Writing a request for proposal (RFP) like a hot young startup is as easy as enlisting White House digital services agency 18F. A new RFP Ghostwriting and Review service offers federal agencies the expertise of the 18F’s designers and technologists to ensure projects get started on the right foot.

Offered on a cost-reimbursable basis through the Economy Act, 18F intends to help agencies avoid common RFP pitfalls such as poorly-defined objectives, which can lead to overbidding, vendor lock-in or ultimate project failure.

In a March 30 blog post, 18F announced the new service, explaining that its agency members are knowledgeable “in modern digital best practices, including user-centered design, agile development, application programming interfaces (APIs), and open source technologies. … We can help you craft an RFP that increases your acquisition project’s probability of success.”

Through a series of questions, 18F identifies the pertinent details, and then draws on experience to draft an RFP that will get the best results. Focuses include desired software development methods, user-centered design, off-the-shelf solutions, open source approaches, results-oriented benchmarking, and others.

Federal agencies interested in the RFP Ghostwriting and Review service need only obtain an interagency agreement and contact 18F for help.