by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : September 30, 2013
Commentary | DAVID F. HALE Vendors navigating the federal procurement landscape rely on requests for proposals to vet opportunities, shape technical responses and frame pricing strate- gies. Some RFPs articulate acqui- sitions well; others do not. What separates successful and unsuc- cessful RFPs has little to do with the writing skills of the preparers. It is a function of the quality of the procurement planning and intra- agency coordination that precede the RFP s preparation. Federal procuring entities can quickly assess their RFP s chances of success by answering these three key questions. 1. Do you know what you want to procure and have you veri ed the requirements? The time to de ne the parameters of what is needed is before RFP preparation, not after its issuance. Often one of ce will write an RFP on behalf of another. It is not until the proposal review process begins that the other party realizes, "This is not what I wanted." Only then do the strategic conversations begin to de ne the "true" want or need. That sequence can result in an amended RFP or a delayed procure- ment, which can put funding at risk and create budget nightmares because the procurement will now extend into the next scal year. It seems so intuitive, but it bears repeating: Hold those strategic intra-agency conversations while formulating the RFP package, and review the RFP prior to issuance to ensure that it accurately captures the item or service desired. 2. Have you coordinated with industry? Simple steps --- such as talking with the vendor community, releasing a request for information, issuing a draft RFP for comment or holding an industry day --- are important. They open the lines of communica- tion and help procurement of cials better de ne the needs and strate- gies surrounding the opportunity. On the government side, procure- ment of cials have been talking about the acquisition in question for months and perhaps years. It is easy to forget that no one else possesses that same level of familiarity. Vendors need to know the back- ground to better target their propos- als. Plus, they are the experts when it comes to understanding what is possible and what is not within their industry. Early dialogue allows frank, open discussions that result in realistic goals and expectations. 3. Have you considered the con- tract strategy? Operational employees often view the strategy aspect of the procure- ment action as not relevant or outside their area of expertise. Yet it is vital for the operations side to weigh in on the agency s procure- ment strategy, given the rami ca- tions the selection model can have on them. For example, opting for a low- est price, technically acceptable contract rather than the best-value alternative can carry unforeseen costs and effects. Going with a vendor that lacks experience doing similar contract work, does not understand the performance envi- ronment or is unfamiliar with the agency s mission will undoubtedly result in learning-curve costs and delays. If cost and schedule overruns proliferate, the contract might need to be terminated or options not exercised. A "do over" procurement might be necessary --- meaning more costs and delays --- simply because the strategy was to buy in the cheapest way possible. Use of alternative work state- ments, such as performance work statements or statements of objec- tives, allows industry to propose a unique methodology to provide the government with the desired end state, instead of the government prescribing how the vendor should perform the work. Innovative, cost- effective solutions often result. ■ 3 questions to ask on every procurement A federal contractor offers his view of how agencies can streamline the procurement process and get the solutions they need from industry What separates successful and unsuccessful RFPs has little to do with the writing skills of the preparers. DAVID F. HALE is president and CEO of DHA Group and has grown his company from a one-person rm to a key player in the federal civilian and defense sectors in less than 20 years. 14 September 30, 2013 FCW.COM
September 15, 2013
October 30, 2013