She currently manages the coastal operations with expert knowledge in the following HR policy formulations, organisational development, talent management, recruitment and selection, training and development, facilitating and implementing strategic plans, industrial relations as well as personnel administration including payroll services. She is currently enrolled in the African Directors program with the University of Stellenbosch. Her working experience has been vast and insightful.
An agency seeking consulting services should prepare the RFP with great care. The RFP is at once the calling card, the resume, the annual report, and the marketing brochure of the agency.
Consultants will decide whether to draft a proposal for a particular project based in significant part on the RFP. That RFP should present the community, the agency, and the proposed project accurately and well.
Consultants pay a great deal of attention to the way their proposals are written because they have a lot on the line; agencies should pay equal attention to the writing of RFPs.
Books and seminars on proposal writing are widely available. In comparison, the RFP is a neglected literary form. The Purpose of an RFP Among the purposes of an RFP are eliciting proposals from suitable candidates and, when the RFP is not preceded by a review of qualifications, discouraging responses from those who lack the necessary qualifications.
To that extent, the RFP resembles an ordinary help-wanted ad. However, since the audience for an RFP should be well screened in advance, these are not major concerns. A good RFP is, above all, one that engages the interest of the consultant and elicits creative approaches to the problem.
Once the RFP has stimulated the consultant's interest, the firm is a lot more likely to risk investing in a proposal. A well-written RFP accurately conveys the full scope of the work desired, thereby enabling the consultant to address the project precisely and to make realistic cost estimates.
In addition, the wording of an RFP should enable principals of a consulting firm to recognize whether the firm will be a serious contender for the job, thereby sparing the firm the expense of a useless proposal and sparing the agency the trouble of reading and responding to that proposal. However, the RFP itself should be a relatively brief document.
Even on a rather large or complex project, the various elements can generally be covered in 10 to 25 single-spaced pages. Cover Sheet A lengthy RFP should have a cover sheet giving the RFP title, the project or program title, the name of the issuing entity, and the date the proposal is due.
Introduction The introduction should identify and describe, in no more than a paragraph, the project or program for which the consultant is required and its current status. It should then state briefly the nature of the consulting assistance being sought.
This should be carefully worded. If the job requires an interdisciplinary team, it is best to talk about the end product or type of activity e. Your preferences about the type of firm can be better explained later, in the qualifications section.
The introduction should also state the amount budgeted for the proposed work. Finally, the due date for the proposal should also be included in the introduction, with a reference to the directions for submission that will be described later in the RFP.
Describe the issuing agency and its relationship to other entities if that is not obvious. This suggestion is not necessary for a planning department that is clearly a line agency within a municipal government.
However, it can be very important for intergovernmental agencies and other entities. Names of public authorities and special districts, such as sewer districts, can be particularly misleading. Such an entity is often named after a city, town, or county with which the agency may or may not be coterminous.
The difference should be pointed out, though it need not be explained in detail in the introduction. Description of the Project or Program This section should establish the context for the work to be performed and help the consultant to judge the level of effort required for various tasks.
If the project or program is very complex, the details can be relegated to an appendix or other attachments. The important points to cover here are: Take great care with it because this is the section the consultants will read again and again, weighing its every nuance.
If carelessly written, this section can defeat the purpose of the RFP by misstating the agency's needs or by conveying inaccurate signals about how the proposals will be evaluated. Use commonly understood terms, rather than acronyms or abbreviations.
Do not use general terms like "facilities" if you mean "roads. Although the RFP should certainly identify any critical or mandatory steps in the process, such as public meetings, the proposal process often works best if it leaves the work program open to suggestions from proposing consultants.
Unless the purpose for hiring the consultant is simply to augment staff on a project, the same expertise that the consultant brings to the substantive aspects of the project should enable the consultant to develop a responsive work program.
There are two reasons for encouraging consultants to do so.
First, if the consultant has significant experience with the type of work involved, the consultant's personnel should know more about what should be in such a work program than the agency staff.The following document is a sample of a finished business plan.
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