Most requests for proposal (RFPs) ask you to define past performance in terms of relevant size, scope and complexity. The term size is easy to understand because it is numeric. Size refers to the dollar value of the contract, the number of staff, the number of users served, the number of locations served, etc. Scope is also easy to understand too. We simply compare how well the requirements in the RFP’s statement of work or align with those of our past performance reference. For example, in the case of a help desk, does the help desks deliver the same tiers of service, support the same equipment, or use the same tools and processes to perform their jobs? However, the term complexity is vague. Complexity could involve many factors including the: Involvement of many teams or stakeholders Numerous moving parts Numerous schedule dependencies Aggressive project timelines Budget / restraints Work in … Continue reading Five Tips for Describing Complexity
Contractors often struggle to define a discriminating value proposition. While a value proposition is certainly comprised of your service or product solution, it also incorporates your past performance. A proposal demonstrates to the Government a company’s prospective ability to perform the work. How does the Government gain confidence in your prospective ability to deliver your solution at high quality and low risk? By examining your past performance, both on relevant contracts, as well as trends across time. Past Performance Ratings Are Trending Towards Satisfactory Past performance is almost always an evaluation factor whether you are bidding a competitive best value trade-off opportunity, Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA), sole source, or other procurement methods including Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contracts. Yet, recent analysis shows that more and more Contracting Officers (COs) are grading their contractors as Satisfactory in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS). Overall, from 2010-2017, the percentage of Satisfactory ratings … Continue reading Five Tips to Improve Past Performance Ratings
After the Department of Homeland Security cancelled the $1.5 billion Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland (FLASH) procurement May 26, the vendor community was irritated, and rightfully so. This Small Business (SB) set-aside, procured through the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL), required time, money, and expertise to undertake a technical challenge. Bidders had to demonstrate specialized skills in the incremental Agile software development methodology with rapid prototyping and better user interfaces. Numerous protests and a cancelled procurement After 111 companies applied for a spot on this IDIQ through a process that included limited written proposals, a three-minute initial video, and a four-hour live technology demonstration, DHS made 11 awards that were quickly the subject of 35 separate protests by 10 bidders. Protests centered around numerous mistakes made in the evaluation process. When DHS subsequently cancelled the procurement after six months, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed the protests. Industry outcry … Continue reading DHS FLASH 2.0: Should you invest in this procurement?
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