incomplete, or confusing RFP or RFI can set you up for additional confusion, hassle, and expense as vendors respond to the document and flood your organization with questions, lobbying, and many other disruptive activities.

Your RFP or RFI is the document that you give to potential solution providers with the hope that they will respond with an easy to read, easy to understand, inexpensive, and ready to implement system, tailored to solve your business problems.


The Cost of a Poorly Written and Executed RFP or RFI

Creating and distributing poorly conceived or executed RFPs and RFIs can generate much additional cost for your firm. These costs included the following.

  • The cost of responding to vendors

  • The cost of reviewing vendor responses

  • The cost of rewriting and resubmitting the RFI/RFP until you "get it right"

  • The cost associated with the internal organizational confusion as vendors rampage through your organization, trying to figure out what it is that you really want and how they can sell you something they have

In addition, there are the risks associated with the process.

  • The risk of selecting and implementation a solution that fails to meet your requirements

  • The risk of involving upper management in the review of RFP/RFI responses that are clearly inappropriate and wasteful of management time

The educational and training benefits for junior team members on an RFP/RFI exercise are usually surpassed by the costs and risks.


Getting the Maximum Benefit from RFP/RFI Preparation

TTA can help you with all aspects of RFP/RFI preparation. We have experience writing and reviewing hundreds of RFPs and RFIs similar to the one you are working on now. Our familiarity with the various solutions, vendors, and approaches means that we can help you to cut to the core issues and create a document that clearly communicates your desires. Our depth and breadth of experience includes:

  • Understanding what the systems do

  • Understanding how the systems should work

  • Familiarity with most vendors and providers of solutions

  • Writing and diagramming skills to create and deliver a high quality, easy to understand RFP/RFI document

Our approach focuses on breaking down the specifications and requirements for your new system and making sure that you understand exactly what you are asking for before you spend a lot of time writing it up.

We know how complex and confusing this process can be. That is why we break down the specifications and requirements for your new system and why we include much coaching, training, and education so that your team members really understand what they are asking for in advance of sending out for responses.


TTA Offerings to Support RFP/RFI Preparation

TTA can work with your team in a number of ways. Our approaches include the following.

  • Writing the entire RFP/RFI

  • Coaching your team in RFP/RFI writing

  • RFP/RFI review and enhancement (after the initial document is written)

  • RFP/RFI outline writing or review

  • Quality assurance on any aspect of the RFP/RFI writing process

  • Expert assistance with specific areas of the RFP/RFI

  • Assistance with authoring, editing, formatting, and publishing of the RFI/RFP


TTA RFP/RFI Support Value Proposition

Our offerings are designed to help you to get as much benefit as possible for the entire organization and also for your vendors. We aim to assure the following.

  • Employees learn as much as possible about the systems they are writing specifications for, prior to and during the preparation process (that way they will be able to truly evaluate vendor responses, rather than simply reacting)

  • Vendors receive a request that, as clearly and cleanly as possible, explains exactly what the firm is looking for and how the vendor can help

  • Management is provided with an assurance that the RFP/RFI evaluation exercise will be as efficient and as productive as possible

  • The organization reduces the risks and costs associated with RFP/RFI preparation and execution