Proposal Development Process
A Proposal Development Process helps organizations respond to
Request for Proposals (RFP). Having an established proposal
development process should help ensure organizations develop the
best proposal possible that satisfies all the buyers needs and
requirements. Organizations that understand the customer's
procurement process, proposal evaluation methodology, governing
regulations, standards and laws have an inherent advantage over
Notional Steps in a Proposal
Step 1: Form Your Team
The most important step is gathering the most knowledgeable and
effective team members to write the proposal. The key players
Program Manager (PM), who runs the actual project if awarded,
and the Proposal Manager who is responsible for executing the
proposal development process.
Step 2: Plan
A plan should address how the
Proposal Content should be developed and the main proposal
requirements to achieve. The plan should list these proposal
requirements in a Compliance Matrix. An effective plan that gives
a timeline on when items are due and roles and responsibilities to
all proposal team member.
Step 3: Develop the Outline
Each volume team leader is responsible for developing a Proposal
Outline for the assigned proposal volume. This outline adds
details to the High-Level Outline such as customer requirements,
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and administrative approach to
each volume and section.
Step 4: Hold Formal Kickoff Meeting
The kickoff meeting is where the Program Manager and Proposal
Manager officially start proposal development efforts with all
team members. This is the best opportunity to make sure all team
members are informed of their responsibilities and overall goals
of the proposal.
Step 5: Prepare Story Board
Proposal storyboards should be developed using brainstorming and
storyboarding techniques. The volume team leader should be
responsible for planning and holding a brainstorming session with
the volume technical writers. Together, each section of the
proposal volume should be divided into sub-sections. For each
sub-section, supporting themes, key selling points, and visuals
should be developed.
With the information obtained through the brainstorming session,
technical writers should then complete a storyboard for each
assigned section of the volume. The volume team leader should be
responsible for deciding the storyboard walk-through schedules
with the team. The volume team leader must approve the
storyboards before passing them to the proposal project manager
for final approval. Once the storyboards are complete and
approved by the proposal project manager, the volume team leader
must ensure that the information is added to the annotated
proposal outline on the server.
Step 6: Pink Review
Each volume leader should brief their story board to the Proposal
Manager. It’s the responsibility of the proposal manager to
ensure that story board satisfies the requirements in the RFP and
complements the overall story of the proposal
Step 7: Prepare First Draft
The first rough draft is prepared by team members and reviewed by
each volume manager.
Step 8: Prepare Second Draft
The second rough draft is prepared by team members and reviewed by
the Project Manager.
Step 9: Red Team Review
The proposal project manager should arrange to have a Red Team
Review of the technical, management, and cost volumes. This
review should be scheduled towards the end of the proposal writing
but should still provide sufficient time for the Red Team Review
comments and recommendations to be evaluated and incorporated into
the proposal. Details for the review should be forwarded when
complete Every volume team leader should be responsible for
having the volume material ready for review should be prepared to
make presentations on the assigned volume.
Step 10: Submit Final Draft
Make sure the proposal is submitted to the exact submittal terms
in the RFP. Always have a backup plan for submitting just in case
something goes wrong or missing.
AcqLinks and References:
Proposal Evaluation Plan
Source Selection Plan
FAR 15 "Contracting by Negotiation"
- Website: The
Association of Proposal Management Professionals
Wikipedia – Business Proposal
FAR Subpart 15.203
'Solicitation and Receipt of Proposals and Information"
Navy Contract Management Process Guide