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How to write an RFI for outsourced IT projects?

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What to include in an RFI to ensure you are provided with all the necessary details to best evaluate your potential IT suppliers? All the must-have aspects will be covered in detail in this article.

Table of contents

A Request for Information (RFI) for software development outsourcing – a free template

A well-written Request For Information (RFI) will help you make the process of evaluating your potential software development partners time and cost efficient. It will also help you ensure the technology services they offer are aligned with the needs of your business.

To save you time, we created an ultimate RFI template based on the numerous RFIs we received as a technology company over the last two decades.

What is an RFI template?

Request for Information (RFI) is a standard procurement procedure used to gather information about skills and capabilities of potential suppliers and to compare them in order to make an informed business decision.

It is usually a replicable 3-to-5 page document that provides an executive summary of what is to be outsourced, along with details on a vendor’s specific capabilities.

RFI format for software projects

In an RFI document, you’ll need to complete a section with information about your company. That’s why it’s best to start with an easily editable document format, such as Word doc, and save it as an editable pdf form to be completed by the companies you want to approach for information. To help you do this, the RFP template you can download using the form above is in the Word doc format.

Why should you prepare an RFI for IT projects?

Sending an RFI template to potential partners will help you explore the IT and tech market. Through the RFI process, you should gain a good overview of a proposed solution to your technology challenge without getting into too much detail. It’s a good first step to get a wider perspective on your technology problem and collect some innovative ideas from suppliers. An RFI will also help you collect information about the capabilities of various vendors to create a shortlist of companies to contact with an RFP.

What should an RFI for IT services include?

Our recommended Request For Information template form is divided into two main sections:

  • Introduction
  • Questionnaire

In the Introduction section, you should tell your potential partner who you are, what your area of expertise is and what goal you wish to achieve with this particular Request For Information (RFI) form.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s included in the Introduction part of our downloadable RFI template.

This is only a preview – to see the entire list, download the template in Word.

INTRODUCTION

1. Information about confidentiality and proprietary rights
2. Your background and general information
3. Project summary and goals
4. Required skills and competencies
5. Request For Information process
6. …..

 

The Questionnaire section collects information from the potential vendors on your shortlist. Here’s a preview of our RFI template – and because it’s an editable Word document, you can amend the questions to fit your company’s needs.

Again, remember this is only a part of a very high-level table of contents. The RFI template for download is much more detailed with loads more sections and subsections.

QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Organisation
2. Experience
3. Project Management
4. Technical experience
5. Quality assurance
6. ….

Creating an RFI for IT projects – good practices

Some generic good practices to follow when preparing an RFI include: providing relevant information about your business, asking precise questions or stating your needs clearly at the very beginning. It is also important to gather information in a formal and structured manner as this will enable easy comparisons.

To discover more good practices, watch the 2-minute video below in which three technology leaders uncover their own recommendations for the RFI process.

 

Preparing an RFI for IT projects

As you can see, preparing a good RFI is not an easy process. To save you time and make life easier, we created an RFI template in a form of a Word document, ready for you to download and edit. The template is based on the RFIs we’ve received over the last 20 years from our clients. So go ahead and download now (it’s free!)

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