The past performance section is often the most highly rated part of a proposal. Project owners place a large significance on contractors having experience performing similar work. Here are the four steps the Meridian West team uses to crush past performance write-ups.
Step 1: The Vetting Process
Choosing the right past performance projects can make or break a proposal. A thorough vetting process is important to demonstrate your relevant experience. Refer back to your proposal/project library (see our previous blog post about the importance of a proposal library) and generally, you will start with the projects that have the most relevant scope (i.e. roofing, new vertical construction, design-build, etc.), then you will narrow them down to the required timeframe (i.e. within the past five years), narrow further by dollar value (i.e. within the past five years), continue to narrow depending on other RFP evaluation criteria. For more information on understanding the evaluation criteria of an RFP, check out this previous blog!
Step 2: Creating the Project Template
Utilize any required attachments by either inserting the information into your proposal page layout, or if required, complete the form as is and insert into your page layout afterward. RFP’s don’t always provide attachments for projects, sometimes they just list the required information. Be sure to incorporate everything required into the proposal page layout.
Pro Tip: Double check the evaluation criteria for any information that is not in the submission criteria but deemed relevant and incorporate as a header or paragraph.
Step 3: Data Dump
Once you have selected relevant projects and created the project template, it’s time to data dump all the required criteria. Insert all the factual information first, like the contract number, dollar value, period of performance and point of contact information. Then dump all the narrative available to describe each part or phase of the project.
Pro Tip: Insert all the information you have for the project to make sure everything gets in, you can tailor and delete after the dump, based on relevancy and page limits.
Step 4: Tailor the Write-Up
This is the step you can really earn points and wow the evaluators. In the narrative section of the project template be as descriptive as possible about all scopes of work performed throughout. Tailor the write-up to the proposed project as much as possible, for example, highlight all similarities of scope, environment, construction or design type and comparable features. Read more about making the most of your past experience write-ups in this blog post: 5 Tips to Make Projects a Priority.
Pro Tip: Provide a relevancy paragraph or text box that lists all the submission and evaluation criteria that match with your past performance project. This paragraph will provide evaluators with a quick snapshot of just how relevant your project is.
Contact Meridian West to help you start your project library, or tailor projects to a current solicitation. We are queens of finding and presenting relevance!