Proposal writing

Subject: Proposal writing
From: "Pitt, Julie" <julie -dot- pitt -at- digex -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 09:58:40 -0500

In response to Herman Holtz's post, John Posada wrote, in part:
<I can attest through personal experience that many more contracts are, for
all dollar levels, if not decieded, then at least tilted in a
specific direction before the RFP hits the street than you would like
to accept. Usualy this will be done by having the RFP specifications
defined so that only a specific product or service can comply with
most requirements.>

Me here:
Yup, when I worked on proposals for gov't contractors, we often knew when an
RFP was tailored for a specific company, especially when the gov't customer
wanted to keep their incumbent contractor. (And I've worked for companies
that were the incumbent, for whom the RFP was geared.) There were also some
surprising instances where the agency/office/whatever apparently wanted
"fresh blood" and chose contractors of whom they had very little previous
knowledge. That happened at my last proposal writing job--we were CONVINCED
we were wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars working on a proposal for a
very large defense contract where the customer did not know us all. It was a
very exhausting proposal development process, because we were proposing
several subcontractors and had to provide scads of information on them as
well as on our company. Lo and behold, we won--the contract had (has) a
potential value of close to $300 million.

Aside: You'd have thought they would've given the proposal team some sort of
bonus for such a big win. 'Splains why I don't work there anymore. It
wouldn't have bothered me as much, except I happened to know that my boss
had a discretionary bonus fund which he could allocate as he wished; he
chose to keep it all for himself.

And Kathi Jan DeGuzman asked:
<The developers were always asked to do the proposal writing because we knew
the product better than
anyone else. Has that changed in the government sector, so that tech writers
are not doing the proposals?>

Me again:
In my experience, we often asked developers/engineers with decent writing
skills to contribute to the technical proposal. But we always had at least
one tech writer/proposal writer who worked on the management and past
performance sections. 'Course, I've been away from that world for 8 months
now (yippee skippee!!), so I don't know if it's changed.


Julie, glad to be out of gov't contracting and proposal writing

"Diplomacy is the art of letting others have your way."
--Attributed to David Frost

| Julie Pitt Digex, Inc. |
| ISO Implementation Coordinator One Digex Plaza |
| Digex Consulting Beltsville, MD 20705 |
| Julie -dot- Pitt -at- Digex -dot- com |

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