TArticles tagged with: dwayne baptist

Meritorious Strength

DOD procurements have changed their standard definition of a proposal “Strength”

Have you noticed in recent DOD procurements that their standard definition of a “Strength” has changed, however slightly? I first noticed it when an active major RFP amended its Section M definition as part of an amendment. The change summary said that the government was adding the words “has merit or” to the definition. In context: Strength is an aspect of an Offeror’s proposal that has merit or exceeds specified performance or capability requirements in a way that will be advantageous to the government during contract performance. Our client was thrilled! The client is an industry leader in a highly regulated industry, and the government’s requirements read like a best practices list for the industry. It had been difficult figuring out how our solution exceeded requirements in a way that would be advantageous to the government in contract performance. As we began to consider what this meant to our solution, … Continue reading Meritorious Strength

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How to Win with Risk

Mine these diamonds and you will increase your win rate

I recently attended a conference where an important government technology leader said to industry, “Please don’t come to my office and ask me what is keeping me awake at night! It shows me you don’t understand me or my organization.” He went on to explain that there are lots of things that keep him up at night. His job was to find solutions to those problems. His office puts out plenty of information about their issues and challenges. So, if you want a meeting with him, bring ideas that will deal with the risks so he can succeed. When proposing solutions in government acquisitions, it is important to do your homework and embrace risk as part of your solution. Many companies avoid discussing risk at all. Part of the reason for this is that the government’s requirements address the risks that concern the government; therefore, they do not need to … Continue reading How to Win with Risk

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A Way to Help Project Managers and SMEs Write Better Proposals

Many struggle to contribute responsive and compelling proposal content.

Project managers and SMEs are the backbone of many organizations. They have a combination of technical knowledge and communication skills that effectively feeds needed information to customers, bosses, and subordinates. You would think that such people would be great proposal writers, but many of them struggle to contribute responsive and compelling proposal content. Even those who are champion report writers or study leaders can have problems developing great proposal content. Why is this? Let’s look at the job of a project manager. She is charged with delivering some sort of product or service. Regularly, she must explain the objectives and approaches being taken to deliver that product/service. She is providing information about progress and obstacles, and making recommendations to upper management, customers, even subordinates about courses of action to address the issues and challenges of the moment. Most of her communication is about informing people about aspects the project—about the … Continue reading A Way to Help Project Managers and SMEs Write Better Proposals

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Winning “must win” deals

Understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements

“Oh, by the way, this is a must win deal for us,” my boss said as we concluded our conversation. The RFP had dropped, and I was to lead the final proposal effort. The company was getting ready to graduate from the small business world. Like many, we were looking to win as many small business IDIQ vehicles as we could to cushion our transition. The opportunity fit within our core competencies—but with an agency and government sector new to us. While there had been some pre-RFP activity and team building, it was focused on smaller companies familiar with the sector, but not with the agency. My work was cut out for me! Carefully considering the situation, I determined we needed to do three things to win: Fully understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements. Propose a strong solution to meet both the requirements and the needs. Build in … Continue reading Winning “must win” deals

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