Typical software requests for proposals can sometimes be very detailed and sometimes not have the right details. They can contain some process flows showing internal business processes but what really needs to happen is a solid information architecture needs to be included. Using verbiage to describe a business process is like trying to describe a painting. It can be subjective to interpret and create a false sense of scope and scale. Using a Information Architecture (IA) allows you to see the high flow of all the pages in the system and what their essential functions are with the software development, web application or app build. Recently at Red Cherry with some RFP’s we are taking the time to digest the RFP and build the IA.
Now this is much more time consuming on our end but it allow us to closing hone in on what exactly we are building and quote accordingly. In a perfect world of the software build you first do a discovery first building out the Persona Maps, IA, Wireframes and working prototype over the course of a few months at a fixed fee. Then both parties have time to work together understand the real problems we are solving and create a minimum viable product or go all the way with a launch of full suite of apps and the product. What a discovery phase does is reduce problems such as refactoring, guessing and ensures both parties know what the deliverables are, how long it will take to build and the exact cost of the build. But going back to a RFP. Many government programs for instance simply create a monster RFP in hopes of retaining the correct vendor with little or no scope creep as simply they are bound to that process and cannot just do a discovery phase. So here at Red Cherry we have stepped in by creating the IA during the RFP process reviewing thoroughly with the potential client first to ensure we are on the same before we provide a detailed proposal.
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