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Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

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1 Bid/Proposal Review and Approval
Ensuring Proposal Quality By: Don Shannon CPCM Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

2 Introduction Proposal quality can be improved by timely and well structured reviews of the proposal content Contract professionals should play a significant role in the proposal process Review team members Business advisors Compliance checkers Risk mitigation Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

3 Before We Get Started No two proposals are ever the same
There is no “one size fits all” approach The number of reviews and the depth of the review will depend on Size of the proposal Time available Your organization This is intended to be an overview of the review process with a goal of improving proposal quality. Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

4 Management Reviews Process (Management) reviews
Often called “Gates” Assess business issues related to pursuit/capture activities Proposal cost Risk “Goodness” of fit with business strategy Independent of proposal team (Quality) reviews These are necessary and desirable reviews but not the focus of this presentation Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

5 Capture Activities (Concurrent with Proposal Creation)
Pre-Bid Advance Knowledge Develop Capture Strategy Fed BizOps Opportunity Announcement RFP Review Terms and Conditions Review Technical Requirements Evaluate Requirements Evaluate Risk Determine Proposal Cost Proposal Creation Outline / Storyboard Draft Content Technical Management Past Performance Cost Proposal Submittal 1 2 3 4 Gates 1. Opportunity Assessment 2. Strategy and Capture Plan Review 3. Readiness Review 4. Submit (Go/No-Go) Review NOTE: Gate Reviews are Strategic Management reviews and DO NOT contribute directly to the proposal’s quality. Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

6 “Standard” Proposal Team Reviews
Color Coded Reviews (Nearly Universal) Pink Red Other Colors (less common) Purple (or blue) Black Green Gold White Origin of the color code is the subject of speculation and lots of war stories. Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

7 The Proposal Time-Line (Shipley and Associates)
Market Segmentation Identify and Select Appropriate Opportunities Develop Win Strategy Opportunity Assessment Stakeholder Review Funds Authorization Bid/No-Bid Decision Capture Blue Team (Capture Plan / Strategy) Black Hat Team (Competitor Simulation) Proposal Planning Proposal Management Plan Schedule Writing Assignments Proposal Preparation Storyboard / Create Proposal Rough Draft Pink Team (Verify Compliance) Finalize Draft Red Team (Customer Simulation) Gold Team (Profitability & Risk) Final Proposal White Team (Lessons Learned) Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

8 The Proposal Time-Line (Garrett)
Pre-Bid Identify and Select Appropriate Opportunities Develop Win Strategy Bid Decision Stakeholder Review Funds Authorization Bid/No-Bid Decision Proposal Development Storyboard Risk Management Cost and Pricing Create Proposal Volumes Proposal Review Pink Team Red Team Final Proposal Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

9 Proposal Review Goals Goal #1 – Produce a quality proposal
Is our proposal compliant with the RFP? Does our proposal offer a solution that addresses the customer’s needs? Technical Budgetary Schedule Goal # 2 Produce a competitive proposal Goal # 3 Present our company/team in the best light possible Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

10 Minimum Reviews Contracting review Pink Team Red Team
White Glove (aka “Book Check”) Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

11 Contracting Review Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

12 Contracting (RFP) Review
When As soon as RFP is available (draft or final) By whom Contract Administrator / Manager Legal (as required) Objective Identify potential legal or contractual issues Prepare and transmit questions to soliciting office for clarification. Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

13 What to Look For Organizational Conflict of Interest (OCI)
Appropriate contract type Special/unusual terms and conditions Export (EAR/ITAR) issues Performance requirements Schedule Bonds Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

14 What to Look For Statement of Work Scope clearly defined
Directive voice (shall / will) Clearly defined deliverables What When Where How many Quality requirements Clearly defined acceptance criteria “How do I know when I’m done?” Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

15 What to Look For Section L (Instructions to Offerors)
Proposal submittal requirements Proposal due date, format, number of copies, etc. Representations and Certifications Certified Cost and Pricing Data Bonds (bid, performance and/or payment) Volumes Technical Cost Past Performance (Contracts is usually responsible) Management Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

16 What to Look For Section M Does it align with Section L?
What are the award criteria Lowest Responsible Bidder Low Cost Technically Acceptable Two Step Sealed Bid Best Value Evaluation Factors Clearly defined / stated Appropriate for the award criteria Clarification required? Protest? Per FAR (e) Protests for alleged improprieties must be filed before bid opening or closing date for proposals. Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

17 What to Look For All the above are contributors to contract “Risk Factors” that should be Identified & cataloged Analyzed Strategized Mitigated Questions and clarifications “Contracts” should be the focal point for compiling and communicating questions concerning the RFP Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

18 Pink Team Review Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

19 Pink Team Goals Is this proposal compliant?
Does it address the customer’s requirements? Is our approach clearly communicated Are “win themes” communicated Consistent with capture strategy Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

20 When and How Conducted When How Storyboard phase (Shipley)
Outline or Rough Draft Phase (Garrett) How Team approach Pink team members should not be part of the proposal team Systematic approach Documented procedure Checklist Objective review Results formally communicated Memo Deficiency forms Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

21 Pink Team Review Sometimes called a “Wall Walk”
Necessary Inputs (Shipley) Storyboards Executive Summary Outline / TOC Requirements Matrix Rough Draft(optional) First cut pricing (if available) Review makes sure you are “on-target” before drafting the proposal Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

22 Pink Team Checklist 1 Organization Appearance Accurate Graphics
Logical organization Clear TOC Internal content consistent with TOC One voice Appearance Professional Inviting to read Easy to follow Consistent style and format Error free (e.g., typos) Accurate Is the solution credible Are facts/data accurate Are claims believable Are claims provable Are claims supported by facts/data Graphics Proper quantity Appropriate Do they present intended point at a glance Creative and accurate Correctly referenced in text 1. Solicitations, Bids, Proposals and Source Selection Gregory A. Garrett and Gail A. Parrott © 2007 CCH Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

23 Pink Team Checklist Executive Summary Technical
Does it give an sense of the overall proposal Does it present the customer problem / objective and the solution Is it an effective presentation of your company Is it sensitive to the customer needs / requirements Does it cover / comply with the win theme and strategy Was it worth reading Technical Customer problem / objective stated / analyzed Does the proposed solution solve the problem Is solution clearly expressed with sufficient detail Are all customer specifications / requirements addressed Are there conflicting responses Do responses support solution Is delivery response complete and realistic Does delivery meet customer requirements Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

24 Pink Team Checklist Cost and Pricing 2
Are the bases of estimate (BOE) realistic and complete Have key suppliers and subcontractors been contacted for quotes / proposals Do the numbers add up Are detailed pricing pages consistent with the summary pages 2 Typically pricing is not fully developed at this stage – this checklist is a departure from the Garret book Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

25 Red Team Review Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

26 Red Team Goals Does the proposal make sense and answer the customer’s problem Is the proposal customer focused Is the proposal complete Is the proposal clearly stated Addressing the customer’s requirements Putting forth your win strategies and theme Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

27 When and How Conducted About two-thirds of the way through the proposal cycle Allows time for recovery The Review is a formal process by select team The team should mirror the customer’s review team Contracts Technical/Operations Program Management Logistics Cost and Pricing Prefer that team members not be part of the proposal team Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

28 When and How Conducted Review conducted on well advanced draft of proposal volumes Management Technical Cost Past Performance Requirements Matrix very helpful at this stage May use separate teams for various volumes Gadfly reviewer can help cut across teams Reviewer comments may simply be a mark-up of the draft or may be documented on elaborate forms and log sheets Score sheets used by some firms Post review downsize the team to focus on rewrites and consistency. Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

29 Red Team Checklist 3 Organization and Emphasis
Are all of the main ideas up front Has the content of each Section been previewed at the beginning Summarized content at end Are paragraphs logical and easy to follow Does each paragraph have only one main idea Win Theme and Strategies Does the response effectively present the value of your company’s solution Is it persuasive Does it sell Does it follow overall win themes Are win strategies reflected throughout the document Does the response Emphasize your Company’s strengths and minimize your company’s weaknesses Does the response “ghost” the competition’s weaknesses 3. Solicitations, Bids, Proposals and Source Selection Gregory A. Garrett and Gail A. Parrott © 2007 CCH Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

30 Red Team Checklist Compliance and Responsiveness
Does the solution solve the customer’s problem Has each part of every question been answered Does the response address each customer (RFP) requirement Do the answers echo the customer’s language Is the writing clear, to the point and make sense Are any statements vague, confusing or misleading Appearance and Presentation Is the overall RFP response professional Does it accurately reflect your company’s image Do the pages have a clean and professional look Are all the names and dates correct Are the cross-references correct Are the figures and tables numbered correctly Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

31 Red Team Checklist Consistency and Brevity Visuals
Do the writing styles match (one voice) Are terms and abbreviations used consistently Have extraneous materials been eliminated Has boilerplate been properly been updated for this submittal Have you evaluated any added materials or brochures for consistency, need, and appropriateness Visuals Do the visuals complement and support the text Are they all needed Are they simple and uncluttered Are they appropriate to the overall technical level Can they stand alone Are visuals introduced before they appear Do they reflect the strategy Do they illustrate the major benefits to the customer Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

32 White Glove Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

33 White Glove Check Also called “Book Check” Last touch before submittal
Administrative review of each volume and copy Imperfect copies Missing pages Completeness Is everything there? Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

34 Final Checklist All volumes present in correct quantities
Original copy marked Original copies of signed documents in this volume? All necessary attachments or submittals present Reps and certifications (Section K completed if ORCA not used) Bid bond (if required) Certificate of independent price determination (if required) Letter of transmittal Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

35 Optional Reviews Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

36 Purple Team (Shipley) Assess opportunity for Pwin
Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis Score your company vs. competitors using the solicitation's evaluation criteria Focus capture strategy on areas likely to improve Pwin Assess how the opportunity aligns with strategic organizational goals Result: input to Bid/No-Bid and capture strategy Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

37 Blue Team Capture Strategy Review
May be done more than once during proposal Based on input received from Purple and Black Hat review teams Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

38 Black Hat Team Competitor’s Likely Approach
Technical solution Cost/pricing bogies Reliant on business intelligence May require use of consultants or outside experts Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

39 Green Team Technical Solution Review
Is the solution proposed the best of all possible solutions Does it meet the customer’s stated requirements Is it robust and achievable Is it economically feasible May not have to be cheapest if it is lower risk and/or higher performance Can you make a business case for the solution (e.g., ROI) Is it likely to be developed within the allotted time Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

40 Gold Team Profitability / Business Case
“Be careful what you ask for – you may just get it” Best use of available resources Can these resources be applied to other efforts with better return Does this effort require ramping up staff / facilities What to do with project resources after this project How does this fit with long-term strategy May be combined with Gate 4 Review Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

41 White Team Lessons Learned Proposal Team and Review Teams
What did we do right What could we do better How were our costs and schedule compared to the initial estimates How well did our established procedures support us What unexpected situations arose and how did we deal with them Did we have the right size team and representation Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

42 Summary Properly conducted proposal reviews can improve proposal quality Reduce errors Improve compliance Improve competitiveness Proposal reviews should be Timely Thorough Documented Consistent Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

43 Sources Solicitations, Bids, Proposals and Source Selection– Garrett & Parrott © CCH Shipley Associates Proposal Guide for Business 4th Edition © 2011 “The Capture Management Life Cycle: Learning to Dance with Customers” – Garrett Contract Management June 2003 Common Acquisition Touchpoints between Industry and Government – Morgenstern 28th Annual Government Contracts Management Conference November 2009 “The Role of Contracts in the Capture Process” – Centanni Contract Management September 2005 Corporate Best Practices – Various Firms Bid/Proposal Review and Approval

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