Best practices for writing a great mobile RFP

28/09/2021 20mins
Ramesh Ch


An RFP is a Request For Proposal for creation or creating the theoretical documentation of the functioning of a corporate, or otherwise, entity. In layman terms, it is basically a detailed manual describing the functioning and development of a system.

The world of technology has come a long way since the conceptualization of the computer. From developing the household desktop to the construction of a World Wide Web(www), boundless is only too simple a word to describe the journey.

Every other week there are hundreds if not thousands of mobile apps falling into the spectrum of the online market place. Apps ranging all the way from Heart rate monitoring all the way to grocery purchases are available, and more idea keeps falling from the sky. Amidst this boom of an Industry where dreams are made overnight and billionaires are born in a blink of an eyelid, the reality of failure is striking as it is.

So to ensure a good chance of success and to limit corporate shorthand and failure, certain practices or rather protocols can be observed in order to create a proper RFP for a mobile app.


Now this is one of the key factors that govern the ethos of a basic RFP of a mobile app. It is basically an answer to the obvious question that is put forward by investors and customers, which is ‘What does the app really do?’.

A fair question, since billions of dollars is pumped into it. The project summary basically addresses the use of the app and the solution to the concerned business problem. If a noted business problem is ‘Unavailability of taxi’s in the city at affordable prices’, a concept such as UBER or the Indian rival OLA is born. The summary guarantees the person reading it understands the problem the app looks to tackle and also the way it tackles it. This is an important factor. The summary must contain the angles and approach towards the problem and how it is a viable solution to already existing entities. It also details the solutions that were considered but ‘REJECTED’ due to its own concerns. Only a detailed summary can save a mobile app from confusing its investors and customers and ensure less talk around the dinner table and expel confusion, at least in terms of its working.


Now this is another hectic task that awaits anyone venturing into the world of online media and technology. Different platforms and users use different operating software’s (such as Android, iOS, Linux, Symbian etc). The creators must decide which software system will best as the operating platform so as to ensure maximum output and fluidity of work. Time and hours are put into perfecting the base platform and also to make the app multi-platform compatible so as to ensure more cyberspace. Nothing is better than pleasing the marketing goals!

Moreover, they must also decide which devices the app will be compatible with. Processors and device capabilities come into play and that is a detailed study on its own and we can’t get into all that because they take 4 years to teach you all that and you get a degree in Engineering after that.


We should remember that an RFP is not just a detailed RND (Research and Design) portfolio. It is also a corporate and economic study before hand. And we’re sure all of you have seen the movie ‘The Social Network’ and all the sticky webs of lies and deceit that were showcased about the FACEBOOK company’s dark secret. Well that fear exists in everyone’s heart long before Mark Zuckerberg made 7 billion USD.

The RFP must in detail show a detailed summary of the present investors already backing the project, shareholders and their share values as well a dictation of all management and senior management staff to show the investors that the men at the top making decisions are capable of making the right ones.


SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats) is highly mandatory to predict the outcome of the entire app. Every investor will be interested to know the importance the app will serve to the public and its requirement, which will in turn forecast the capability of success of the app in the market. More money has always been the concern. Let us not fool ourselves any more.

Also, since everything in this world is governed by an equal karmic 50-50 law, they would also need to know the worst possible outcomes that could follow in the possible downfall and failure of the app. Sometimes it’s better to be prepared. Rather safe than sorry right?


The holy grail of any business proposal let alone an RFP. The budgeting syndrome, or rather, the act of ‘Finding out how much it’s going to really cost’. The reason for most business model failures is the poor budgeting or the neglect to financial detail resulting in an ability to bear a fiscal burden. Sometimes foregoing certain financial aspects can result in the sudden crumbling of a business because, as simple as it can be put, they didn’t see it coming.

Some companies fail even before their ideas can take off because of poor budget control and documentation. Also, it helps us navigate the market reception. An App can be made of many budgets. Ranging from 10 lakhs to 1 crore INR, the same app can different approaches in terms of beautification and appeal as well as speed and operating compatibility. By leaving your budget open, you will get many proposals and you can see and decide how far people will be willing to go to push that budget envelop to get the best possible outcome. Sometimes it is important to not settle on a budget lesser than the required amount because any compromise in the working flow and smoothness of the app, as well as reception by the public can be a walk to the south if things go wrong. People are never impressed or happy with just ordinary. They want the extraordinary.

And these are some of the practices or rather protocols that should be followed with more in depth perception to generate an RFP. My advice would be to get qualified business personnel to construct detailed financial models as well as project summaries to just push you over the top. A little help never hurts!


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