Are your projects showing up for you? I mean, we know you put them in the proposal under the correct tab and, all but are they really serving their purpose? With the competitive nature of Best Value and Performance Price Tradeoff procurements, its more critical than ever to invest in every aspect of a proposal submission—even past performance and experience factors. It may seem like the most basic aspect of a proposal submission, but if the evaluation criteria asks for A, B and C yet your good ol’ marketing “slick” focuses on D, E and F, chances are, your project submittal is not doing you any favors. We know it takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it and your confidence rating will thank you!
Here are just a few tips to help make the most of your past experience submissions:
Use the RFP-required format no matter what!! This helps evaluators compare apples to apples and eliminates confusion from the start. Don’t forget to use the correct fonts, line spacing and any other prescribed formatting as well as stay within the maximum page limitation.
Focus on compliance with submission criteria. Ask yourself, does the project meet minimum $ value or square footage requirements? Is it a similar facility type? Was it completed within the allowed timeframe? Did you perform as a Prime Contractor? Check, double check and then have a separate check that each project meets the minimum criteria because if you miss even one of these elements, this project won’t show up at all!
Customize the description to the pursuit. It’s critical to connect the dots for the source selection committee to ensure they understand exactly WHY your project is relevant. Don’t allow them to read paragraph upon paragraph and interpret the meaning of the project elements. Speak directly to the key features of the pursuit—does your project have the same scope? Was it performed for the same client? Did you overcome similar geographic/climate challenges? Identify every similar aspect your project has to the pursuit and make sure they are covered clearly in the project description.
Hit key evaluation points. Read the evaluation criteria to ascertain what project aspects will carry the most weight and then focus on those. Is a design-build project considered most favorable? Does showing multiple, concurrent projects achieve more consideration? Is past experience with proposed teaming partners preferable? Does performance as a prime contractor receive greater weight than that of a subcontractor? Understand the system and then go to work checking all of the boxes! It is not enough to meet the minimum criteria—to really make an impact you need to score ALL the bonus points you can.
Demonstrate problem solving skills. Neary every proposal gives offerors the opportunity to describe problems and corrective challenges or adverse past performance. And while it may be easiest to simply state that the project didn’t have any problems—you’re losing out on the opportunity to show your skills. Every single project has its challenges although nobody wants to classify them as “problems.” Take these challenges and use them as a case study to show how you adjusted the work plan, mitigated potential risks or provided value engineering solutions to the project. These skills are lessons learned that will show your ability to resolve similar challenges anticipated on the pursuit project.
With just a few adjustments, these five strategies can turn deficiencies/weaknesses into strengths to bolster your past experience factor rating and contribute to an increased confidence rating. Need help putting these tips to work for you? Drop us a line! We’d welcome the opportunity to make your projects a priority!