An IT Outsourcing RFP Sample

In contrast to “A $10 million Dollar Outsourcing Failure,” the state of Virginia forges ahead with its IT outsourcing initiative. According to “Three companies are finalists in Va. outsourcing deal,” on Washington Technology Online, CGI-AMS in Fairfax, Virginia and IBM Corp. are contenders for “re-engineering statewide enterprise resource planning components,” which is being overseen by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. And IBM and Northrop Grumman Information Technology Inc. in Herndon, Virginia are vying for the IT infrastructure portion of the contract.

You can read the 40-page request for proposal here. It has some fairly boilerplate terminology in it that you may consider heisting for your own RFPs.

For example, here's how it describes what abilities and capabilities it seeks in the service provider it chooses:

A. Project Management – experience and expertise managing large information technology projects. Includes PMI, or equivalent, certification, as well as experience in establishing Project Management Offices and providing multiple levels of PM expertise, such as in the roles of Project Directors, Sr. Project Managers, Project Managers, and/or Project Coordinators.

B. Experience and expertise in System Development Life Cycle/methodology for IT projects.

C. Knowledge and experience with using modern and emerging technologies.

D. Proven methodologies, policies and procedures for the following project aspects:

1) Budgeting.

2) Deadline management.

3) Deliverables.

4) Staff.

5) Training.

6) Risk management.

7) Change management.

8) Project management.

9) Responsibility and accountability.

E. Ability to provide personnel with the skills necessary to perform major projects successfully.

F. Ability to accept full responsibility for major project implementations.

Provide a minimum of three (3) client engagements demonstrating the existence of the skill sets necessary to accomplish the task associated with the above-described Service areas. Include client contact name and telephone number should additional information be needed.

Here's another interesting section, which describes what the proposals the agency wants to receive from service providers should consist of:

4. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Offerors proposals should be straightforward, clear, well organized, easy to understand, and concise to include the following sections. Proposal responses should be submitted in the order as requested below. (1-16). Proposed pricing must be included with proposal response in a separate, sealed envelope. No other sections may be submitted. Original hardcopy proposals should be bound with tabs delineating each section. The minimum font size is 12 on 8.5 x 11 size paper, and the minimum/maximum numbers of pages for each section is provided below. Offeror shall provide One (1) original hardcopy and (4) softcopies on individual CD-ROMs.

Offerors’ qualifications substantially impact the evaluation process, and will be evaluated based on how well they address the following requirements:

1) Table of Contents

2) Understanding the IT issues facing the Commonwealth (four (4) page maximum) – Describe the IT objectives of the Commonwealth and propose how your organization may assist VITA in reviewing and evaluating PPEA proposals which are proposing initiatives to address these objectives.

3) Strategic partnerships (one (1) page maximum) – Describe the Offerors ability, willingness, and flexibility to establish strategic relationships with subcontractors, as needed.

These strategic partnerships, which should include SWAM partners, will provide VITA with access to a broader range of resources to meet the needs of this solicitation. This does not require the hiring of such SWAM firms but rather requires steps to assure that such firms are given equal opportunity to compete for business and given fair consideration in the selection of firms for such opportunities.

4) Corporate Background and Experience (six (6) page maximum) – Offeror should include information on their corporate organization (history, years in business, size, financial soundness, etc.), experience and skills regarding the offerors’ track record, reputation and past client performance that indicates the capabilities for successful completion or provisions of the requested PPEA consulting and sourcing advisory services. Provide examples of similar major transformation projects that demonstrate Offerors’ experience, qualifications, innovative solutions, and skill sets to meet and perform the tasks, as outlined in Attachment A.

5). Demonstrate expertise and innovative solutions specific to examples of extensive sourcing expertise in large transactions, developing the strategy and structure to evaluate projects that have different scopes of work, establishment of financial benchmarking, technical expertise and service delivery improvement. Five (5) page maximum for overall. Offeror may offer other suggested areas. Sample resumes may be included by the offeror in an appendix that will not count in this five (5) page maximum requirement.

6) Demonstrate expertise and innovative solutions specific to examples of governance structure development and sourcing framework analysis for review, implementation and monitoring of large scale sourcing projects. (Three (3) page maximum.)

7) Describe approach and experience in providing a transfer of knowledge to VITA employees (one (1) page maximum).

8) Describe process by which you will obtain feedback from VITA employees to determine if VITA’s expectations and deliverables were successfully or unsuccessfully met and provide such information in a report to the VITA Contract Administrator (to be provided upon contract award). (One (1) page maximum.)

9) Describe your organization’s task order management methodology (general description or name, not complete copy), including resource management (one (1) page maximum).

10) Explain your organization’s policy on replacing personnel on a job when immediate replacement is requested and your commitment to satisfy the request (one (1) page maximum).

11) Describe your organization’s experience with large, complex organizations in both the public and private sector, in particular experience with large enterprise transformations, including change management.

12) Describe the communication plan and implementation structure to support large complex project and process change. (one (1) page maximum)

13) Describe the general organization of the Account Management Team (no names) (two (2) page maximum) that the Offeror will commit to VITA for the term of this agreement.

VITA realizes that the size and structure of the team may vary depending upon the final provisions of the agreement. Therefore the Offerors are encouraged to provide a “benchmark” organization from which specific services or functions can be found in the proposal, where applicable, to satisfy RFP requirements. The organization description should address the following:

a. Team organization

b. Description of team positions and functions

c. Indicate number of staff to be assigned on a full or part-time basis.

d. Define location of team members

e. Provide “blind” (no name) resumes for all members.

14) Describe your organization’s qualifications and experience in providing strategic analysis with recommendations for efficient/effective delivery of governmental services. (two (2) page maximum).

15) Pricing Options (no page requirements): Provide pricing options that should include solutions such as hourly rates, project based rates, discounted rates for extended timeframes on projects that would vary in size and might be based on hours and hourly rates, fixed price, or innovative pricing solutions. Example of creative solution might be a reduction in normal rates for a project over a certain number of hours or reduction in cost if brought in after due date, or reduced rates for extended time periods on site, etc.

VITA is seeking flexibility and not fixed rates. At a minimum, Offeror shall provide a range of rates for a minimum to maximum pricing schedule for these consulting services.

16) Financing Options (no page requirements): Provide financing or pricing options which should include innovative financing arrangements between VITA and the consulting organization which could provide for cost-sharing, results-oriented financing, supplier provided financing, etc. The pricing proposal is to be provided on a separate CD.

You'll find sections on purpose and background, the statement of needs, deliverables, terms and conditions, payment, default, contract term, termination and cancellation, patent/copyright protection, confidentiality of information, intellectual property, and sections that are particular to government work (instructions for small, women and minority-owned businesses).