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Why You Should Use An RFP Outline To Speed The Process

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In a world where there are more and longer Requests For Proposals (RFPs), it is important to use an outline for requirements gathering. It provides a framework for the RFP development. The use of this tool allows you as a procurement professional to make sure all your needs have been clearly stated. It will help manage the complexity of the RFP, speeding up the process.

What is an RFP outline?

A Request For Proposal (RFP) outline is an aid to guide the drafting of the RFP itself. It is important to create an outline for your RFP because that will make it easier and faster to write. It will also help you avoid confusion about what information should go where in the document.

The RFP outline is typically a simple listing of the components to be included in the drafted RFP. The RFP must contain all relevant details like deadlines, if there are any attached with them, as well how much time challengers need before submitting responses once they’ve been selected.

Why Should You Use An RFP outline?

The goal of an RFP outline is to make the process easier for proposal managers. It should help them be more efficient and consistent. Having an easy overview of the RFP will help keep the drafting of the RFP on track.

Gain internal stakeholder buy-in

A great way to keep stakeholders confident and informed is by using an RFP outline. The brevity of the document ensures that it won’t take too long, but also makes sure everyone has opportunities for input early on. When

undertaking procurement projects on behalf of internal teams, it’s important to gather input from stakeholders. During the RFP requirements discovery process you will discuss challenges and needs for the project.

Use your outline as an RFP checklist

Jumping right into writing an RFP can be tempting when you are in a hurry but jumping without any boundaries might lead to omissions. You risk forgetting important questions or parts of your template that would make it easier for clients to understand what they need.

Improve the structure of your RFP for responding vendors

Thorough, thoughtful proposals start with a thorough and thoughtful RFP. Your prospective vendors want to tell their story in the best way possible. This starts by following an order that makes sense for them. To do so effectively you must map how information will flow throughout your document before writing anything down (or duplicating any questions). It is important when making changes or additions because there may already be some similar ideas present.

Sections To Include In The RFP Outline

Your RFP outline should be a map to help you decide what it will contain, as well as the order of sections. Start with using three primary headings from your document:

· First, project information.

· Second, individual items listed in this RFP section.

· Third, any other documentation that needs filling out before submitting an application or proposal, etc.

Next comes specific subheadings for each item that note where all relevant details can go so there’s no confusion later on about how much detail goes into certain areas.

Here is a list of many of the most common sections that fall under each header. Naturally, you won’t need every section for every RFP outline, but these will give an idea as to what they are and where they go in your document:

· Project information

· Primary contact information

· Project background

· Goals and objectives

· Project deliverables

· Budget

· RFP timeline

· Minimum requirements

· Scoring and selection criteria

· Submission instructions

· RFP sections and questions

Conclusion

Your procurement process starts off on the right foot with an RFP outline. It improves alignment among internal teams and also provides direction when writing new RFPs or customizing existing RFP templates to suit your needs better than before.

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