Insights Blog

The Proposal of the Future

Focus your attention on ways to grab and keep the evaluators attention by modernizing your writing.

This article was originally published on February 28, 2020 on APMP-NCA ezine. Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. – “Back to the Future”, 1985 Dr. Brown was wrong, we still need roads. The cars may have changed, and some of them don’t need human drivers, but roads are still heavily traveled. Similarly, some may predict that our future procurement world will eliminate the need for written proposals. After all, if Presidents can tweet policy directions, why bother writing a full-length proposal? Maybe the future will simply involve videos or video-conferencing, technical challenges, and/or orals. Here we are in 2020, and things have certainly changed quite a bit in the last 20 years or so, but not to the extent we might have predicted. The written proposal is still, for the most part, the road to a win or loss. However, the written proposal will change in the … Continue reading The Proposal of the Future

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Using mind maps for proposal management activities

Visually generate, organize, structure, analyze, and classify ideas or information

I teach a proposal management class and use mind map examples for some of the lesson topics. I’m often surprised to learn that many of my students are not familiar with the mind map concept. In this article, I briefly introduce mind mapping and provide a few examples of how your proposal team can use mind maps as you prepare your proposal. What is a mind map? A mind map is a diagram used to visually generate, organize, structure, analyze, and classify ideas or information. It is an effective tool to capture and analyze information generated in brainstorming sessions. It facilitates collaboration, communication, learning, visual thinking, and problem solving. Mind maps can be used for planning, making decisions, and to facilitate outlining and writing. To create a mind map, you begin with a central concept/topic and develop related subtopics or themes around the central topic, connecting each to the center … Continue reading Using mind maps for proposal management activities

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A winning proposal isn’t always the best

A proposal can be the winner for reasons unrelated to proposal quality

This article was originally published March 4, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com Is a winning proposal a good proposal? Some argue that by definition, yes, a win is a good proposal. However, we all know that a proposal can be the winner for reasons unrelated to proposal quality—such as a price shoot out. Therefore, when we look back at our win-loss track record, we miss a lot of important data if wins and losses are the only measures of successful performance. As a result, we may re-use a poor-quality proposal or dismiss a losing proposal that has some successful elements. Are your proposals good? In a Deltek webinar, Bob Lohfeld polled the audience to ask: “Are your proposals compliant, responsive, AND compelling?” Interestingly, only 15 percent of 150-plus respondents believed that their proposals were consistently achieving all three measures of quality. Another 35 percent responded that their proposals sometimes achieved all three. … Continue reading A winning proposal isn’t always the best

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COVID-19: What Can Federal Contractors Do?

Take advantage of delays and downtime

This article was originally published March 17, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com The primary impact is that everyone involved in Federal procurement – acquisition professionals, Federal contractors, and others – is busy rearranging personal affairs. Making sure you, those you love, and everyone in your community is safe is what should be the primary concern. But once the dust settles, the short- and long-term impacts will become apparent. Predictions and Best Guesses While we can’t predict the full extent of the impact at this time, change is happening. Some best guesses: Procurement delays: Upcoming procurements are slipping to the right, whether that means RFP release or due dates. These delays are due to the Government focusing on emergency acquisitions as well as the loss of productivity as employees work and/or recover from illness at home. Travel: Non-essential travel is banned as are large gatherings. The Government cannot host in-person industry days, site … Continue reading COVID-19: What Can Federal Contractors Do?

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