Learn Proposal Management for Federal Contractors – Essential Skills and Best Practices


Proposal management is the process government contractors use to create winning proposals for competitive and task order solicitations. Proposal management follows a structured process with scalable activities and steps aimed at creating high-scoring proposals that result in winning bids.

In this class, we explore the federal acquisition lifecycle based on the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and identify the parallel actions industry takes to respond to and win federal business. The course covers Lohfeld Consulting Group’s 5-phase business acquisition framework, including proposal management activities from planning to developing compliant and compelling proposals to conducting post- submission activities. We share our industry best practices, tips, tricks, and tools for managing every aspect of your proposals.

What you will learn

Understanding the proposal management process is a must for government contractors. This class teaches you how successful government contractors consistently win the programs they pursue. You’ll learn how your company can apply Lohfeld Consulting Group’s process, create better proposals, and apply proven techniques to raise your win probability, including:

  • How the FAR defines and guides industry acquisition lifecycles
  • How the Federal Government evaluates and scores competitive best-value trade- off proposals
  • How to relate the work of business development (BD) and capture management to proposal management
  • How to apply best practices to create winning proposals through pre- and post- RFP activities
  • How to use pre-RFP activities to get a jump start on proposal artifact development
  • How to assign proposal resources, develop a strawman RFP, prepare draft writing plans/annotated outlines, develop early-stage proposal products, prepare a proposal management plan, prepare for a kickoff meeting, and conduct pre-RFP gate reviews
  • to manage your proposal development process after RFP release; finalize and validate proposal outline, design, and resources; conduct the kickoff meeting; finalize solutions and annotated outlines/writing plans; write compliant, compelling, and responsive proposal drafts; conduct structured quality reviews with realistic schedules, inputs, and outputs; develop effective proposal graphics; and produce and quality check your final proposal
  • Prepare for proposal submission, conduct a closure strategy, clean up and prepare files for post-submission use, support post-submittal negotiations, get ready for debriefs, and conduct lessons-learned and continual improvement reviews

Who should attend?

This class is designed for BD, capture management, and proposal management professionals and for company executives and operational managers, including project managers and technical professionals who support new business acquisition activities and need to understand the interrelationships between the capture and proposal phases and the importance of using a structured, repeatable proposal management process. (Eligible for 10 APMP CEUs)

Seminar schedule:

Seminar agenda (3 modules over 3 days):

Module 1: The federal acquisition process – government and contractor perspectives (approximately 4 hours)

  • How the federal government acquires goods and services from industry
    • Acquisition lifecycle
    • Proposal evaluation
    • Strengths, weaknesses, deficiencies, and risks
    • Source selection decisions
  • How industry pursues and wins Federal Government business
    • BD lifecycle
    • Opportunity identification and qualification
    • Information gathering
    • Positioning and relationship management (customer, team, competition)
    • Win strategies
    • Relating BD and capture to proposal management

Module 2: How government contractors create winning proposals – proposal management in the pre-RFP phase (approximately 4 hours)

  • Government/industry acquisition lifecycle recap
  • Pre-RFP proposal management activities
    • Proposal resources (proposal team, library, consultants, facilities, etc.)
    • Solutioning and early artifact development
    • Proposal management planning (schedule, draft artifacts, strength statements, executive summary, etc.)
    • Kickoff preparation

Module 3: How government contractors create winning proposals – post-RFP activities (approximately 4 hours)

  • Post-RFP proposal management activities
    • RFP analysis
    • Compliance and responsiveness
    • Content planning, writing, and graphics
    • Quality reviews
    • Desktop publishing, editing, production, submission
  • Post-submittal activities
    • Negotiations
    • Archive
    • Lessons learned


Maryann Lesnick

Maryann Lesnick teaches our Proposal Management for Federal Contractors, Strength-Based Winning™, and APMP Foundation Certification classes.

She brings more than 25 years of experience in BD; proposal management, writing, and editing; capture management; project management; and quality management for both federal and commercial sectors. She holds APMP Professional-level certification (CPP APMP) and is a Project Management Institute (PMI) certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She is also a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and certified Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS).

Maryann has been active with APMP for the past 16 years, served on the Board of Directors of the National Capital Area (NCA) chapter for 8 years, and served as the 2014-2015 President of that chapter—the largest chapter in the United States. She also served on the Board of Directors for APMP International (2015-2017).