Proposal professionals use the term wired to refer to a request for proposal (RFP) they believe is rigged to ensure one company wins. Customers rig an RFP by using specific requirements and evaluation criteria that favor one company versus the competition. Although there are many ways to wire an RFP, here are 10 common methods: Customers select an acquisition vehicle that severely limits the competitive field Resumes are required for all or most positions, even non-management positions Resume requirements reflect obscure or hard-to-find skills, education, or certifications Evaluation criteria (usually >60%) is weighted in favor of resumes and past performance Threshold for using a past performance reference limits the competition Technical requirements are so specific only an incumbent could respond to them Customer’s objectives and technical requirements are so vague they are hard to interpret RFP asks the offeror to respond to multiple sample task orders that are specific Turnaround … Continue reading A 360 degree view of wired RFPs
Do you know how the government really evaluates proposals? Have you ever wondered what they look for when they read through each offer and what they like and dislike when scoring proposals? Not knowing this makes submitting a proposal to the U.S. Government like firing a shot across their bow. What happens on the “other side” is a mystery to most contractors, and debriefs often don’t tell the whole story. Or, even half the story! This is because those who prepare proposals and those who evaluate them have vastly different perspectives. In this webinar, we release the results of our 3-year research project on how the government evaluates proposals and what capture and proposal managers need to know in order to create better, higher-scoring proposals and win more highly competitive bids. Watch the webinar replay to hear Wendy Frieman, Lohfeld Principal Consultant, provide lessons from the “other side of the … Continue reading Q&A Part 2 from 7 secrets from inside government source evaluations and how you can use them to create winning proposals
I regularly hear colleagues at proposal-related events sharing tales of capture and proposal nightmares that would make Stephen King blanch! Most of the time, these scenarios never needed to happen in the first place, and certainly shouldn’t be the repeat occurrences we often see. Here are some thoughts on how to capture, document, and – most importantly – institutionalize lessons learned in your organization. After every proposal (and task order proposal) effort, hold an internal capture and proposal team lessons-learned meeting after a suitable waiting period, especially if it was a lengthy, contentious proposal. Typically, hold the meeting within 1 week of submission or people forget or discount issues. Develop a standard set of questions that you send to the capture and proposal team a couple of days before the meeting, and have folks provide responses before the meeting (and anonymously if practical). Compile the responses, sort them by topic, … Continue reading Capture proposal lessons learned – and then live them!
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana) Over the past 25 years spent managing and submitting thousands of proposals and task order responses, I’ve developed a long list of lessons learned. Of course, I have many proposal section-specific lessons learned that I’ll share in upcoming Lohfeld Insights posts, but here are some of my favorite overall lessons learned: Address solicitation requirements in the required order and substantiate every response. This makes it easier for evaluators to score your proposal. (Include RFP section numbers in your section headings so evaluators can easily cross reference to the RFP.) Evaluators love how compliance matrices save time and demonstrate your thorough response. Always include a compliance matrix – even if it masquerades as the table of contents. Follow solicitation instructions and evaluation criteria to make your response easier to score – help the comic book reviewers/scorers who just … Continue reading Don’t make these mistakes – 12 vital proposal lessons