Additional RFP points

Rob Spectre left the following as a comment to yesterday’s article on the example RFP. It’s so good it deserves its own post. You can view his Gonzo blog at www.dreamnotoftoday.com.

1) Require a submitted portfolio with references. Five sites with traffic levels doing more than 40k monthly uniques you can verify with independent services like Compete or Quantcast with a good sprinkling of both technical and business contacts.

2) Always have a MSA, SoW, and SLA. The first is the Master Services Agreement (MSA) and contains the general terms of the contract with appropriate indemnification, jurisdiction, and penalties for breach. Second is the Statement of Work (SoW) which serves as the gospel for the project; the full list of all deliverables, their delivery dates, and the delivery acceptance terms. Finally, the Service Level Agreement (SLA) contains the specific terms governing support. These three documents serve as the context for a successful relationship and ensure all the sticking points in a web dev project are clearly defined before it is engaged.

3) The right partner is more important than your tech organization’s favorite scripting language. Java, PHP, Python, and Flash all have standard best practices surrounding their implementation on the modern web and have examples of very high scale. More important than the language is the ability to deliver on time and provide consistent support after launch. A vendor insisting on Ruby on Rails with a 24/7 support line is infinitely more valuable than a vendor with the most elegant PHP yet written who is chronically unavailable on weekend / holiday outages.

4) The site must have comprehensive web analytics support. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Whatever your analytics package of choice (Google, Omniture, WebTrends, awStats, etc), be sure the SoW includes a *full* integration beyond a little javascript cookie in the footer of each page. Before you launch, you must be able to verify full path segmentation, defined funnels for each of your goal pipelines, and being able to track each visitor’s conversion to both the lead *and* the sale.

We’ll be adding this content to the RFP when we add it to the resources page in a few weeks after all suggestions are in.

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Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES

twitter.com/traffas | aarontraffas.com | aarontraffasband.com

Aaron Traffas, CAI, AMM, CES, is an auctioneer from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. He is currently community evangelist for Purple Wave in Manhattan, Kansas. Aaron serves as the current president of the Kansas Auctioneers Association and in the past has served on the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees. He is a past instructor at CAI and co-wrote and instructed the ATS designation course from NAA. He currently instructs the Internet Auction Methods course offered by the NAA. An active contract bid caller, he has competed in multiple state auctioneer contests including placing twice within the top 5 in Kansas. During the summer, Aaron operates a farm in south central Kansas. Aaron is an active singer and songwriter and the Aaron Traffas Band's latest release, Enter: The Wind, can be found at iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.