When to Start Working on Your Contract Recompete


When working towards securing a successful recompete, the journey begins long before the capture manager steps into the picture. The key lies in early preparation and strategic groundwork, which can significantly enhance your chances of winning the bid. Here are some tips for ensuring a winning recompete strategy before the capture manager’s arrival.

1. Lay the Foundation from Day 1

Transitioning from contract initiation sets the stage for the recompete. Strive for a seamless transition that maintains ongoing operations and exceeds all promises made in the initial proposal. Focus on delivering high-quality results and meeting the transition schedule, including full staffing, to build a solid foundation for future success.

2. Excel in Operations Post-Transition

After the transition, maintain an unwavering commitment to operational excellence. Compliance with standards, surpassing customer expectations, and proactive risk mitigation all contribute to demonstrating your team’s capability. Retaining staff, rapidly filling vacancies, and fostering a productive work environment showcase your dedication to maintaining an exceptional track record.

3. Earn Exceptional CPARs

Starting in the first quarter of your contract, discuss how the customer defines exceptional performance across all evaluated Contractor Performance Rating System (CPARS) criteria. Use the customer’s feedback to develop and implement an action plan that consistently aligns with customer expectations. Engage the customer in regular discussions to evaluate your performance and verify that you stay on track.

4. Maintain an Updated Arsenal of Proposal Assets

Waiting until the last minute to update proposal assets is a common mistake. Keep your past performance records current and use these accomplishments to substantiate your CPARS scores. Regularly refresh resumes to reflect your team’s evolving skills and expertise. Organize commendations, letters of appreciation, and awards in your content management system to demonstrate your consistent superior contract support.

5. Craft a Winning Strategy Well in Advance

Developing a comprehensive win strategy well ahead of the recompete timeline positions you for success. By gathering essential information, formulating a high-level solution, and estimating staffing needs, you’ll be well-prepared to address the upcoming bid. Identifying potential solution gaps and the right subcontractors to fill them while addressing risks and opportunities for innovation furthers your progress.

6. Collaborate with the Capture Manager

Your efforts in the early stages of your contract will provide a solid foundation for collaborating with the capture manager, and your team will be well-prepared to fine-tune the recompete strategy and implement the capture process.


The road to recompete success begins with strategic foresight and meticulous planning. Initiating your preparations from day 1 of the contract, achieving operational excellence, maintaining customer-centricity, and crafting a winning strategy well in advance all contribute to securing victory. As you collaborate with the capture manager, your early efforts will pave the way for a compelling recompete proposal that stands out among the competition. Remember, the journey to success starts long before the capture manager’s arrival.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.