TArticles tagged with: proposal strengths and weaknesses

A sufficiently detailed approach – common GAO complaints

Our Detailed Approach Checklist to address these issues

Did you know that a common complaint found in the Accountability Office (GAO) Protest Docket is that offerors do not sufficiently describe their approach? When an approach is not adequately detailed, evaluators give it a lesser grade or assign it a weakness. In close competitions, an inferior grade can distinguish between a contract award and an unsuccessful protest. Therefore, we built the Detailed Approach Checklist below to address these issues and organized them around the classic seven questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how). Detailed Approach Checklist ‘Who’ Questions Who is assigned to perform the work, and what are their roles and responsibilities? To whom do they report? Who are their backups in case of absence? Who provides reach-back support if needed? ‘What’ Questions What standards or best practices are you using to implement the approach? What type of knowledge, qualifications, education, or certifications do you possess to implement … Continue reading A sufficiently detailed approach – common GAO complaints

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Lessons Learned in Strength-Based Winning® from GAO’s Protest Docket

The best sources to learn about how the government grades best value competitions

One of the best sources to learn about how the government grades best value competitions is the General Accountability Office (GAO) Protest Docket. The Docket explains the proposal requirements, how the government graded the proposal, and provides their justification for the score. The five cases presented below from GAO’s November Protest Docket provide lessons we can use to improve proposals. We deleted references to the solicitation name, protester, and winners(s) to focus on key messages from GAO’s findings. Agency: Defense Mission Agency (MDA) The Score: The protester’s proposal had 4 strengths, 2 weaknesses, 5 significant weaknesses, and 3 deficiencies. According to the government, the proposal did not demonstrate technical knowledge in multiple areas that are important to the MDA mission. The Issue: With 3 deficiencies the government stated that the proposal was “unawardable” due to the unacceptable rating under a key mission capability factor. The Source Selection Authority (SSA) found … Continue reading Lessons Learned in Strength-Based Winning® from GAO’s Protest Docket

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Five tips to help evaluators find key words (and winning content)

Increasingly, government evaluators rely on automation to help them efficiently review proposals

Federal Government source selection officials are very likely to review your bid electronically rather than in hard copy. Telework is here to stay, and federal proposal evaluators working from home are unlikely to print thousands of pages from multiple bids. Even in the office, printing large documents is wasteful and not environmentally friendly. In addition, over-worked government evaluators look for ways to speed the evaluation process. Increasingly, government evaluators rely on automation to help them efficiently review proposals. Whether the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) members are using acquisition software to check compliance and document findings or simply the search and find features of MS Word or Adobe Acrobat, they must be able to find content quickly and easily. An important part of planning before you write is identifying important key words for automated content searches. Using key words is not the same as parroting back RFP requirements. It is … Continue reading Five tips to help evaluators find key words (and winning content)

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A winning proposal isn’t always the best

A proposal can be the winner for reasons unrelated to proposal quality

Is a winning proposal a good proposal? Some argue that by definition, yes, a win is a good proposal. However, we all know that a proposal can be the winner for reasons unrelated to proposal quality—such as a price shoot out. Therefore, when we look back at our win-loss track record, we miss a lot of important data if wins and losses are the only measures of successful performance. As a result, we may re-use a poor-quality proposal or dismiss a losing proposal that has some successful elements. Are your proposals good? In a Deltek webinar, Bob Lohfeld polled the audience to ask: “Are your proposals compliant, responsive, AND compelling?” Interestingly, only 15 percent of 150-plus respondents believed that their proposals were consistently achieving all three measures of quality. Another 35 percent responded that their proposals sometimes achieved all three. Meanwhile, 35 percent stated that their companies consistently do NOT … Continue reading A winning proposal isn’t always the best

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