How to Write RFI to Software Development


RFI (Information Request) is the starting point of your development software project. It is commonly used to launch projects between two partners in order to offer the clients with the outsourced service vendor their criteria and objectives. In this article, I’d offer several resources on writing RFIs, what is the value of an RFI and why in your application life cycle you need it. The material in this article will tell you all about how you can create an RFI for software development that will provide you with rapid and significant reactions from possible suppliers.


So, Have You Ever Heard of RFI?

First of all, RFI stands for 'Request for Information'. An RFI is a document that organizations, as well as products and services, send to potential suppliers to gather information about their capabilities, size, experience, and pricing. From the valuable preliminary information gathered, companies will use it to choose which vendor is best for them. RFI makes comparisons between different companies easier because it filters out those that don't fit your needs and promotes competition among others.

Sometimes discerning clients want to know what the service provider's activities are in a certain real-life circumstance. Instead of simply receiving summary tables of work items you actually want to find out how a supplier may resolve a problem or fulfill a need. This is also seen as very beneficial since clients can realize if the working style, the strategy used is fair or not...

All firms will not however consent to comply with this consumer request. Since a thorough action script takes a lot of time and can show you completely what they are going to accomplish. In part, the service provider company may not be ready to reveal highly trustworthy internal working principles as it believes that such requests can sometimes be "trickle testing" by competitors or simply because they are too busy to complete for a customer not ready to enter into a formal cooperation contract.


How to Write RFI to Software Development

The technique to write an RFI is various. Each company selects the particular information it wants from various providers to obtain. The amount of details it would want to seek is also chosen.

It doesn't imply, however, that each RFI is so distinct. Included in your request for information form are numerous particular items:

  • Fundamental company information (general information about your company, such as business activity, headquarters, target customer, contact details...).
  • Request the provider to provide basic information on their company 
  • Confidentiality agreement to prevent third-party data sharing by suppliers.

Since it is a professional document and might be sent offshore to your partners, remember that the hard or easy to misunderstand reading language should not be spoken by the reader. Keep it as brief as possible, use neutral language, and avoid asking questions irrelevant to the project/product.

1. Synopsis

The background, aims, objectives, and confidentiality rules of your company should be described. The provider gets an overall picture of who the requester is and what it wants at the end of this section.

2. Credentials

Naturally, credentials are preliminary proof that a provider has good components. The abilities and qualifications needed for your project might be included here. Just note down all of your concerns or requirements: team size, technological constraints, operating systems, experience level, etc.

3. Confidentiality information

Maintaining protected information is highly sensitive and demands the most attention. No firm wants to place their confidence in the incorrect person only to face significant consequences as a result of information gaps, such as software development outsourcing

Every company has its own ideas or efforts to safeguard against rivals. And an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) is a legal document that does so exactly. The NDA is a legally binding contract to be signed to make it easy to achieve a secrecy agreement. Explain your intellectual and proprietary privacy practices. If you are important to continued collaboration, you can set them at the start of the RFI template.

4. Summary of the project and objectives

The things you require should be mentioned with the items you desire. The purpose of the inquiry may be to find out which remote development firm could be the most appropriate and most cost-efficient in solving your difficulties. At this step, you should declare your goal as clearly as possible.

If you want potential suppliers to have a clear image of your objectives, you must clarify as much information as possible. Certain aspects need to be clear from the start, such as what the project's map is, what software needs are, whether you need to employ an entire team of functions, or only need to assist a few people.

5. Requested information

How can you check that your desired vendor can satisfy your needs? In fact, you may comprehend the operation and the capacity to undertake the work by referral information from your past partners.

To assess the viability of the vendor, note down comprehensive questions about its infrastructure, work practices, methodologies for project management, tools for quality control, and software development methods used...

6. Expectations of response

Assessment criteria may be taken as a baseline for your expectations at this stage. The information and time should also be mentioned in this section.

In order to make request management more flexible, you could also consider using the proper selection procedures for intense deployment requirements such as RFQ (Request for Quotation) or RFP (Request for Proposal) after collecting basic information.

7. Contact point

The contact point between you and your service provider is last and not least. I emphasized this is a key element since the individual serving as a "bridge" will make up any difficulty, problem, queries, or demands to transmit your proposals to the team. 

Make sure he/she has a decent mindset to listen and to discern. Please also include your contact information and representative in return at the end of the introduction section during additional discussions with suppliers.


Content Manager

Thanh (Bruce) Pham CEO of Saigon Technology

A Member of Forbes Technology Council

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