Researching a bid opportunity

  • Goal: The goal here is to help us understand:
    • Our chances of winning:
    • What is likely to be in the eventual RFP so that we can get a head start
    • What kind of shaping we can do to increase our chances of success
  • Limit our effort: Realistically we are only going to bid on 10-20% of the contracts we identify and start to research. So we need to keep our research focused and efficient
  • Scope our effort to the opportunity: As we’ve said before you should calibrate your research to the size of the opportunity and the time you have.

How much research to do depends on how much time you have:

You started engaging when the RFP came outYou started engaging when the RFI/SS came outYou started engaging pre-RFI/SS
Make a FOIA requestN/A: You don’t have time to get a FOIA responseThis is low effort, so submit the FOIA, but it probably won’t arrive in timeYes, make a FOIA request
Identify/ research the incumbent/ Current contractYes, you need this information to understand your chances of winning & make a go/no-go decisionYes, you need this information for your teaming & shapingYes, you need this information for your teaming & shaping
Research the competitionYes, but likely just enough to inform your go/no-go decision & help you find teammatesYes, you have time to do some fairly in-depth analysisYes, you have time to do some fairly in-depth analysis
Research the customerIf you have existing customer relationships then yes, otherwise you probably don’t have the timeIf you have customer relationships leverage them, but once the RFI is out the government gets hesitant about talking. Be sure to do open source research (e.g. speeches & testimony) Yes, you have time to create the relationship