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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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Today’s market demands benchmarking proposals – here’s how

Bob Lohfeld offers advice on how to benchmark your proposals and increase your win-rates

I attended a session on proposal benchmarking at the Association of Proposal Management Professionals, National Capital Area Chapter’s (APMP-NCA), Mid Atlantic Proposal Conference & Exhibition a few months ago and was surprised to learn how few companies actually benchmark the quality of their proposals or the capabilities of their proposal departments. In the session led by BJ Lownie of Strategic Proposals, only about 15% of the 75 companies represented acknowledged that they regularly benchmark their proposal quality and proposal department’s capabilities. Since benchmarking is such a powerful tool to help raise win rates, I’m devoting this article to explaining why this should become a regular practice for all serious competitors in the government market. Benchmarking proposal department capability Needless to say, as the government market shrinks, only the best competitors will prosper, and those with high-performing proposal organizations will lead that charge. I have written numerous articles about creating high-performing...

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