Good projects start with clear, straightforward communication. Unfortunately, some requests for proposals, or RFPs, we receive are anything but. This isn't our clients' fault: our industry hasn't done much to educate them on how to approach studios with their project.
The whole RFP process is awkward. Frankly, agencies like Airbag would be better off if we provided an intuitive way for potential clients to outline a scope of work.
Sure, there are studios out there with a requirements document that clients can download, fill out, and send back via email. But after years of reading through these forms, I can tell you that they're often confusing, and rarely completed in the detail requested. What follows is a clumsy ballet of follow-up emails, phone calls, voice mail, faxes, and sometimes people in brown uniforms delivering packages.
When trying to think through this problem, I realized it'd be great if potential Airbag clients could send us a concise, descriptive business letter, instead of the usual dashed-off email or the twenty pages-long write-up of various business rules.
After drafting said letter, I took it to the boys and together we created a simple application that starts off by asking a few questions, and ends with a well-crafted business request. We've created something that should help future clients provide just enough information about their needs that doesn't require any second-guessing. It's a fun, great way to put clients' minds at easeat the time when they're traditionally the most overwhelmed.
For now, it's called the Airbag Work Requisition Form and I'd invite you to check it outespecially the cool video Ryan put together. With the help of future clients we're going to kick the tires on this thing, and see if it really helps improve communication between clients and agencies.