12. Put yourself in the vendor’s shoes.
When you have that final draft of the RFP complete, do yourself a favor. Read it again as if you were a vendor that knows nothing about your company or project. Odds are, you will find all sorts of missing information: acronyms that only you know the meaning of, missing basic company data or data about an existing system. You will often also see incomplete descriptions of the desired features or assumptions based on knowing how your company processes work. When that review is complete, you should hand the whole package to someone else in your company, preferably in another department, that has had nothing to do with the RFP process. The questions they come up with will likely save you a lot of pain when you send out the package.
Rich Anderson is the president of Phare Consulting, a firm providing technology and growth strategies for the security industry. A 25-year veteran of high tech electronics, Mr. Anderson previously served as the VP of Marketing for GE Security and the VP of Engineering for CASI-RUSCO. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.