RFP template – how to write an RFP for software development?

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What to include in a Request for Proposal (RFP)  for software development outsourcing? All the necessary aspects are covered in detail in this article.

Table of contents

A Request for Proposal (RFP) for software development outsourcing – a free template

To help you go through the process of finding the best supplier for your IT or software development project, we browsed through lots of Requests for Proposal (RFPs) received over the years from our clients.

Based on them, we created a sample RFP document, in the form of a ready-made RFP template with a list of areas to cover if you need a Request for Proposal for a software development project.

What is an RFP template?

An RFP template is an essential document in the procurement process and often follows the Request For Information – the RFI.

It introduces a new project that needs to be completed and requests bids from suppliers to compete for the project. Its goal is to help you select the best vendor for your project.

In an RFP document you should introduce your company and provide a detailed description of your requirements and expectations which will become the project’s baseline. It is also important for potential vendors to know what terms and details they will have to meet and adhere to.

RFP format for software development project

The main purpose of a software RFP template is to help you select the best IT company to develop the solution you need.

An RFP for software projects is normally sent to a small number of software development companies that you shortlisted as potentially good for your particular IT project.

It is best to start from an easily editable document and save it as an editable pdf form for your bidders (suppliers) to complete. To facilitate this, the RFP template you can download here is in the Word doc format.

Why should you prepare RFP for IT projects?

A well-prepared RFP is crucial in the decision-making process. It will help you to select the best partner, but also help potential suppliers see if they are the right fit for your organisation and your particular technology project.

A good RFP document therefore makes it easier for you and your potential supplier to create a long-term business relationship and meet each other’s expectations. The more effective the RFP is in providing the necessary details, the more effective the final selection will be when meeting the needs of the business.

That is why, a quality RFP can dictate the success or failure of your project.

What should an RFP for it services include?

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

  • Project Information
  • Supplier Questionnaire

The Project Information is where you tell your potential partner who you are, what your area of expertise is, determine a rough scope of the project to be done and assess the timeline and budget available.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s included in the Project Information section of our downloadable RFP template. Bear in mind this is only a small preview – to see the entire list with all the subsections, download the template in Word.


1. Contact Person
2. Proposal Timeline
3. Brief Project Overview
4. Description Of Your Company
5. Project Goals
6. …

The Supplier Questionnaire section gathers information from the potential suppliers on your shortlist.

Here’s a preview of what we included in our RFP template – and because it’s an editable Word document, you can tweak the questions to fit your organisation’s needs. Again, remember this is only a part of a very high-level table of contents. The RFP template available for download is way more detailed with many more sections and subsections.


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

Creating an RFP for IT projects – good practices

There are some good practices that you can follow when preparing an RFP, such as 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 facilitate comparisons.

It is also worth remembering that the needs of each organisation vary and therefore the RFP should be tailored according to your organisation’s needs.

How to prepare an RFP for IT projects?

You can sit down and create an RFP for your tech project from scratch, or save some time and use what we prepared for you – an RFP created specifically for software development and technology projects. You can download the RFP by completing the form. Go ahead, it’s free.