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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Request for Proposal
Author:
Bud Porter-Roth
ISBN:
0 201 77575 1
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
307pp
Price:
£30-99
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
internet
Appeared in:
15-2
I chose this book because in the last few months I have been reading a few Requests for Proposals (RFPs), which made me curious about the qualities of a good RFP and the process of writing one. The book is both useful for people writing RFPs and for those who write proposals. It describes the whole process: from the intention to write an RFP to choosing the winning supplier. This book can be of a tremendous help if you are new to writing RFPs and also if you are involved in writing a bid or just have to read an RFP to start the work to fulfil a contract.

The structure of this book is good, with 7 chapters describing the different phases and parts of writing an RFP. Even the 60 pages of appendices provide useful templates and checklists; they have a real value, which is not the case in many books. The author repeats himself a bit in some of the chapters. An annoying fact for me was that the chapters do not contain numbered subsections. Only bold headers indicate the subsections.

A strong point of the book is that it makes you think about the process of writing the RFP and the actual text you write. Are the requirements unambiguous, measurable, meaningful and complete? Many important points are explained, many of which you might not think if you are new to writing RFPs.

By writing your RFP in a very structured way, you facilitate yourself in the evaluation of the bids you receive. The resulting proposals are more likely in a format that you require. The first step is RFP Planning and Preparation. When you write the Administrative Requirements section, you explain the process of bidding and the selection procedures your company is going to follow. An important section in an RFP is of course the Technical Requirements section. One must make sure that the person who writes a bid can easily make a distinction between the specifications and the requirements. In the Management Requirements Section you invite the suppliers to describe their experience in managing projects and in the pricing section you try to invite the supplier to quote his prices broken down, so you can easily compare the prices between the different suppliers.