When the customer issues a draft RFP, you will need to take action. The Capture Manager should inform the Proposal Manager and together they should determine what action items are appropriate. The following checklist can help you plan your response:
❏ Is a response required/allowed?
❏ When are comments due?
❏ What is the schedule for release of the final RFP?
❏ Does the release contain the full RFP?
❏ Does the RFP provide all of the information you need to bid?
❏ Do you have questions about any of the RFP requirements?
❏ Are there any RFP requirements that you would like changed?
❏ Are there any RFP requirements that would lead you to cancel the bid if they are not changed?
❏ Does anything in the RFP require changes to your teaming plans?
❏ How can you influence the scope of work, performance specifications, evaluation criteria, or other aspects of the RFP?
❏ Is a bidders list available?
❏ Have you distributed the RFP to all proposal stakeholders?
❏ What can you do to stage your proposal planning documents?
If your response includes any requests to change the RFP before it is released, make sure that you provide the text for the changes so that the customer can do a simple copy and paste to implement the change.
Before taking action, give some consideration to the customer’s goals in releasing the draft RFP. Did they do it because they want:
- To verify the specifications are reasonable?
- To see how many bids they may receive?
- To give the company they want to win a chance to influence the RFP?
- To give bidders extra time to prepare to meet the requirements?
The reason they released a draft RFP can have a major impact on your strategies for how to respond.