TArticles tagged with: proposal review

Run your next proposal review like the government

Using the government’s review process to evaluate your proposals leads to a more realistic assessment of your score

There is a dichotomy between the way industry and government Source Selection Evaluation Boards (SSEBs) run proposal reviews. In industry, reviewers read the entire proposal and make in-line recommendations concerning how to improve each section. Industry evaluators also verify that suitable win themes are present. How the government reviews proposals In contrast, the government grades the proposal using a score sheet based on the evaluation criteria listed in the request for proposal (RFP). In most cases, you can find the evaluation criteria in the RFP’s Section M. The RFP also explains the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) criteria the government uses to evaluate the proposal. For example, if the government uses FAR Part 15, it is rating your proposal on a best-value scale using a numeric, adjectival, or confidence rating. As part of the rating scheme, they evaluate your proposal according to strengths, weaknesses, significant weaknesses, deficiencies, and risks. Government evaluators … Continue reading Run your next proposal review like the government

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How to review your proposal to move beyond ‘Acceptable’

At a minimum, proposals must be compliant and responsive.

This article was originally published on May 1, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com We all know that, at a minimum, proposals must be compliant and responsive. If a proposal meets this minimum bar, the evaluator is likely to award it an Acceptable rating. But what if, despite several rounds of color team reviews, the proposal barely meets this mark? A Mediocre Proposal We can assume that an Acceptable proposal will not win in a federal government competitive best value trade-off, unless other bidders also submit Acceptable proposals, and price is the determining factor. Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), government evaluators must make an award based on benefits offered by the proposer. Those benefits may include features of the proposed offering with proven benefits, or a low price, or some combination of the two. Still, unless the win strategy is based on a low bid, the goal of our color team reviews … Continue reading How to review your proposal to move beyond ‘Acceptable’

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Winning “must win” deals

Understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements

“Oh, by the way, this is a must win deal for us,” my boss said as we concluded our conversation. The RFP had dropped, and I was to lead the final proposal effort. The company was getting ready to graduate from the small business world. Like many, we were looking to win as many small business IDIQ vehicles as we could to cushion our transition. The opportunity fit within our core competencies—but with an agency and government sector new to us. While there had been some pre-RFP activity and team building, it was focused on smaller companies familiar with the sector, but not with the agency. My work was cut out for me! Carefully considering the situation, I determined we needed to do three things to win: Fully understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements. Propose a strong solution to meet both the requirements and the needs. Build in … Continue reading Winning “must win” deals

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Take your proposal from good to great in 30 minutes

Thirty minutes is all the time you need to redirect the writing of a mediocre proposal and put it on a clear path to victory. In this article, I’ll explain how to use this simple yet effective technique. Proposal mediocrity We had just finished a Red Team review on a typical 100-page proposal. The proposal manager instructed the review team on how to do an effective Red Team review. The reviewers had done an excellent job reviewing the proposal and documenting their comments electronically. They briefed the proposal team, and it was clear what needed to be done. While the proposal team could easily turn the comments in 48 hours and make the repairs needed to the proposal, there was a sense that the proposal just didn’t come across as a winner. The proposal team knew they had done an admirable job building a compliant proposal outline that was easily … Continue reading Take your proposal from good to great in 30 minutes

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