News & Knowledge Center

How to screen and interview proposal managers?

Dear Proposal Doctor, My organization is woefully short of proposal managers and I have been under pressure to hire more. We advertise in the usual places and we get applicants. The interview process does not seem to be a good predictor of who will be effective and who will be a good fit with our environment. No matter what questions we ask, we don’t seem to find out the right information. Sometimes we are pleasantly surprised; more often, we are not. This means we might be actually turning away the candidates we should be hiring. What are the right questions to ask? I am wondering how other people screen applicants for this position? -Immersed in Job Interviews Dear Immersed, You are correct. Proposal management is not a textbook subject, so it is difficult to ask “the right” questions. People can claim to have certain skills and attitudes, and they might...

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5 questions to derail an LPTA procurement

What you ask might guide an agency away from a low-price contract

Recently, while teaching a capture management class, a capture manager asked me what he could do when the contracting officer for a pending IT services bid said he wanted to use lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) evaluation criteria versus the traditional best-value tradeoff approach. The capture manager and the government program manager wanted to avoid a price shootout, but the contracting shop wouldn’t agree. When confronted with this situation, here are five questions a capture manager should answer to help the technical client steer clear of LPTA requirements. 1. Does the use of LPTA violate government guidance? Does your client know that the Defense Department (DOD) has a policy statement providing guidance on when to use LPTA evaluation criteria instead of the best-value approach that trades off cost and non-cost factors? Appendix A of the DOD’s Source Selection Procedure (3/4/11) contains the policy and states that, “LPTA may be used...

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Pressing commitments – how to be “fair” as proposal manager?

Dear Proposal Doctor, I am running a big proposal. Several people on the team are critical to the effort because of how much they know. Each seems to have some kind of personal commitment that cuts into their day several times a week. It’s either kids, medical appointments, other professional commitments, a sick relative, a household repair, or something else. I don’t want to have one standard for most of the team (you need to be in the office) and another standard for a select minority (you can set your own schedule because I can’t live without you). I am at a loss as to how to manage this and still maintain the morale of the team. Please help. -Trying To Be Fair Dear Trying, You are correct. It is very difficult to have two standards and maintain your integrity as a leader. So, I would suggest just one standard,...

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