As you are nearing the finish line in a proposal, you must still focus on your goal. Many tasks were completed before the RFP dropped back in the capture planning phase. Now is the time to look for processes or solutions that can do double duty. It will benefit the entire business development team if they can do the work once and be able to leverage that work in other sections of the proposal.
Past Performance Evaluation Matrix
Past Performance is often not given the time it deserves, but can be a boost to help score higher in the evaluation and win more contracts.
How can you use a matrix to ensure your past performance coverage is there when you need it? Well, do not rely on the results of a traditional Capability Matrix to translate to past performance. Instead, use a Past Performance Evaluation Matrix, which does double duty by providing you with both capabilities and Past Performance.
Ask potential teaming partners a very detailed series of questions. When submitting a Past Performance Citation for a proposal, subcontractors will have to call or email to the CO and let them know that a form is forth coming. After your potential teammates have answered your questions and completed your Past Performance Evaluation Matrix, you now perform your due diligence and research these potential teammates. Use GovWin, GovTribe, SAM, FPDS, or any other data source to check their performance and their contract citations.
Read 'Plan Early to Avoid Problems' for a complete discussion of teaming and the questions you need to asking potential teammates!
Past Performance Citation
Create a really detailed Past Performance Citation template to COLLECT information. After all the information is collected, you may reformat the information to present it in the best way. But you need structure to gather the information. You want PWS information broken down to the lowest level so that it can do double duty as both Past Performance and be used in the technical approach section as technical proof points.
Some Proposal Managers use a table in a Word document to gather information. After data is gathered, they can merge cells to format the data and then present the information in the best way for the Past Performance Volume.
It is standard practice to request examples of success stories from the technical people to in the technical approach as golden nuggets or proof points. But it is difficult to get this information from subject matter experts. A new best practice is to go to the past performance citation information to find proof points.
If you build the past performance citation with the intended purpose of also using this information in the technical approach, it is performing double duty. Interview the Program Manager and ask questions about every PWS entry. For example:
- What labor category does this?
- How many people perform this work?
- When was it done?
- Were there any awards or special recognition?
- Did it save time, money, or other resources?
- What tools did they use?
- Was it ahead of schedule or on-time?
Throughout the proposal process, Proposal Managers tend to use a lot of checklists because checklists are effective. You can easily move from keeping all the information in your head to documenting data for the entire team and create a proposal guide to use for every proposal.
A checklist becomes task list when your checklist has an assignee, date, and check box for completion.
For example, create a production checklist for every piece of the document. Transmittal letter, cover, title page, TOC, individual sections, subcontractor letter of intent, insurance letters, etc. It is a great idea to create this checklist after the Proposal Manager has completed the outline, and it has been validated. After amendments or FRFP release, review and validate the outline by completing the checklist again to ensure changes in the solicitation do not create a different response. Create a checklist for all the things you must accomplish for a Red Team review, things you do during a Red Team, and things you do after it is finished. Follow it and check items off as they are completed.
This is the 10th in a 12-part series Get More from 24 Hours. This series is based on the eBook Get More From 24 Hours in a Day and Win More Government Contracts, which contains the entire series with additional bonus content and tutorials. The eBook is evolved from a presentation at APMP's International Bid & Proposal Con 2021, given by OneTeam's Product Manager, Donna Hamby. Download your free copy of the eBook.
OneTeam is a complete, secure, cloud-based collaboration platform for GovCons to track, qualify, capture, propose and win more contracts with fewer resources by streamlining and automating processes. OneTeam was designed and developed by a federal government contractor to address the lack of resources and time, as well as the pain associated with winning government contracts.