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Step-by-Step Plan to Build a Successful Technical Approach

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step by step technical

Building a successful technical approach is critical to winning a contract. After you have developed a custom workflow graphic and technical personnel have validated it, you are ready to develop your technical approach narrative to support the graphic with a detailed approach, tools, interfaces, innovations, and win strategies.

A technical approach should focus on the benefits and results of your approach for your customer and should include several key areas for each technical section of the PWS. First, gather information for each of the areas below, and then you determine the best way to present the information, whether it is narrative, a graphic, a table, or a bulleted list. For example, you may gather innovations separate from the features/benefits/strengths, but may eventually display them in the same table. The key is to gather useful and relevant information and then refine it through a validation and review process. Your final proposal headings are determined by the RFP and proposal manager’s outline. The components are separated for data gathering but may be combined to create the most compelling presentation.

Components of a Technical Approach

Understanding of how this PWS element fits into the overall contract, supports the purpose of the contract, matches the customer’s needs, and helps to meet the customer’s mission. Discuss the end objectives or results of the work and how they will be used by the customer.

Section Theme or win theme, which may be incorporated into your understanding.

Overall Approach including the critical success factors that the successful contractor must have in terms of resources, experience, etc., to complete this work. Show how you meet critical success factors and how they are important to the customer. Provide a step-by-step guide to performing this PWS work. Refer to the Workflow graphic you developed, give the big picture of approach and allow the graphic to provide more detail.

Innovations you propose with corresponding customer benefits. They can be easily incorporated into your Features/Benefits chart for quick identification.

Tools/Methodologies/Skills/Techniques/Documents/Processes that you will use to execute this PWS. List software, existing customer systems and software, industry best practices, such as ITIL, SCRUM, PMP, etc. Some RFPs will ask how you will perform certain functions (monitor, maintain, enhance, extend, and deploy). To address each function thoroughly, gather information on each function separately. The example table below shows tools/methodologies/skills that are mapped to functions they perform.

Step by step technical approach 1

Interfaces to complete this PWS, including internal and external interfaces, vendor and departmental interfaces.

Features and Corresponding Benefits/Strengths/Discriminators are often presented in a table format is used throughout the proposal. Benefit must save time, save money, or provide a capability not previously available to customer. Some companies have moved to a slightly different approach that also highlights strengths of their approach, since not every part of the technical approach will have a new feature for the customer. This example table also incorporates proposed innovations.

Step by step technical approach 2 600


Discriminators and rationale are often worked into the Features/Strengths table.

Quality Control methods applied to this PWS element, including roles and responsibilities.

Risk Identification and Mitigation using an agency standard risk identification process, which is standard throughout the proposal to identify potential or perceived risks, their mitigation strategies, and scoring for unmitigated and mitigated risks.


Risk Matrix 600


Support your Approach

Proof Point, experience example, or golden nugget to show how well you performed this same work on another contract. The proof point should include:

  • Customer Name and location
  • Agency
  • Contract Name
  • Years on contract
  • Success story from contract performance
  • How it is similar to this PWS element

ProTip: Write your Past Performance Citations early, then use the citation to fuel proof points of your technical approach. A two-sentence description of how you have performed PWS 3.2.4 turns into a great proof point for showing HOW you SUCCESSFULLY accomplished this same work in the past. Simply add the customer, contract and other details to your thoroughly edited past performance citation information for exceptional substantiation!

Building a successful technical approach is one of the necessary skills Proposal Managers need to master. Download our Proposal Management Toolkit, which includes templates a team overview graphic, management approach format, risk management development, past performance examples, and other useful tools for proposal managers. Build a successful technical approach by integrating a custom workflow with detailed presentation of tools, processes, standards, features, benefits, innovations and much more. Start with gathering information and step-by-step you will generate a technical approach that is complete and compelling.

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