If you are looking to hire an custom app development company for a mobile app project, the first document required is a mobile app RFP. Companies who want to build a mobile app need to write a request for proposal (RFP) that contains all the important information, requirements, and necessary details of the contract. A mobile app RFP helps you to collect proposals from various app development companies. Now, you can evaluate them based on their expertise and pick the best development partner for your project.

What is a mobile app RFP?

Mobile app RFP is a document used by both client and app development companies to establish an understanding of project requirements.  It is issued by a company to state what type of mobile app they are looking for and what would be their criteria to select the vendor. It involves a team at a company, to come together and discuss various aspects of the RFP like requirements, timeline, budget, approval process and other parameters. A well-written RFP also helps vendors to receive more accurate information regarding the mobile app project and decide if they want to bid or not.

Finding the best partner to build your mobile app is not easy, It requires homework to define what you need. A request for a proposal makes that process easier for you.

At Simpalm, we have received many requests for proposals for mobile app projects since 2010 from several enterprises, institutes and nonprofits. As a vendor, we know what should constitute a great RFP.  To make it easier for companies, we have created a mobile app RFP template that you can use to easily create your own RFP.

Mobile App RFP Template

If you would like to download the word format of the Mobile App RFP, you can download it from here.

Click Here

  • Strategy

  • Design

  • Development

  • Support

Step by step guide to write a mobile app RFP

Simpalm has created a detailed guide to write a mobile app RFP. So it will be easier for companies to prepare an RFP that is standardized and covers all aspects of mobile app development.

1. About the Organization

Here you can describe your organization, your mission and goals.

2. About the Project

Here you can provide a high level overview of the project including objectives, scope, challenges, and how the application will facilitate the users. Describe application capabilities, values, and importance for organizations. How it will change and improve your existing operations.

3. Audience of the App

Describe the demography of the audience who would be the users of the app. Identify and list all the users and their access level.

4. Scope of the Project

  • Design: Describe if the vendor is supposed to create detailed wireframes and visual designs.
  • Mobile Apps: Describe if a vendor has to develop mobile apps on iOS or Android or both the platforms.
  • Backend Database: Describe if the vendor has to develop the backend database to store the data in the app. If the backend database will be provided by the company not the vendor, need to describe the details of the database.
  • Admin Panel:  Describe if the vendor has to build an Admin Panel for the mobile apps that will manage the content of the apps.

5. Technical Requirements

In this section you should mention the technical requirements of different components of the scope like Design, Mobile Apps, Backend, and Admin. This helps vendors to easily understand the scope.

A. Scoping and Design:

Describe if the client will provide the written requirements or requirements will be written by the vendor. Also describe if the vendor has to create the detailed wireframes of the application or if the wireframes will be provided by the app development company. Here, you can also outline the number of screens required in the app. Give deatils of your app design preference. Does it follow the same design pattern of your website? You can provide color options, layout, icons, and navigation style.

B. Mobile App Requirements

This is the most important section and you may want to cover all aspects of your app requirements. You can write a list of required features and functions, technology consideration, method for building an app (native or cross platform), support for number of platforms and third-party integrations (connecting app with SMS gateway, payment gateway, external device to collect data). Describe if you want to view analytics and app usage (user activity, sessions, userbase). 

Here you can also describe if the app has to be developed in a number of phases and breakdown features and functions to be implemented in each phase. This is necessary to prepare a structured business plan and monitor app development progress along with customer feedback.

C. Backend Database Requirement

You should mention what type of backend database you require the vendor to create. Describe your preference (like AWS, Google Firebase, and Microsoft Azure). Describe what types of backend APIs (REST/JSON) should be coded. 

D. Admin Panel Requirements

Describe if you need a web based administrative panel to edit/update or delete the content and media of the mobile application. Also cover what items you want to add in the app, how often you will update the content/pages of the mobile app. Describe if you want to monitor user accounts, user posts and block their account/post. Describe admin user roles and their permission level to make necessary updates in mobile apps.

E. Support and Maintenance Requirements

Each and every project needs support from the technical team, you need to describe what level of support and maintenance you need initially. Also, you need to mention if you require continuous enhancements as well.

Read More: Mobile App Development Checklist

6. Project Timeline

You describe when you plan to start the project and when you expect the apps to be launched. Your expected timeline may not match with the timeline required to build the quality solution, however, your timeline expectations will give some idea to the vendor and they can align their proposed timeline to your expected timeline. You should also state how flexible you are with the timeline. You should ask vendor to show the timeline for following phases separately:

  • Describe the timeline for the design phase.
  • Describe the timelines for the development phase.

7. Budget

If you have a budget range already planned, you can mention that in the budget section. If you don’t have any idea, you can mention that you are looking for vendors to come up with the best budget quotes. You should ask the vendor to breakdown the budget by various components of the scope. 

8. Proposal Timeline

Describe how quickly you want to complete Project discovery and requirement gathering sessions. Once you send requirements to app development vendors, mention how soon you want them to provide feedback with a set of questions and suggestions. Then a pre-planned timeline to receive quotations from app development teams.

9. Proposal Format

In this section you can describe what you are looking to see in the proposal. It could be any of these topics or any other topic.

  • Company Overview
  • Past Performance
  • Proposed solution and team
  • Proposed methodology 
  • Cost Estimation and Timeline to complete the project
  • Demonstration of Design and Development Process 
  • Client Reference

Submissions should include:

  • Scope of Service (including any assumptions)
  • Timeline for development
  • Samples of live products to review
  • List of 3-5 clients for references
  • Plan for training/transfer of product
  • Costs for project
  • Proposed Timeline and Process
  • Costs for additional development/support after transfer of project

10. Evaluation Criteria

We have prepared an evaluation criterion for vendors to fulfill our requirements. See the table below to complete and respond at the best level.

Task Selection Percentage

Proposal Submission
Work Experience 20%
Cost & Timeline to complete the
Presentation 20%
Project Staff & Client Reference 10%
Proposed Solution & Support 10%

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    Piyush Jain

    Piyush Jain is the CEO and Founder of Simpalm. He leads the business and engineering team to build the mobile and web product solution for clients. He loves to write thought leadership articles on IoT, Mobile, Blockchain, BigData, Web and other software technologies.