Thursday, 28 July 2011

RFP's for SharePoint

Overview: For some reason many companies seem to select inappropriate vendors to supply SharePoint consulting services.  Smaller projects often tend to be given to consultancies with existing relationships which is great except the consultancies often have little or no experience with SharePoint.  Larger projects at least tend to be more selective and Request for Proposal (RFP) are requested from suppliers.  A good rule of thumb for larger projects is to invite 6 companies to RFP/tender/Invitation to tender(ITT's) and short list 3 companies.  The 3 companies will compete on multiple factors helping highlight the questions you should be asking all the vendors.  Regardless of size always get multiple quotes.

When creating you RFP/ITT/RFT the most important factor is the RFP document contain as much detail as possible for the supplier to accurately tender for the contract.  Even consider building a project team to understand what you want built and you could use a consultancy as they can add appropriate SharePoint language/guidance.  If the tender is clear it helps the supplier provide a concise and accurate tender.  It also avoids the all too common problem whereby the project is agreed and the supplier ends up charging like a wounded buffalo (lots) for tons of change requests.  Holding a short meeting with each supplier helps clarify the Request for Proposal (RFP) document, allows the supplier to get a better understanding of what is required and answer any potential technical questions that will assist the supplier in providing a better proposal.

If the RFP is clear you will find the proposals are a lot easier to compare.  The list below lists what should be included as a minimum in the RFP:
  1. Background (your company and division.  Quest the suppliers background information this must included their SharePoint experience, expertise available, proposed team structure);
  2. Supplier proposed approach (suppliers approach/methodologies);
  3. Aims & objectives of the project;
  4. Project details (details on what you are trying to achieve, do you have a vision for how the solution should be created); 
  5. Technical constraints (technical constraints i.e. do you have a SharePoint 2010 farm, number of users, versions of Software, logical architecture, hardware, current and envisaged usage, remote access, network, state of AD, Office version, users desktop OS); and
  6. Business constraints (Change control, handover, support, training, methodology, existing staff/contractors, access to stakeholders, how do you deploy the solution, DTAP).
Tip: Consider using MS partners, and do due diligence of previous SharePoint projects they have delivered.

    2 comments:

    Sharepoint application development said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Hemant said...

    Few Questions to be answered before you start a SharePoint project
    http://sharepoint.asia/few-questions-to-be-answered-before-you-start-a-sharepoint-project/

    Post a comment