Importance of Your Technical Proposal Writing Approach

When bidding on any federal government contract, your technical proposal writing approach generally carries the most weight. This section of the bid must detail your approach to various aspects of the solicitation’s requirements preparing federal government bidsincluding staffing, understanding the requirements and providing detail that explains how you will actually perform each aspect of the Statement of Work (SOW).

Technical proposal preparation for government contracts means not only complying with solicitation requirements. It also means having a proposal writer that understands how the agency evaluates your bid package. Ultimately, in the event of a bid protest, would your technical proposal approaches survive the challenge?

Staffing and Hiring Incumbent Personnel

An issue that comes up in technical proposals for government contracts is your proposed staffing and potentially using incumbent personnel. You should consider putting this detail in your staffing approach despite the Agency failure to request it..

If your technical proposal states that you expect to hire incumbent personnel, you may want to show how you intend to hire them.

  • Give a detailed plan on how you will accomplish this task.
  • Even if not required, get commitment letters.

Analyze Factors and Subfactors

Typically in federal contracts, in order for a technical proposal to be rated acceptable, you want to aim for acceptability for all factors and subfactors. This a critical aspect of your final proposal team’s review.

Understanding How to Write a Technical Proposal for a Tender

Proposal writing means convincing the agency that you understand the technical requirements and that you provide enough detail to tell the source selection members how you actually intend to perform the various parts of the SOW.

  • Many companies fail to meet this mark.
  • As a result, they get low evaluation scores.

 At a minimum you want to address the following in your technical proposal writing:

  • Tell the agency how you will perform each aspect (repeating the requirements will get low scores; stating that you have read and understand, or will comply will get your proposal thrown out.)
  • Provide recent and relevant past performance (similar size, scope and complexity)

Regardless of the stated weight for each technical proposal factor or subfactor, you want to treat each part as though it were the only rated part of your proposal.

Many technical proposal writers, merely state the contractor’s approach without understanding how source selections really work. This can be a fatal mistake.

What to Do First

The first order of business when approaching how to write a technical proposal for a tender is to actually look at the rating scheme and definitions on the solicitation. 

Sometimes, the agency provides color schemes, or descriptions for excellent, good, etc. At best, your technical writing efforts  must focus on those definitions.

Then, a full explanation of how you will perform is absolutely critical. Technical approach proposal must account for the fact that agency selection decisions can be based upon an independent assessment of the evaluated strengths and weaknesses in each offerror’s technical proposal.

  • Your goal is to gain as many technical strengths as possible.
  • Meeting the bare minimum requirements will not get a high score.

If the requirement is negotiated under FAR 15, the final evaluation and best value stages require the government to compare your writing efforts to your competition.

  • Your proposal first has to rank within the agency’s scoring scheme.
  • Then, you must still beat your completion’s approach.

Government contractors submitting a technical proposal should be aware that initially the bids will be compared to the actual solicitation criteria.  Assignment of adjectival ratings should generally not be based upon a simple count of strengths and weaknesses, but on a qualitative assessment of the proposals consistent with the agency’s evaluation scheme.

Adjectival ratings are merely a guide for intelligent decision-making. Therefore, the agency is forced in a bid protest to show adequate documentation to support its decision. If your technical writing efforts lack detail, then your award might be successfully challenged in a  GAO bid protest.

Technical Writing  — Staffing Efforts

When the solicitation requires you in your technical proposal to submit proposed staffing levels and labor hours and personnel, your technical proposal writer should be able to explain how many labor hours it will take to complete the task. More importantly, the proposal must explain why the proposed staffing level is sufficient to accomplish the task.

Staffing is an area of government contract bidding that will catch contractors off guard. The agency will more than likely have an independent estimate. If you are below or above that estimate, then you have to prove in a bid protest why your technical proposal should have been considered.

  • This is too late in the bidding process to have to prove your technical approach.

Technical Proposal Writing — Key Personnel

When writing a proposal for federal government, your staffing approaches should also describe key personnel and level of ability that they bring to the table.

The government can look for low qualification and education as a reason to give you a lower technical proposal score. Always make sure that you propose highly qualified personnel in your technical writing approach.

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