Why are RFPs always so long?

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Long RFPsI repeatedly mock vendors on several topics on this blog, including their non-constructive habit of sending very long proposals. Yesterday I received a 122 page RFP for review from a higher education institution which reminded me that vendors are not the only ones to blame for long proposals.

How come some of you can’t make the RFP short? A long RFP does not guarantee a high-quality response and some successful vendors might simply be too busy to respond to lengthy RFP’s. Short RFP’s really are considered best practice. Let me highlight some of the common symptoms and bad habits I have come across:

As a rule of thumb, a vendor will never make their proposal any shorter than the RFP. This means that if you issue a 100 pg. RFP to 10 vendors, you can expect to receive more than 1,000 pages for your perusal. Have fun!

Thanks to Martin Risgaard (@Risgaard), Philippe Parker (@proops) and Zahoor Hussain (@izahoor) for valuable input.

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