This past week, I had the opportunity to respond to an RFP for the first time. I’ve heard the term “RFP” thrown around a lot, but I’ve never had any training or insight about what actually goes on in one. Thanks to the Accenture Challenge, I now have a solid grasp of what it entails.
We, as a group, received the RFP on a Monday, and had to present our solution by Friday. However, Thursday night, we were given a “curveball” and had to change our solution accordingly. Having a solid idea of what our solution was before the curveball was thrown at us turned out to be very helpful. All we had to do is manage the timeline of the solution a little different and allocate some resources in different areas.
The aspect of the Challenge that really helped me learn what actually goes on in a real world situation is the emphasis on cost. Our solution provided a creative approach to their problem with a healthy portion of technological background that supports our solution. However, it’s important to know to whom you are presenting. In our case, it was the high up business executives that couldn’t understand the alphabet soup we had in our presentation. What did they want to know? How much all of our fancy stuff was going to cost! They were looking to make a large investment in their cruise line. They were wanting to know how much they would make off of implementing our solution. We unfortunately didn’t have these pertinent questions answered beforehand: therefore, our presentation didn’t go very well.
It was a learning experience. A good one, at that. Knowing what your audience is going to want to know and hear is important when making a solution and preparing a response. Long story short, money talks.