Insights Blog

Lessons Learned in Strength-Based Winning® from GAO’s Protest Docket

The best sources to learn about how the government grades best value competitions

One of the best sources to learn about how the government grades best value competitions is the General Accountability Office (GAO) Protest Docket. The Docket explains the proposal requirements, how the government graded the proposal, and provides their justification for the score. The five cases presented below from GAO’s November Protest Docket provide lessons we can use to improve proposals. We deleted references to the solicitation name, protester, and winners(s) to focus on key messages from GAO’s findings. Agency: Defense Mission Agency (MDA) The Score: The protester’s proposal had 4 strengths, 2 weaknesses, 5 significant weaknesses, and 3 deficiencies. According to the government, the proposal did not demonstrate technical knowledge in multiple areas that are important to the MDA mission. The Issue: With 3 deficiencies the government stated that the proposal was “unawardable” due to the unacceptable rating under a key mission capability factor. The Source Selection Authority (SSA) found … Continue reading Lessons Learned in Strength-Based Winning® from GAO’s Protest Docket

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Did GSA get it wrong on Alliant 3?

I think GSA came up short in three areas

UPDATED December 19, 2022 GSA released its draft for the Alliant 3 procurement on October 19, 2022 and is accepting bidder comments until January 6, 2023. You can submit your comments to A3DraftRFP@GSA.Gov using the comment template released with the draft RFP. I’ve been through the Alliant 3 draft, and I think GSA came up short in three areas. First, it failed to state the number of points needed to win a seat on its new contract. Second, it capped the number of winners at 60, and third, it failed to take advantage of all the lessons learned when it crafted the OASIS+ Draft Request for Proposal. 1. Unpublished award score GSA is not disclosing the number of points needed to win the new Alliant 3 contract and instead is saying it will award to the 60 highest-scoring bidders. If GSA proceeds with an unpublished award score, it invites protests … Continue reading Did GSA get it wrong on Alliant 3?

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Winning business without a proposal

Identify the contracts that can support organic growth

You can win new business without writing a proposal using organic growth best practices. In fact, industry executives expect their project management staff to grow contracts by 5-10% annually using organic growth best practices. Eliminate non-starters So how do you grow your business organically? First, identify which contracts cannot accommodate organic growth. Those contracts are usually nearing their dollar ceiling and end of their period of performance or whose customers cannot afford to add funds to a contract. Tips for organic business growth Once you identify the contracts that can support organic growth, determine if the customer has business required outside the scope of the current contract and the ability to add the work and funds to your existing contract. For example, good candidates for organic growth are customers with the following: New objectives that can be fulfilled on your contract. New or changing business requirements. Needs for modernization. Work … Continue reading Winning business without a proposal

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Run your next proposal review like the government

Using the government’s review process to evaluate your proposals leads to a more realistic assessment of your score

There is a dichotomy between the way industry and government Source Selection Evaluation Boards (SSEBs) run proposal reviews. In industry, reviewers read the entire proposal and make in-line recommendations concerning how to improve each section. Industry evaluators also verify that suitable win themes are present. How the government reviews proposals In contrast, the government grades the proposal using a score sheet based on the evaluation criteria listed in the request for proposal (RFP). In most cases, you can find the evaluation criteria in the RFP’s Section M. The RFP also explains the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) criteria the government uses to evaluate the proposal. For example, if the government uses FAR Part 15, it is rating your proposal on a best-value scale using a numeric, adjectival, or confidence rating. As part of the rating scheme, they evaluate your proposal according to strengths, weaknesses, significant weaknesses, deficiencies, and risks. Government evaluators … Continue reading Run your next proposal review like the government

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