(Dec. 15, 2014)  We have seen, more times than we can count, businesses rush to start writing proposal sections as soon as the RFP hits the street.  Writing full proposal narrative before your proposal team knows the solution baselines is like setting out to sea in a huge ship without a navigation plan. You don’t know where you’re going but you have to arrive by the deadline given and you are too cumbersome to turn on a dime for quick redirects if you head in the wrong direction.

Your proposal team of writers and reviewers will need to know the full solution before a single word is put on paper.

Before you even have the Proposal Kick-Off Meeting, you should have identified, at a minimum, all aspects of the following solution baselines:

  • Management Approach Baseline
    • Project management framework (e.g., PMI, ITSM, ISO 20000 SMS, etc.)
    • Organizational structure and span of authority and communication
    • Staffing mix and roles and responsibilities
    • Recruiting and retention plan
    • Quality assurance approach
    • Risk management approach
    • Transition approach
  • Technical Approach Baseline
    • Technical approach framework (e.g., ITIL, ITSM, CMM-I, etc.)
    • Technical approach process (how you will perform the work)
    • Technical teams structure and collaboration points
  • Cost Basis of Estimate
    • Reason for the staffing mix (make sure it aligns with staffing approach)
    • Process used to arrive at the total evaluated price
    • Justification for escalation percentage

Just like a project, a proposal needs a plan then you manage to the plan.  Proposals that have no plan (map) read like they have no map and important evaluation criteria can be missed.

Written by Shaanon Lindauer — December 15, 2014

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