If you are getting ready to embark on a large Website project, or any project for that matter, you probably have some companies in mind whose work you admire. You also have probably short-listed these companies because they are experts in their field. These...

If you are getting ready to embark on a large Website project, or any project for that matter, you probably have some companies in mind whose work you admire. You also have probably short-listed these companies because they are experts in their field. These companies know more than you do about this process, and you are admiring of their work because this level of expertise and know-how clearly shows.

So, why on earth would you send them a 50+ page document, asking for time consuming and meaningless tasks to be performed like financial audits, staff resumes, exact response formats following your outline and 10 printed and bound copies making every environmentally conscious member of that company cringe at your insensitivity? Note: I realize the paper copy request may only offend those of us working exclusively in the digital realm.

Why would you force these companies you admire to answer pointless questions which hint at a misguided pretense that you know more about this soon to be embarked upon process than the company you are requesting a proposal from does?

Why wouldn't you reach out, have a discussion, and then ask that company what the best next steps would be in order to get a proposal?

I don't presume you should know the first thing about how to develop a successful Website project, after all, that's why you are sending me the RFP in the first place correct? I am also much too busy to be anything more than annoyed at your RFP if it asks me to jump through multiple hoops and provide meaningless data. Why would you ask me to waste my time and my firm's time doing counter productive things which will tell you little about us, our process, or what we would create for you, in response to a document which tells me very little about you?

And worst of all, how could you think these canned, dry, worried over and b.s. riddled proposals you might get back will truly help you make an educated decision?

To me - it's a prime example of waste begetting waste. If you tossed the stupid RFP in the can and just got in touch, you actually might connect with the perfect agency for your needs. Then again, I've been called an optimist and told I should never seek employment in the government sector.

Post Rant Note - Yes I do realize some public institutions and organizations are required to follow a strict process to ensure fairness in the procurement process. But my point is that even within that sterile process, it's pretty easy to let an agency know why you want them to give you a proposal, and make that extra effort to connect. If you don't, people like me assume you are simply sending us the RFP to fulfill an internal requirement to solicit a certain number of responses, which people like me find quite annoying.

Share on Twitter or Facebook Published July 21st 2010