Often, the seeds of success — or failure — of federal IT projects are planted in the Request for Proposals (RFPs) themselves. A well-written RFP, with clearly defined business objectives and technical direction, will increase the chances of a successful project. A poorly written RFP, on the other hand, will expose you to such risks as overbidding to compensate for uncertainty, vendor lock-in, and catastrophic failure due to miscommunication and misunderstanding. These problems will likely send you down a long and painful path of technical rework, contract modifications, and cost and schedule overruns. You don’t want that. The taxpaying public doesn’t want that. And neither does 18F.

That’s why 18F Consulting is now offering RFP Ghostwriting and Review as a service to federal agencies.

Through this new service, 18F is leveraging the experience of more than 70 designers, developers, and product specialists to assist with your next RFP. These individuals are recognized experts in modern digital best practices, including user-centered design, agile development, application programming interfaces (APIs), and open source technologies. With these types of technical brains at your service, we can help you craft an RFP that increases your acquisition project’s probability of success.

18F Consulting Services

These are the types of questions we ask as we’re reviewing RFPs:

  1. Based on the need you’re trying to address, are you making appropriate uses of the various software development methods (for example, agile, waterfall)?
  2. How can you most effectively include considerations for user-centered design and development?
  3. Where are there opportunities to incorporate proven, commodity IT solutions (for example, Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) over expensive custom-built solutions)?
  4. Are you making appropriate use of open source to get access to large communities supporting reliable, inexpensive software?
  5. What explicit, results-oriented success criteria will you use to evaluate the success of the project?
  6. Have you provided potential bidders sufficient clarity to remove uncertainty and lower the expected bid price, without over-specifying how the work will be done?
  7. Have you modularized the architecture of your system? Do you have modularized contracting to support it?
  8. Are you maximizing the benefits of each of the plays from the USDS Digital Playbook?

What’s the best way for you to engage 18F Consulting for RFP Ghostwriting? We offer this service on a cost-reimbursable basis under the authority of the Economy Act. A simple Interagency Agreement is all that’s required to retain our service.

Ready to get started? So are we. Please get in touch with us to discuss next steps.