Request for Proposal Process

Essay by travissmCollege, Undergraduate February 2010

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Procurement of services or products, or both, to support project operations is a necessity. Without procurement services, failure is unavoidable. At the heart of the procurement process is the request for proposal (RFP). According to Charles Huston's book, Management of Project Procurement (1996), an RFP is "the package that identifies the buyer's requirements for the procurement of goods and services" (p. 15). This paper will briefly describe the process to create an RFP.

The first step in the RFP process is to define what is to be provided by the contractor. A thorough review of the project at a broad level is conducted to determine what product or services the organization, the owner, will provide and what will be outsourced. The organization must consider which internal resources will be applied to the project with minimal to no impact on current projects. Allocating too much of the organization's resources will put the project, and other ongoing projects, in a risky position that could have been avoided.

Two primary considerations drive the decision to outsource: does the organization already possess the capability to perform the service in house; and, does the organization have the required trained workforce needed to completer the project?Once the organization has determined which services will be procured from outside the determined, the technical and management requirements need to be detailed. These requirements must be explicitly detailed so that they can not be misconstrued or misunderstood. From these requirements the bidding organizations will determine if the project is feasible for them and assist in developing accurate estimates. Management requirements include programmatic areas such as management of project cost, schedule and quality. Technical requirements, also known as specifications, are broken into two major categories: detailed design specifications and performance specifications.

Detailed specifications are used when the product requested product has...