News & Knowledge Center

Audio Tip: Creating your proposal outline and compliance matrix

How to stay on a solid path towards proposal success

Alternative content This month, proposal development expert Beth Wingate, APMP Fellow (aka AppMaven), offers insights and tips for developing your proposal outline and compliance matrix. I attended a roundtable presentation given by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals’ (APMP) National Capital Area (NCA) Chapter where three government contracting officers agreed with my assessment that you need to develop your proposal outlines following the hierarchy of Sections L (Instructions), then M (Evaluation Criteria), then C (Statement of Work (SOW)), then H (Special Contract Requirements), then I (Contract Clauses), then J (Attachments—sometimes where they hide the actual SOW), and then the rest of the RFP. In the pre-RFP release stage of the Capture and Proposal Life Cycle, I always develop a draft proposal outline and compliance matrix based on the government’s draft RFP or on one that I develop based on previous competitions if I’m in a recompete situation, or from capture-based...

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Ask the Proposal Doctor: How to write technical volumes more efficiently

Running out of ideas...

Dear Proposal Doctor, I work for a small business, and all our engineers work on a customer site while our BD/Proposal staff work at our office (which is in another state). This makes writing the technical volume really difficult because we can’t get our engineers on site to write. We end up having to travel a lot, which disrupts the proposal and takes people away from their families for weeks at a time. How could we write technical volumes more efficiently? Running Out of Ideas Dear Running, This is a situation many proposal managers face frequently, so I’m glad you wrote to me about it. In one respect, you are fortunate. You said you can’t get your engineers to write. This is actually a good thing. Typically, engineers struggle with proposal writing. So, it’s a great idea to team them up with someone who is an experienced writer. Professional writers know how to interview...

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Audio Tip: How to review a Federal Government RFP

Tips for reviewing draft and final RFPs

Alternative content Proposal development expert Beth Wingate, APMP Fellow, offers tips for reviewing Federal Government RFPs (solicitations). Reviewing a Federal Government solicitation combines both a strict process and creativity. Draft RFP When I’m lucky enough to receive a draft RFP, I follow a standard process—reading the solicitation, evaluating the requirements, creating my outline and requirements/compliance matrix, creating checklists, and then preparing briefing charts for my bid/no bid review. Even if the RFP doesn’t follow the Uniform Contract Code (organized by Sections A–M), I still go through the following process. Review the RFP by starting with Section L (Instructions), then M (Evaluation Criteria), then C (Statement of Work (SOW)), H (Special Contract Requirements), I (Contract Clauses), J (Attachments – sometimes where they hide the SOW), and then the rest of the RFP. Look for inconsistencies or places where the government has been unclear. Look for requirements that appear in the wrong...

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Ask the Proposal Doctor – Waiting by the phone

Strategies for working effectively with subject matter experts

Dear Proposal Doctor, One subject matter expert (SME) in my company has the bulk of the information we need for the technical proposal. It is all in his head. This person is very busy with clients all day and keeps telling me that he will write the sections assigned to him at night—and that he will meet the deadline. We are a week into the writing period, and so far, he has produced nothing. He is inaccessible all day and often does not answer his cell phone in the evening. I have left messages every day for the past week— sometimes several a night—but he has not called back. Panic is setting in. Please help! Waiting by the Phone Dear Waiting, First, let’s face facts. This SME is not going to call you. So don’t bother waiting by the phone. Now, let’s go to the underlying assumption in your letter,...

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