Here are some of our Lohfeld Consulting Group team’s top past performance-related lessons learned from our collective experience managing and submitting thousands and thousands of proposals over our careers. In terms of populating your past performance repository (every company must have one), enforce a company-wide policy for project/program managers (PM) to develop detailed past performances for every project. Enforce the policy, update the past performances every 6 months, and provide PMs with incentives for compliance. Develop comprehensive templates for collecting past performance information in an effort to answer likely solicitation questions. For example, ask PMs to define objectives achieved, schedule compliance, cost compliance, businesslike concern for customer interests, problem resolution, tools/technologies, etc. Before asking PMs to update past performance descriptions, provide them with training and instructions. All past performance summaries must be accomplishment oriented. They should indicate what you did and how well you did with lots of factoids and … Continue reading Don’t make these mistakes – 12 past performance lessons learned
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!
Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up. (Attributed to various people) As promised, here are some of my top proposal section-specific lessons learned over the past 25 years managing and submitting thousands of proposals and task order responses. This list is not all-inclusive. These are highlights – and easily avoided problem areas where I’ve seen plenty of proposal teams fall needlessly short. Like anything else in proposal management, significant pre-RFP planning goes a long way towards improving your win probability. When developing your proposal’s staffing section: Identify key staff early—preferably long before solicitation release so you can get resumes updated when you’re not under pressure. Key staff should be subject matter experts (SME), current employees, and not committed 100% to another effort or more than 100% overall among several efforts! Limit the number of subcontractor employees versus prime contractor employees in the staffing section – especially in top-level … Continue reading Don’t make these mistakes – 7 proposal staffing lessons learned