Last time, we talked about reasons to set up a Multiple Award Contract (MAC) Program Management Office (PMO)-winning more task orders, managing overhead, and increasing profitability. Today, let's look at what elements make up a successful PMO.
Ideally, the PMO will have been organized prior to your proposal response. You will have thought about organizational elements required in the RFP and will have designed a responsive group. Some PMOs are stand-alone organizations, with P&L responsibility - almost like a separate business unit. Some are enveloped within the Operations or Programs groups. Whatever way you choose, the PMO must have visibility to and support of senior management. This is one of the frequently overlooked elements for a successful PMO.
For gathering metrics.
That's a lot, and it's only the top layer. Your PMO will need to reflect your company culture and must have upper management support - choosing a corporate Vice President Champion is a good idea.
Next time, we'll look at the timing of your PMO - when, exactly, should you launch it? To learn more about the successful MAC/PMO and to obtain assistance from one of our consultative specialists with experience working MACs and PMOs, contact Sid Jaffe at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 642-5153.
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If you need help designing and executing your capture program or proposals to win this procurement contact Sid Jaffe, at (703) 642-5153.
The Art of the Proposal - Proposal Planning Matters (Fifteenth in the Series)
By JP Richard, Vice President, Advantage Consulting, Inc.
Putting a proposal together involves bringing together a group of disparate writers to produce a marketing document that will win some profitable business for your company. It has to present your solution in a persuasive manner and convince the agency that you are the best choice they can make. The writers who put the document together have usually been taken away from their regular jobs, asked to spend extra time on the proposal, and are often more technically oriented than marketing-oriented. The proposal manager has to bring all of these writers together and get them to work effectively as a team. It's a tall order.
That's why the proposal manager has to take time up front to organize, long before bringing all the writers together for the inevitable kickoff meeting. There has to be a plan. Above all, the proposal manager must present a professional image to the proposal team when first meeting. The best way to do that is to have 'all your ducks in a row,' to use an old hackneyed expression. The proposal manager should receive a positive first impression from the team: well organized and completely prepared for the task ahead.
What are the elements of the plan that must be prepared ahead of time?
First, the road map of the proposal-the outline-has to be established. This is prepared with an eye to the RFP's Section L (where the government describes the contents, format, and order of what should be in the proposal) and Section M (where the proposal evaluation factors are detailed.)
Second, a schedule has to be developed. The writers must know, from day one, how much time they have to write their sections, when they will have to pause for the Red Team to review their material, and when they will no longer be able to submit material because the proposal is in the final production stage. This initial schedule may change later in the process, but it is important to have an initial schedule ready from the start.
Third, an assignment list has to be prepared, so all the writers know who is working on the proposal and which sections everyone is responsible for. This assignment should also include page budgets assigned to each writer.
Fourth, the win themes that are to be inserted into the proposal text should be presented at this time so all the writers know they need to use them.
Fifth, logistics issues must be decided ahead of time and presented to the team at the kickoff meeting. Style sheets that provide consistent naming conventions for all team members to use need to be presented. Version control-how do the writers know they are working on the latest version of the proposal-has to be set up.
All of this takes time and must be decided in advance to make the proposal manager at least appear ready. If all of this is presented in an organized manner at the kickoff meting, the team will know they have a leader who has thought the process through and can be depended on to think clearly throughout the proposal preparation process.
Want more proposal tips like this? Contact J.P. Richard at email@example.com.
Lowest Cost, Technically Acceptable is Popular But Not New
By Bill Hamilton, Vice President, Advantage Consulting, Inc.
A recent Washington Technology article warned contractors to expect more awards to contractors that meet minimum technical requirements at the "lowest" price. The article is not only timely, it is true: contractors that do not prepare for a "low price shoot out" can find themselves missing a few wins.
We discuss this problem in our business development and capture workshops, addressing ways to position a company and more effectively price bids in response to the solicitation. The lowest price bid has been around a long time and is popular in commodity purchases but is now used to procure services as well. While it does give an agency the public relations edge of being able to point out ways they "saved the government money," it also restricts their agency's freedom of choice. When they say they will award to the lowest price, technically acceptable, they are giving up the benefits inherent in a best value procurement also favored by the FAR. This is an opportunity for a good contractor to build a solution they know will meet agency needs and budget restrictions.
A company can provide a good solution at "lowest price," but the company will have to have a very close relationship with the client to be able to do that. It is one thing to price a gallon of paint with specific technical requirements; itís another to price a detailed technical services solution without knowing the customer's preferences. A company must know fully the agency mission, and the requirements and goals for the procurement. Clear, specific 'must have' characteristics of the procurement requirements must be identified and provided. There is little room for error. Many times the 'must-haves' are difficult to separate from the 'like-to-haves.' The only way you can identify that difference is by working with the agency long before the solicitation is released.
Lowest price, technically acceptable can be a good environment for an aggressive innovative contractor who knows the customer well and can honestly respond to their needs while understanding their financial constraints. We can help you in pursuit of these opportunities either in our workshops or in consulting support. Contact Bill Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (703) 642-5153 and let's talk.
We have reviewed children so let's review getting older - You're Getting Older When...
When you remember when the Dead Sea was only sick.
You and your teeth don't sleep together.