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The Federal Proposal Process from a Proposal Management View Compliance First Proposals.

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Presentation on theme: "The Federal Proposal Process from a Proposal Management View Compliance First Proposals."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Federal Proposal Process from a Proposal Management View Compliance First Proposals

2 Agenda Compliance First Proposals The Proposal Process Proposal Management Compliance Matrix Why Reviews are Ineffective Amendments Proposal Failures What it Takes to Win 2 Compliance First Proposals

3 Shipley trained Assist in proposal development and proposal management for defense contracting Worked with various 8(a), SDB, SDVOSB, ANC, and MBE companies Experience in many areas to include: Air Force, Army, Navy, VA, SPAWAR, MDA, DHS, DISA, DOI, DOT, FDA, FAA, and more. Proposal management – kick offs, outlines, compliance matrices, color reviews, compliance reviews, formatting/desktop publishing, grammar/proofing, subcontractor management, writing assignments, and more Mark Dudley – Compliance First Proposals

4 The Proposal Process By no means do I claim to know it all This is not an all-inclusive list, just some highlights: –Pre Proposal Kick Off –Proposal Kick Off –Proposal Development (technical writing) –Storyboards, Drafts, & Reviews –Post Proposal Activities 4 Compliance First Proposals

5 The Proposal Process (Prior to Proposal Kick Off) 2-3 days for kick of preparation Final bid/no bid decision Compliance matrices Proposal outline Writing assignments Handoff from capture/BD to proposal manager 5 Compliance First Proposals

6 The Proposal Process (Proposal Kick Off) Get the team in one place Points of contact Writing assignments Share win themes and discriminators with team 6 Compliance First Proposals

7 The Proposal Process (Storyboards, Drafts, & Reviews) Are you developing storyboards? Storyboard Review – compliance check Pink Team Pens Down 85% Red Team Pens Down 95% Gold Team Review White Glove Review 7 Compliance First Proposals

8 The Proposal Process (Post Proposal Activities) Lessons learned Archiving Proposal library –Past performance –Management volumes –Technical volumes –Graphics 8 Compliance First Proposals

9 Proposal Management In one way or another, proposal management covers all of the previously discussed proposal activities The decision to include all or some of those items depends on RFP size A proposal manager keeps all these items in line – Makes sure authors are united – Writing to the requirements – Meeting deadlines – Checking for compliance 9 Compliance First Proposals

10 Proposal Management – How to Read and RFP Do I have to read the entire thing? Depending on your role, you do, but the main focus should be on the following. Most RFPs follow an outline as required by the FAR requiring sections A-M. The sections that are key to most participants are Section L, M, C, and B. – Section L - Instructions for formatting, organizing, and submitting your proposal – Section M - Criteria that will be used to evaluate your proposal – Section C - What it is they want you to propose (SOW or PWS) – Section B – Pricing format (not covered in this discussion) 10 Compliance First Proposals

11 How to Read and RFP (Where to Start?) You should not read an RFP from front to back, instead, consider the following: Start with Section A (usually the cover page) – Due date. This is obviously important in your decision to move forward, do you have the resources to produce the required documentation? Second, Section L - focuses on how your customer wants the proposal organized (this is where compliance becomes important) 11 Compliance First Proposals

12 How to Read and RFP (Section L) Section L items might include: – General information – Points of contact (contracting officer) – Source selection methodology – Page limits (and any exceptions) – Page format (margins, font restrictions, graphics requirements, page size, numbering, page layout….) – Organization and structure (outline development) – Submission requirements (when, where, how many) Any additional information that may be available or referenced 12 Compliance First Proposals

13 How to Read and RFP (Section M) Next, review Section M Section M items might include: – Basis for contract award – Evaluation factors and subfactors – Relative importance (what sections are considered most important and how they are weighted in reference to the remaining sections) Example – Factor 1 (Past Performance) is more important than Factor 2 (Technical) – Risk ratings – Evaluation by volume 13 Compliance First Proposals

14 How to Read and RFP (Section C) Section C – PWS, SOW, SOO …. While you read this section, keep in mind all the evaluation criteria you just reviewed in Section M. 14 Compliance First Proposals

15 Compliance Matrix A proposal compliance matrix is the key to clarifying the requirements in a complex RFP Creating a compliance matrix should be your first step for creating a proposal outline When an RFP is heavy in requirements across multiple sections, a compliance matrix can help you make sure that you don't leave any of the requirements out of your proposal It is a checklist for the entire proposal 15 Compliance First Proposals

16 Why Reviews are Ineffective If you were to ask 10 people to define what a color review is, you would most likely receive 10 different responses. Here are some of the common errors or issues I think should be taken into consideration: The goals for the review are not shared Reviewers are not given specific directions The review does not have any checklists (compliance matrices) or written guidance to remind them of what to look for The review is scheduled too early and the document is not ready The review (red team) is scheduled too late and there is not enough time to act on any suggestions 16 Compliance First Proposals

17 Why Reviews are Ineffective The review gives you the guidance you should have had at proposal kick off The reviewers show up without having read the RFP The same people who wrote the proposal are on the review The review time is not long enough Participants are not fully committed to the review The reviewers identify problems and don’t offer solutions/suggestions The reviewers do little more than what amounts to proof reading There is no guidance regarding how comments should be made The review wants to change the outline of the proposal The reviewers look at the proposal from their own perspective, instead of the customer's perspective 17 Compliance First Proposals

18 Why Reviews are Ineffective Review suggestions are expected to be taken as orders (the proposal team is not free to ignore a review recommendation) – The reviewers makes comments that contradict the RFP If there are holes, the team doesn't recommend any resources capable of filling the holes Participants make comments that are not actionable (generalized statements that don't specify a correction or action to take) The review does not result in specific action items Some people are on the review team just to see the document and offer no value The review doesn't rate the proposal according to the evaluation criteria The review doesn't do anything to help the proposal WIN! 18 Compliance First Proposals

19 Amendments Changes to the RFP Don’t plan on an extension Be prepared for an extension Don’t ship too soon! 19 Compliance First Proposals

20 Common Proposal Failures Starting too late Start writing with the intent on improving later Present things in an order you consider to make better sense Running out of time Failing to incorporate your plans Competing against a better positioned competitor Failing to address things in the terms of the evaluation criteria Not knowing the customer well enough to give them more than they ask for Being non-compliant Failing to provide proof of your statements 20 Compliance First Proposals

21 What it Takes to Win Have the capability to bid the work Don’t try to improve the RFP Meet assignment deadlines Know the competition and the customer Don’t compromise on review standards Staff the proposal appropriately Plan before writing/write to that plan Address the evaluation criteria in all sections/subsections Don’t wait till the final RFP drops 21 Compliance First Proposals

22 Questions and Open Discussion 22 Compliance First Proposals


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