TArticles tagged with: orals

Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 1 of 4

We’ve all heard the war stories around the office coffee pot and at industry events and cringed, thinking, “Wow! I’ll make sure that NEVER happens to one of my proposal efforts.” There are as many potential disasters waiting out there, however, as there are RFPs in the Cloud – and I’m sure we’d all rather learn from someone else’s horror story than become the originator of a classic ourselves! I recently asked a number of my colleagues to share their favorite war stories – and tell us what they learned from the experience. Here is part 1 of my 4-part series on capture and proposal war stories. I was in an organization that decided to bid on a job where we did not know the customer, the customer did not know us, a well-loved incumbent was in place, we only had a 75% solution for performing the job, and our … Continue reading Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 1 of 4

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Don’t make these mistakes – 12 vital proposal lessons

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

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4 Variables to consider while preparing orals presentations

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual. –Vincent Lombardi Today, many agencies use orals presentations, in addition to written proposals, to gauge the technical knowledge and management experience of team members proposed to support their programs. Orals presentations also help government evaluators visualize the potential working relationship with each contractor and provide an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification regarding the proposing team’s understanding, approaches, processes, and technical competence. Many aspects of narrative proposals and orals presentations are similar, but the nature of the orals presentation medium also creates significant differences and new variables that you must consider as you prepare the orals presentation. These include: Presenters – this includes the presenters’ speaking styles, familiarity with the material, knowledge of the audience, and knowledge of your team, as well as decisions about how many speakers to use, who to use, and … Continue reading 4 Variables to consider while preparing orals presentations

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6 Early-stage proposal products to identify and develop

More adventures start with a lack of planning. –Capt. Dick Shakeshaft, Keynote Speaker, APMP Nor’easters 2011 Fall Symposium Keeping a proposal team on a winning track means getting an early start on the proposal. Arguably, the most important activity during the Pre-proposal Preparation Phase is preparing proposal products early. While each RFP contains unique questions that are difficult to anticipate, we can get a head start on many standard proposal sections during this phase. Identify proposal products typically included in similar or related bids for this client, and begin developing these sections before RFP release. Typically, these products include: Resumes Past performance summaries Graphics Plans (quality, safety, program management, transition, small business, etc.) Executive summary Orals presentation This allows you to spend post-RFP release response time revising, reviewing, and polishing content versus writing it from scratch. Early writing has many benefits. Writers begin writing to outlined content while the outline … Continue reading 6 Early-stage proposal products to identify and develop

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