Debriefs for the requesting offeror

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Presentation by Pat Dotter, ACAS with the Minnesota PTAC. Sponsored by US SBA North Dakota and ND PTAC.

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Debriefs for the requesting offeror

  1. 1. Why You Should Always Ask For A Debrief Whether You Win or Lose You submitted your proposal, and then waited anxiously to hear whether you won or lost. You had your hopes up, and maybe got exactly what you were wishing for: the contract is awarded to your company. You have millions of things to take care of since you now need to start up the program. You may not even have enough time to plan your win party because you are so busy. Or, maybe you have lost and are thoroughly disappointed. After all, you have given it your best, spent scarce resources and sleepless nights, and witnessed heroic efforts from your entire team putting the proposal together. Whether you won or lost, however, you cannot consider your proposal effort complete until you have asked the government for a debrief. You are bound to win a lot more proposals if you consider lessons learned after each pursuit to improve your proposal management process, your knowledge of your customers, and your offers. So, what is a debrief? The government is required by FAR 15.506 to provide official feedback on your proposal to your company, if you make a request within three days of the notification. During the debrief, the government contracting officer, with support from other evaluators, discusses strengths and weaknesses in your proposal, provides the overall evaluated price and technical rating of the winner, offers summary rationale for award, and provides "reasonable" responses to "relevant" questions. It makes sense that a debrief after a loss is a way to understand what you missed and what you could have done better, but it may seem redundant to ask for a debrief when you won. Obviously, they loved your proposal and chose you, so what more could you ask for? Besides getting a reassurance that you got things right, there are a couple of important reasons you should ask for a debrief. One reason is that you may be surprised as to what the government thought was the most compelling part of your offer. What swayed them to your side may not have been what you thought was the most important part. Now that you have a vested interest in keeping them happy not just as your evaluator but as your full-fledged client, this information is vitally important to make sure that your company meets and exceeds client expectations. You also need to share this information with your business development team to replicate the successful techniques in your next proposal to this customer. Another reason is that even winning proposals have weaknesses, and you'd better know about yours. If this is an open competition contract, you are never secure from a scorned, losing competitor finding a legitimate reason to protest and get the proposal re-competed. Since it is a normal practice for a losing competitor to get a debrief, they are guaranteed to get information on their proposal weaknesses, and would then have a chance to make informed changes in the next go-round. If, simultaneously, you fail to get a debrief because you were a winner, and assume that all you need to do is resubmit your old proposal with minor tweaks because it has already won, think again. It is not totally unheard of to lose in the second go-around. Proposals are not read, they are scored. Even if yours got the higher score and won, you may still have had some weaknesses, or some areas that were rated "good" but not "outstanding". Your competitors will have corrected weaknesses in each section to get the highest score. You will have made no changes because you didn't know that some of your sections may have gotten an average score. Think how frustrating and unfair it would be to lose what you had won. If you have lost, request a debrief immediately, no matter how uncomfortable it may seem. It may feel like going willingly to a session where the government gets to add an insult to an injury. Debriefs are often tense
  2. 2. and formal, and not particularly forthcoming with information because many government employees have concerns of their own. First, there may be a simple human aspect of not fancying being the "bad guys" because many understand that it takes money, sweat, and blood to prepare a proposal - so the natural tendency is to keep the encounter as short as possible. Second, the government always worries about your launching a protest based on what you learn in the debrief, so they have to watch their every word. Protests are an overwhelming concern because of the resulting project delays, endless paperwork to investigate and adjudicate, and possible questioning from the Hill. In order to make the best of your debrief, you need to assuage the government's concerns of your launching a protest. You also can put people at ease by not acting on the natural temptation to express sour feelings or act defensive. You need to put yourself and your colleagues in a right frame of mind to think of the event as an important milestone in a long-term relationship. Your attitude going in should be forward-looking, with sincere curiosity and good sportsmanship. You've hit a snag and would like the government to provide some insight into how you could better meet their expectations in the future. Tell the government that while you lost a proposal this time, you have full intention of continuing to work with them and you value your relationship. Phrase your questions to be entirely focused on lessons learned and constructive resolution. Smile, look the government straight in the eye, hold your head up high, and take detailed notes. At the same time, do not let the government get away with glittering generalities that you do not understand or that they fail to fully explain. Prepare specific questions on the features of your offer to verify whether your assumptions were correct, and if and why the government liked or disliked each key feature of your offer. Draw information out of them concerning what they think would get the specific sections scored higher; what would be the ideal offer that you could provide, even if it is unrealistic; what benefits they would like to see that weren't obvious; and how you could improve your writing, graphics, and features. You should leave the meeting with a clear understanding of what you need to do to be more competitive in your next solicitation. In summary, requesting a debrief after you have won or lost a bid is a proposal management best practice. Come to the debrief well-prepared, having reread the proposal, and bring a copy with you for quick reference. Take detailed notes to share with your colleagues and management, and conduct a formal lessons learned session shortly thereafter. You will be surprised how much your win rate goes up.
  3. 3. Questions To Ask During a Proposal Debrief When the customer announces that an opportunity you have bid on has been awarded, you should request a debrief to provide feedback on how your proposal was evaluated. On Federal proposals, they may be required to provide one when requested. If you have lost, the feedback can help you improve your future proposals. But you should request one even when you win, and for exactly the same reason. A debrief can help you understand how the customer perceived your proposal and help you make better decisions. Keep in mind that you don't want to impose on the customer and that some customers will be concerned that you are going to protest their decision. There may be some questions that they are not comfortable answering, and you shouldn't push. If you do not intend to protest, you should make it clear to the customer that you just want feedback so that you can provide them with better proposals in the future --- it's in their interest too! Here are some questions to consider asking during a debrief: Basic questions: • Who won? • How many bids were received? • What was your overall score? • Was your score closer to the top or close to the bottom? • What was the winner's score? • Did the winner have the lowest price? • Did the winner have a higher score on the technical evaluation factors? If price was a major factor and you lost: • Did you score higher or lower than the winner on technical factors? • Did you scope the level of effort (number of people/hours) appropriately? • Was the skill level of your proposed staffing too high? • Did the winner propose more or less staff/hours? By how much? If you scored higher on technical factors but lost: • Did you lose because your higher score on technical drove up the cost? • If your price had been the same as the winner, would your proposal have represented the best value? If you scored lower on technical factors: • How did your staffing score?
  4. 4. • How did your technical understanding and approach score? • How did your past performance score? • Did you have any compliance issues? If the incumbent won: • Did the incumbent score higher on the technical evaluation factors? • Did the incumbent score higher on experience? • Would a more clear statement that you would retain the incumbent staffing have improved your score? Miscellaneous: • How did the presentation and appearance of your proposal stack up against the competition? • What differentiated you from the other bids? • Was your proposal easy to navigate and score? • Was the appearance of your proposal better, worse, or about the same as your competition? • Did it contain any fluff or content that should have been substantiated better? • Is there anything the customer would recommend for you to improve?
  5. 5. Always Ask For A Debriefing - And Remember, You Must File A Protest Within Ten Days Of Learning Of The Basis Of The Protest! There is no harm and everything to gain in asking for a debriefing on a negotiated procurement that you lose. An offeror has three days in which to request a debriefing upon receipt of notification of contract award. FAR 15.506. The request for debriefing must be in writing. The intent of a debriefing is to learn of weaknesses in your proposal so that you will write a better proposal next time. In some instances you learn of a basis for protest-e.g., a flaw in the procurement, incorrect evaluation, or other basis for grounds for a protest. A protest must be filed no later than ten calendar days after the protester knew, or should have known, of the basis of the protest. In order to stop the award or contract performance, the protest must be filed within five days of the debriefing. In some cases a contractor may come to the debriefing with a list of questions to which the agency may reply that it will answer the contractor's questions after the debriefing. This makes the time for filing a protest a bit tricky. Should the contractor learn of a basis for protest from the debriefing session, then it must not wait, and must file a protest within 10 days of the debriefing session-regardless of the fact that it is still waiting for the agency to answer questions. However, should the contractor learn of a basis for protest only after having received the agency's response to its questions, then the contractor has ten days from that date to file a protest. The emphasis on the rule is awareness-if you know the basis for a protest, then the clock starts to run and you only have ten days in which to file a protest. In New SI, LLC, B-295209, November 22, 2004, the agency provided a debriefing on October 6, during which time the contractor was advised of the agency's evaluation process, the ratings and scores on the contractor's proposal, and the weaknesses, strengths and risk assessments of the contractor's proposal. The next day the contractor submitted written questions to the agency. The agency furnished a response on October 15. On October 20, the contractor filed a protest. GAO held the protest to be untimely stating that absent clear indication from the agency that the scheduled debriefing session was considered to be extended pending agency's response to questions, the debriefing is presumed to have ended at the conclusion of the debriefing session. The contractor failed to protest within ten days of the debriefing and therefore its protest was untimely. The important point here is that the basis for protest was made known to the contractor at the debriefing session. Thus, the contractor should have protested within ten days of that time. TIPS: (1) Always obtain a debriefing-you will learn a lot. (2) If you want to stop performance of a contract, protest within five (5) calendar days of the debriefing. (3) If you want to file a timely protest (but not stop performance) file a protest within ten (10) calendar days of the debriefing. Back to top An Agency Must Follow the Evaluation Factors In A Solicitation Or GAO Will Sustain A Protest The Government Accountability Office ("GAO") reminds us once again of the need for an agency to follow the evaluation factors in a solicitation ("RFP"), and not to deviate from them. In ProTech Corp., B-294818, Dec. 30, 2004 (released April 18, 2005), the GAO sustained a protest where the Corps of Engineers had selected a higher-rated, higher-priced
  6. 6. proposal over a lower-rated, lower-price one, but the weight applied in the source selection decision differed from what was announced in the RFP. The Corps was soliciting for military family housing on a "best value" basis, considering five factors: project management plan, experience, past performance, betterments and price. The project management plan factor was the most important factor; twice as important as any other technical factors. The experience, past performance, and betterments factors were stated in the RFP to be equal in importance. Offerors were informed that although betterments were not required, more betterments would be considered more favorably than fewer betterments. In making the source selection decision, the agency treatment the betterments factor as "fourth and least most important factor" even though this factor was identified in the RFP as being equal in weight to the experience and past performance factor. The selection official advised GAO that all of the technical factors were listed in descending order of importance - - which was incorrect. If the agency had applied the correct weight to the betterment factor, there was "a reasonable possibility that ProTech's lower priced proposal would have been selected for the award." Accordingly, ProTech was prejudiced by the improper weighting. GAO recommended that the Corps make a new source selection decision. TIPS: (1) When preparing a proposal, be sensitive to the weights of the technical factors. (2) Agencies should ensure that their evaluations follow the RFP evaluation factors and their weights precisely as stated in the solicitation. (3) If you lose an award and discover (e.g., in a debriefing) that the evaluation factors in the RFP were not followed, you likely have a sustainable protest.
  7. 7. How to Use Post-Submission Debriefs to Increase Your Win Rate By Harley Stein, professional oral presentation coach and Partner of Tenzing Consulting After every proposal, win or lose, we must gather lessons learned from two realities: our customer's reality and our team's reality. Post-submission debriefs with associated actions are two key ways to improve win rates. There are two types of post-submission debriefs: a customer debrief and an in-house debrief. Each type of debrief provides valuable but different lessons learned – and each is key to improving your win rate. From the customer debrief we can learn how a specific customer evaluates proposals (scoring scheme); what matters to this customer (why they gave us these scores); what we did well (our strengths); and where we need to improve (our weaknesses and our risks). From the in-house debrief we can learn who in our organization are effective proposal contributors; how efficiently we operated; and the strengths and weaknesses of our proposal process. Customer Debriefs There are five keys to learning from customer debriefs: • Request a debrief win or lose • Know what you want to learn and what you can expect to learn • Carefully select attendees • Set rules of engagement • Communicate the right attitude. Request a debrief win or lose – This is the first and most important step with regard to customer debriefs. Many companies request a debrief after a loss, but not after a win, yet a debrief after a win is often more valuable than one after a loss If we are granted a debriefing on a proposal we won, we are more likely to hear the real reasons why we won. Why? The customer is not worried that we might protest! A debrief after a win is also a good opportunity to learn where we fell short in the proposal because customers can afford to be candid. And in being candid they will often discuss their insights in detail. These insights will help us improve future proposals, both to this customer and others. The official debrief after a win is really only the first step. Because you now have access to your customer daily, over the course of the contract your leadership can learn what their counterparts thought of our proposal effort.
  8. 8. Know what you want to learn and what you can expect to learn – What we want to learn is pretty straightforward: Why the heck didn’t you select us (or if we won, why did you select us)? What can you expect to learn? That depends primarily on the customer and secondarily on our attendees. Let’s start with what you typically don’t learn. You typically don’t learn how your competitors scored. Most debriefs focus solely on your company’s bid. The exception here is that some customers will tell us how we ranked among the bidders at the highest scoring level of their scheme. For example, they may say we were second in the technical factor and third in the management factor. Customers do not typically provide details as to why a specific competitor scored first in a specific area. You typically don’t learn exactly what the customer wants to see. The closest customers will come is by revealing their detailed scoring scheme (see the examples that follow). Remember: customer debriefings are not to justify why we were or were not selected. What can you learn? You can learn what matters to them; in other words, why they gave us these scores. You can learn what you did well (your strengths) and where you need to improve (your weaknesses and risks). And you can learn all of these if the customer provides you with even hints of their scoring scheme. Few Federal Government customers use a point scoring scheme anymore, though there are some. Many use some type of adjectival scoring (see Table 1). Others use plusses and minuses to highlight strengths, weaknesses and risk (see Table 2). Others use factors for major sections and standards for subsections. Many customers evaluate risk as a separate entity. So if you get a +++ or a Purple score, it tells you that you likely did exactly what the customer was hoping for. Customers typically provide the color or adjectival score on a significant section – for example, you might get Blue for your technical approach. Customers typically provide the plus-minus score on subsections – for example, your subsection on hiring and maintaining staff, which was within your overall management approach section. Table 1. Adjectival (or color) scoring scheme. Purple: Exceptional—Offeror’s proposal demonstrates an EXCEPTIONAL understanding of goals and objectives of the procurement, and approach to satisfying them 1. One or more major strengths exist 2. No Significant weaknesses exist 3. Strengths significantly outweigh any weaknesses that exist Blue: Very Good—Offeror’s proposal demonstrates a VERY GOOD understanding of goals and objectives of the procurement, and approach to satisfying them
  9. 9. 1. Strengths outweigh any weaknesses that exist 2. Any weaknesses are easily correctable Green: Acceptable—Offeror’s proposal demonstrates a GOOD understanding of goals and objectives of the procurement, and approach to satisfying them 1. There may be strengths and/or weaknesses 2. Weaknesses are not offset by strengths, but the weaknesses do not significantly detract from the offeror’s proposal 3. Weaknesses are correctable Yellow: Marginal—Offeror’s proposal demonstrates a FAIR understanding of goals and objectives of the procurement, and approach to satisfying them 1. Weaknesses outweigh any strengths that may exist 2. Weaknesses will be difficult to correct Red: Unacceptable—Offeror’s proposal demonstrates a POOR understanding of goals and objectives of the procurement, and approach to satisfying them 1. No significant strengths exist, and one or more significant weaknesses exist 2. Weaknesses clearly outweigh any strengths that may exist 3. Weaknesses will be very difficult to correct or are not correctable Table 2. Plus-minus scoring scheme. Score Category Definition Strengths +++ Significant Significantly above standards/expectations ++ Major Above standards/expectations + Minor Slightly above standards/expectations Weaknesses - Minor Slightly below standards/expectations - - Major Below standards/expectations - - - Significant Significantly below standards/expectations It is fair at a debrief to ask why you received a Yellow score or why you were scored a double- minus. Will you receive an answer that satisfies you and allows you to improve the next time you bid to this customer? It depends on the customer, the contentiousness of the bid, and your attitude at the debrief.
  10. 10. Carefully select attendees – The number of attendees at a customer debrief should be severely limited. The criterion for attending is straightforward. 1. You must know the proposal well. For example, the capture manager and/or program manager are often our leads at customer debriefs, based on the theory that they know what we bid better than anyone else. 2. You must bring specific knowledge. For example, the cost lead and the technical lead often attend due to their knowledge of what and how we bid from a cost and technical perspective. 3. You need an objective outsider. A key attendee is an objective third party, someone without a “dog in the fight.” This person will be open to nuances and statements that the people who participated in the proposal effort might not want to hear. 4. You need a contracts and/or legal representative. Most companies require a contracts representative, others a legal representative, and some both. There are always more people who want to attend – who believe they have to attend – than we actually want to bring. The executive in charge of the bid often wants to attend; however, they typically have nothing they will add to the discussion. They simply want to hear first-hand what the customer says. If, on the other hand, the executive played a significant role in the bid, then perhaps they attend rather than a capture manager or program manager. The key is to bring the smallest group necessary; you don’t want to overwhelm the customer with an army. Not much can silence your customer faster than a lot of attendees. Set rules of engagement – Before we attend a customer debrief we must pre-meet with attendees to set roles, responsibilities, and conduct. This means determining who leads; who speaks and when; who does what and when; and who is listening and documenting the session. As with all teams, a pre-meeting to set the rules of engagement will enable the team to walk into the customer debrief ready to perform – and not ready to storm instead! Communicate the right attitude at the debrief – If we walk in with a chip on our shoulders and with a half-dozen corporate lawyers, expect the government to say little or nothing. We’ve clearly shown them we are very unhappy and ready to protest. If we are combative, challenging the points they make, expect the government to say little or nothing. If we are friendly and open, there is a chance the government will be too. Often we have communicated beforehand – unofficially – with our customer to let them know that in requesting a debrief we have no other motive other than learning. As a participant in a debriefing, your role is to listen and learn, not argue. After the debrief, participants ought to separately document their impressions to ensure objectivity. Once that is accomplished, the participants assemble to share observations. These should be focused on capturing outcomes. From these reports, a lessons learned document is compiled and shared with the appropriate people and organizations. An example of how we learned from customer debriefs – We had a government customer that instituted a 1000-point scoring scheme. This scoring scheme allocated roughly 350 points to the specific technical approach. The other 650 points was allocated to mostly boilerplate material
  11. 11. that we tailored slightly for each customer and bid: past performance, quality, safety, management approach, HR functions, tools, etc. In our first bid to this customer we scored over 300 of the 350 points allocated for technical; we were second in this score among all bidders. We did noticeably worse across the boilerplate sections, scoring roughly 500 out of a possible 650 points, and our overall score was a losing score. However, there was a silver lining: this customer provided us with a detailed debrief, walking through every section of the proposal, telling us our score, and telling us why we received that score. They answered several of our clarifying questions, though of course they wouldn’t tell us that a particular approach was the right answer. Before our next bid to this customer we revised our boilerplate sections based on what we learned at the debrief. Our next bid to them scored about the same in the technical section, and once again we were second technically. This time, though, we scored slightly over 600 points – and we won the bid. We won seven straight bids with this customer, and in only two of those bids were we first technically. In-House Debriefs We conduct in-house debriefs reviews to evaluate and improve our capture and proposal process. The goal is to enable us to know, share, and repeat what we do well, and to recognize and improve what we don’t do well. Specifically, we can learn three key things: • Who in our organization are effective proposal contributors • How efficiently we operated • The strengths and weaknesses of our proposal process. The information for an in-house debrief is often compiled by surveying key members of the proposal team through a combination of a questionnaire, interviews, and meetings. A questionnaire or lessons learned document should be completed by all proposal contributors immediately after proposal submission, before memories fade. This should be a standard document used for all efforts (see Lessons Learned questionnaire appendix), and contributors should be able to complete it anonymously if need be. In addition, in some organizations the proposal manager interviews team members while the proposal effort is still fresh in their minds. Given the fluid and flexible nature of proposals, in-house debriefs can and should be conducted whenever and however we are able. Good proposal managers and/or capture managers should capture data throughout the proposal process. Some of these managers keep suggestion boxes where any proposal contributor can drop in suggestions at any time. Some proposal contributors have limited roles – perhaps they are color review team members. Waiting for the end of the proposal effort for them to provide feedback might be too late. Suggestion boxes, a brief interview, or the use of tools such as SharePoint make collection of feedback much easier. This multi-channel approach to capturing feedback is particularly useful when contributors are here and gone or when they wish to submit feedback anonymously. The proposal manager collects the documentation and reviews it with leaders from their organization as well as from capture management. Together they sift through the data and turn it
  12. 12. into useful information, which is added to their proposal process database. This information then becomes the basis for the in-house debrief. One innovative idea is to have an objective third party conduct your in-house feedback process. A third party won’t bristle at the bad and the ugly; will listen to everything; and will maintain objectivity. If your company is serious about instituting real improvements based on real lessons learned, a third party observer can effectively lead in-house debriefs across multiple proposal efforts and help identify systemic trends/issues. Effective proposal contributors – Growing a corps of good proposal contributors is one way to ensure high-quality proposals. Good capture managers and proposal managers are in the best position to identify the quality of the contributors on their team. A key to growing your in-house proposal resources is requiring that these managers evaluate their team members; for those members who are not yet strong but show promise, they must also identify areas for improvement. It is not only capture and proposal leadership that conduct evaluations; your proposal team members provide invaluable insight regarding the skills and effectiveness of their teammates as well as their leaders. In this way we grow proposal resources across all aspects of the capture and proposal process. It is through this identification and evaluation process that our proposal contributors are given more challenges and broader responsibilities, developing from subsection writer to section writer, from book boss to proposal manager. As we grow our proposal resources and they become stronger, our win rate increases. One key to this improvement is to develop a set of metrics to evaluate proposal contributors. These metrics should measure the various skills required of proposal contributors: writing, graphics, leadership, teamwork, etc. One other group whose effectiveness we want to evaluate and measure is our teammates. What we are hoping for are teammate companies who carry their fair share of the proposal burden, who step up when we need them to step up. These are teammates who typically will contribute when we win the program, and they are teammates we want to partner with in the future. How efficiently we operated – The key to going from blank paper to a winning proposal in 30 days is how quickly we pass through the four stages of team dynamics: forming, storming, norming, and performing. The more quickly we reach the last stage, the more efficiently we operate. This is a soft skills element; it is all about teamwork and an atmosphere that encourages collaboration. Our best leaders are adept at molding teams and quickly ushering them from forming to high performing. This is, perhaps, the critical skill that a proposal leader must have. Often a key ingredient here is how efficiently the capture manager and the proposal manager work together. Those with complementary skills and complementary personalities who can build a relationship are typically stronger as a pair leading a team. Those who are oil and water …
  13. 13. The strengths and weaknesses of our proposal process – The final item we can learn about from our in-house debrief is how effective our proposal process was. Debrief documentation should specifically ask about the effectiveness of milestones in the proposal process – kickoff meeting, color reviews, etc. – and should also ask for recommendations of how to improve. Examples of what we have learned – Across many companies, I have seen numerous examples of lessons that were learned that improved the proposal process, the strength of contributors, and our efficiency. Through in-house debriefs we learned: • To provide far more examples for our proposal team to use early in the proposal process • That assigning the same person as Capture Manager and Proposal Manager is a recipe for failure — add Program Manager to their responsibility and you’ve cooked the losing meal • If you haven’t helped the customer shape requirements; if you don’t have an intimate knowledge of them and they of you — NO BID • The hardest decision you should have to make is the one not to pursue • The days of winning with green proposals are in the rear-view mirror — it takes blue to win. The customer debrief and the in-house debrief each provide valuable but different lessons learned – and each is key to improving your win rate. Below is the Proposal Process Lessons Learned Questionnaire. Click here to download the Microsft Word file.
  14. 14. Proposal Process Lessons Learned Questionnaire Proposal Title _____________________________________________ Name ________________________________ Role ____________________ Date ___________ Please respond with your evaluation of the proposal development effort. The objective of this questionnaire is for you to evaluate the processes and resources we used, for you to provide constructive criticism of our effort, and for you to recommend improvements. For each process or resource, provide a numerical value to indicate the effectiveness of the process listed: 1 indicates very effective and 5 indicates that we need a lot of improvement. If you did not participate in a process or did not use a resource, indicate not applicable (N/A). 1. Overall Proposal Quality Overall Quality (1 Excellent/ 5 Poor) ______ Quality of the section to which you contributed ______ Volume/Section # _________ Rationale _____________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Effectiveness Key Metric (1 Excellent/5 Poor) ___________ Was the proposal well organized? Did it follow the RFP instructions? ___________ Was the proposal easy to read? Were there clear win themes and action captions? ___________ Did we succinctly define the problem/requirements we were addressing? ___________ Did we clearly tie the problem/requirements to our solution? ___________ Did we clearly define the customer benefits from what we proposed? ___________ Did we provide proof to substantiate claims? ___________ Did we clearly tell the customer why they should choose us? ___________ Did we address the RFP requirements and evaluation criteria? If you reviewed the proposal after submission, describe any major errors you found: ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________
  15. 15. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ 2. Processes Effectiveness Key Events/Activities (1 Excellent/5 Poor) ___________ Kickoff Meeting ___________ Proposal Training ___________ Proposal Direction ___________ Capture Team Role Definition ___________ Win Themes/Strategies ___________ Storyboard/Pink Team Review ___________ Red Team Review ___________ Capture Manager Leadership ___________ Proposal Manager Leadership ___________ Proposal Facilitator Coordination ___________ Production Support 3. Team Building Effectiveness Key Activities (1 Excellent/5 Poor) ___________ Did we establish a team relationship? ___________ Did we clearly communicate time frames/due dates? ___________ Was there a Master Schedule? ___________ Did we communicate customer understanding and hot buttons? ___________ Did we hold daily team meetings? ___________ Did we develop an outline? ___________ Did we compile a phone list? ___________ Did we create a compliance checklist? 4. Resources Effectiveness Resources (1 Excellent/5 Poor) ___________ Were supplies readily available? ___________ Did you have access to the equipment you needed? ___________ Did you have access to folders on the network as needed? ___________ Was there a proposal war room? Please provide recommendations for those areas you score as a 4 or 5. Please describe those processes and resources that you score as a 1 or 2.
  16. 16. Recommendations for process/resource improvements: ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Effective processes/resources to replicate/reuse: ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Harley Stein is a proposal professional, professional oral presentation coach and Partner of Tenzing Consulting, specializing in strategies, proposals, presentations and coaching. Contact Harley at hstein@comcast.net or 302-593-6718. Visit www.tenzing-consulting.com.

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