Successful Projects Start with Better RFPs

How-to Session
Eric Holter, Cuberis, USA, Emily Lytle-Painter, Independent, USA

Published paper: Successful projects start with better RFPs

Writing an RFP is daunting to many. The process to request proposals from firms or contractors to begin a new digital project is not in most museum professionals’ job descriptions. The RFP presents a number of problems to the person tasked with writing it: the document is protective due to fears on both the side of the museum and the side of potential firm; it is bloated due to neglect or a multitude of stakeholder requests; and, submitting an RFP alone incorrectly attempts to automate a process built on good museum-to-firm relationships. We suggest solutions to fix this broken process, improve the RFP document, and ultimately help staff start digital projects from a better place. Shifting the RFP process and document to focus on building the right foundation for a successful relationship between museum and firm will ultimately lead to a more successful project.   

Christian Knoebel, (2016) How We Picked a Web Design Agency (Hint: We Threw Away the Usual RFP).

Carolyn Royston, (2015) Critique: Leadership Meet Digital, Digital Meet Leadership.

Alyson Webb, (2015) Designing digital services: getting from visitor needs to RFP.

Morgan Holzer, (2012) From Proposal to Payoff: Three Museums Get It Done.

Diane Andolsek, (2004). The RFP Process: From Request Through Proposal