Workshop Excerpt: How to read & analyze an RFP document
Excerpts from the APMP workshop attended on 4th Aug 2018
When you get a RFX document from customer, what is the first thing you do?
Read an RFX document? Right? To note down the customer challenges/ pain points/ requirements, which will be addressed in your solutions. So how exactly you takeout those crucial “pain points” from the lengthy RFX document, when you have just couple of hours in hands, before getting into the kick-off call?
Simple thing- which we tried in this workshop as well – Read the RFX document and highlight wherever we thought, is a customer issue. Our speaker, KK, gave us one more task to write these issues/ challenges into MECE (Mutually Exclusive, collectively exhaustive) chart.
The challenge here was to avoid temptation of making any assumptions or start thinking of a solution.
Almost all of us ended up writing down less than 4 actual requirements and 10 our own conclusions. These assumption/ conclusions were the result of our years of experience into Presales and analytical mind to figure out customer pain-points so much so that, we step out of our role and try to be a sales guys or the customer itself, right at the very initial stage of the bid.
So the test of assumption vs actual requirement is –
“If it’s an actual requirement, you shall be able to point out the para and line number where it’s written”!
Read the RFX documents in hard-copy (Pen-paper approach proves beneficial rather than an on-screen read)
Use different colors to mark points/ section importance wise (e.g. very crucial/ less important/ value add)
DO NOT ASSUME or CONCLUDE
How to know if it’s an actual requirement or your assumption? If you can show para/ line number where requirement is stated, it’s an actual requirement.
Use MECE technique to grill down to real challenges