Past performance – the wealth of a company

(And the winning difference!)

The wealth of a company is in its employees. A company’s employees ensure that company produces and delivers high-quality services on schedule. Employees develop innovations, improve the company’s value, and satisfy their customers daily. When customers praise a company, they usually direct their praise at an individual or team. When a business wins a contract, it’s because they had fewer weaknesses and more strengths in their proposal than other businesses, and they substantiated their strengths with proof points.

So if the work of the staff is so important, why do companies put such a low priority on recording the past performance of their employees? Some companies do not maintain a plan or schedule for updating their past performance. In some companies, a culture arises where program managers feel it is unimportant. In other companies, proposal staff are too busy with proposals to develop and manage past performance. There are a myriad of reasons why, but in the end, past performance is either not updated or inadequately updated.

To have the past performance and proof points at your fingertips that document your approaches, record your accomplishments, and reflect your customer’s satisfaction, consider putting these policies into place:

  • Develop a company policy and schedule for updating your past performance annually;
  • Train your project managers and lead subject matter experts how to write a standard past performance about their project that can be mined for subsequent bids;
  • Train your project managers to encourage their customers to write kudo emails or letters of appreciation for work well done and incorporate them into the past performance;
  • Update the past performance during the year as needed to reflect significant changes to the project; and
  • Audit past performance to ensure it complies with company policies and is responsive to RFP instructions, rich in proof points, and well written.

Recognize or reward those who develop your past performance because well-written past performance can mean the difference between winning and losing a bid.

By Brenda Crist, Managing Director, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow