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
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. Click to watch the webinar replay and download the presentation and research brief. You will learn how to realign … Continue reading 7 secrets from inside government source evaluations and how you can use them to create winning proposals
Dear Proposal Doctor, Senior executives in my organization are constantly inserting material into the proposal that is not called for in the RFP and spending time on proposal components that don’t get separately evaluated. The executive summary eats up hours of everyone’s time, and even if it is sometimes required, it is almost never evaluated. Likewise, the graphics are time-consuming and expensive to conceptualize, render, revise, and review. Over and over again. Every major section has an introduction that is not required. We are adding so much to an already difficult workload, and the required sections that do get scored are going to suffer. How can I scale this back before it kills us all? -Drowning Dear Drowning, You didn’t indicate what kind of RFPs you are responding to, but I can make an educated guess that they are Federal Government RFPs. The reason that people want to add sections … Continue reading Ask Proposal Doctor – Creating balance between "required" and "desired"?
I was asked to review a major best-value bid for a firm that was notified they had lost and wanted to protest. Emotions were running high, and they were making all sorts of allegations about the government not wanting them to win. I asked to see their debriefing file, and what I discovered was surprising—at least to me. Like many companies, they failed to understand why companies lose and what it takes to win. Why do you write proposals? Always remember that proposals are written for one purpose—to convey the information the government evaluators need to select your company over others in the competition. Proposals are not written to show the government how smart you are or to brag about your company history. They are not written to showcase your team members or to boast about your world-class best practices. Proposals are written to score points with the evaluators. When … Continue reading What makes your bid a winner or a loser?