The Development Source
One of the first steps in good government proposal development is to create a detailed outline of your proposal narrative. As Harley Stein, a Partner in Tenzing Consulting, points out, one of the most important goals in your outline should be to create a proposal that is completely compliant with the Request for Proposals (RFP).
If your outline is not compliant, your proposal may not be compliant either. As a result, you may be declared technically ineligible for not being compliant or reviewers may deduct points from their evaluations for your lack of compliance. Both of these results are disastrous.
There are three strategies you can take to create a compliant outline:
These strategies may sound a little confusing and contradictory. If you are confused, you can always ask the government agency for clarification during the question and answer period.
Strategy 1: Follow the proposal instructions in order and make sure that you address all the “shalls” and “wills” in the RFP, which are requirements. Using a Compliance Matrix will help you address all the requirements. When necessary, meld the evaluation criteria into your outline.
Strategy 2: When the RFP states that you should address all aspects of Section M, follow the evaluation criteria in order. When necessary, meld the proposal instructions into your outline.
Strategy 3: This is the most clear-cut outline because there should not be any conflicts between the performance-based requirements and the rest of the proposal…unless the government agency does not understand the difference between a performance-based contract and a standard RFP or if they combine the two. Unfortunately, this happens. If it does, follow the instructions, no matter how odd they may appear.
Whatever you do, make sure that you comply with the proposal instructions in your narrative outline. You evaluation score depends on it.