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?
This article was originally published January 10, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com Proposal color team reviews don’t work. Why? In many cases, proposal reviewers make two critical mistakes: They read the proposal as if it was a novel, instead of scoring and rating it according to the evaluation criteria. They get tired of arguing about their comments, so they come to consensus—which really means they succumb to groupthink. These mistakes often result in a proposal that not only fails to offer a value proposition rich in discriminating strengths, in some cases it is non-compliant. Your proposal is not a novel Internal color team reviewers often derail your win because they don’t fully understand how the government evaluates and scores the proposal. They think the proposal should tell a story, and they comment on the merits of that story. In reality, government evaluators have a scoresheet to complete based solely on evaluation factors … Continue reading Beware the dangers of groupthink
Federal Government evaluators do not read your proposal; they score it. Observed features with proven benefits that have merit beyond mere acceptability are scored as Strengths. The bidder with the best and possibly the most Strengths wins in a best value trade-off. Yet, when we conduct internal color team reviews, we tend to gather comments (many comments!) rather than scoring and rating the proposal. We try to resolve conflicts on comments rather than trying to improve Strengths and mitigate Weaknesses, Deficiencies and Risks from the customer perspective. I have written extensively on how to improve color team reviews using Lohfeld Consulting Group’s seven quality measures and Mock Source Selection Evaluation Board reviews using Government scoresheets. These are excellent ways to use our Subject Matter Experts to cost effectively score the proposal and give you honest feedback in the manner of a Government debrief. Another cost-effective strategy is training. Our Strength-Based Proposal … Continue reading Transform Color Team Reviews with Training
It’s Thursday. Time for another proposal color team review. The Proposal Manager is faced with one of these all-too-familiar scenarios. Scenario 1: Reviewers call the baby ugly The color team reviewers conclude that the proposal stinks. They don’t really know why, but they don’t like it. They offer recommendations, some of which are actionable, some of which are compliant, but none of which improve the proposal quality. Some of the reviewers never read the RFP thoroughly, so their comments must be taken with a grain of salt. Scenario 2: Reviewers suggest improving the win themes The review team couldn’t find any win themes. They recommend that the proposal team goes back to the drawing board and come up with features, benefits and proofs. However, since the capture team never briefed reviewers on Voice of the Customer, they provide no counsel on which of these win themes would resonate with reviewers. … Continue reading Are your proposal review teams derailing the win?