- Organizations distribute a poorly conceived RFP
- Organizations assume web design companies are also strategy consultants
- Organizations expect web design companies to make technology recommendations
- Organizations are ill-prepared for a high-level of participation during the project
- Organizations fail to create a clear post-launch plan
Once upon a time…
Company X decided they needed a new website. Sara, their twenty-four year old junior marketing assistant, is assigned to write the RFP and come back the following week with three proposals. This is Sara’s first big assignment, and she’s never written an RFP before. Desperate for answers, Sara trusted the search engines and typed in “Web Designers Washington DC”. She picked three random companies she thought may be qualified, based on the fact that their websites had the prettiest pictures. Then, Sara Googled “sample RFP for website projects”, copied and pasted the results onto her company letterhead, and proudly replaced the author’s name with her own.
The lucky web design firms that received Sara’s Request for Proposal were very excited and quickly replied: “We look forward to this great opportunity”. Steve, the sales guy at SweetWebDesign Inc., rifled through Company X’s website to gain some insight on their organization. Steve found the names of the top executives, pictures from a recent tradeshow, and directions to an upcoming corporate picnic. After five minutes of research Steve was prepared and ready to get started.
Steve wrote the proposal like he wrote every other proposal. He copied and pasted his list of services and technologies into a nice layout, and put Company X’s logo on the front cover. He sat in his chair for a few minutes, toggled between his proposal and Company X’s client list, and made a best-guess on a bottom-line price-tag. He based his assumption on Company X’s industry type, annual revenues, number of employees, and client list, as well as the amount it would take to hit his quarterly sales goal. Steve thinks he did an awesome job coming in right under their project budget.
You might laugh, but this is the typical process for most organizations starting a website project. However, the problem can be fixed – next, I’ll present a sensible solution. Click here for Part 2.