Insights Blog

How COVID has changed successful proposal writing

Federal government contractors must adjust best-practice techniques in our new normal.

This article was originally published February 3, 2021 on WashingtonTechnology.com The COVID-19 pandemic impacts our attention spans—both negatively and positively. In a world of digital distractions, our customers already suffer from a lack of focus due to multi-tasking, stress, information overload, and Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Proposal content must speak to Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) officials dealing with the disruptions caused by working at home and the resulting pandemic meeting fatigue. Targeted information More information is not necessarily better, but personalized, targeted information is. Federal government contractors must adjust best-practice techniques in our new normal. Verbalizing and writing succinct, high-quality information nuggets grabs and holds wandering minds and is central to perform effective capture and to write winning proposals. High quality begins with understanding the customer and tailoring content to their values, constraints, risks, and hot buttons. Yet, while pandemic stress may make customers lose focus, it may also have … Continue reading How COVID has changed successful proposal writing

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Staffing Rationale

How the number, type, and mix of personnel you propose offers the best value to the customer

How many staff members does it take to turn a widget running at 1,000 miles an hour? A staffing rationale explains how the number, type, and mix of personnel you propose offers the best value to the customer. Staffing rationale can improve your proposal score A convincing staffing rationale improves your proposal score and mitigates the risk that the customer will find a weakness in your staffing approach or the basis of estimate (BOE) used to develop the price. A good staffing rationale can improve your proposal score by explaining how the number, type, and mix of personnel you propose increases productivity, decreases operations costs, eliminates skill gaps, supports work surges, and improves the customer experience using quantitative and/or qualitative data to support the estimate. Use complementary estimation methods To explain how many widget turners you need, you can use several complementary estimation methods: Historic data points. Using historic data, you … Continue reading Staffing Rationale

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Use a wall of truth to standardize your writing and save time

Reduce compliance, requirements, and legal issues

Do you want to improve the quality and consistency of a proposal? If so, consider adopting a “Wall of Truth” document. A Wall of Truth spells out a standard set of rules for brand and word usage, grammar, spelling, and document formatting. If everyone is trained in the use of the Wall of Truth rules, you can reduce compliance, requirements, and legal issues; decrease production costs, and improve consistency. Proposal managers must update the Wall of Truth to reflect each new RFP’s instructions and terminology. If proposals managers place it in the draft proposal and limit it to 1-2 pages in length, they can facilitate its usage by writers and editors. Get your Wall of Truth started using the following sample. 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 … Continue reading Use a wall of truth to standardize your writing and save time

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Turn that losing streak around now (or avoid a losing streak in the first place!)

Our 10 tips to help you

Nothing is more frustrating than a string of losing proposals. It demoralizes the bid and proposal (B&P) team, wastes B&P funds, and results in operations personnel losing their jobs. Despite observing some impressive losing streaks, Lohfeld Consulting Group has seen many companies turn losing streaks around. We consolidated some of our observations into the following 10 tips to help you turn around (or avoid!) a losing streak. Tip #1: Reflect Conduct lessons-learned reviews to evaluate your proposals’ strengths, weaknesses, and costs. Analyze the customers’ debriefs to assess your scores against all evaluated criteria. Contract with an unbiased third-party to assess your proposals and recommend improvements. Tip #2: Formulate your game plan Create a step-by-step plan and schedule for converting your lessons learned into actionable tasks. Implement milestone reviews and metrics to measure and assess your progress. Tip #3: Re-evaluate your pipeline Evaluate your business pipeline to verify you are bidding … Continue reading Turn that losing streak around now (or avoid a losing streak in the first place!)

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