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Preparing to write the past performance response before the RFP is released

What are the strategies, points of emphasis, and context that your response to the RFP requirements should substantiate?


Answer the following questions to provide the context for writing about Past Performance and Corporate Experience after the RFP is released. Keep your answers short. The less narrative the better. 

After the RFP is released, your responses here will enable the Proposal Content Plan to be prepared more quickly and to contain better instructions for the authors who will write the proposal narrative.

Past performance and corporate experience and usually evaluated as separate things. Past performance is simply a reference check, but is also evaluated for relevance. Corporate experience may or may not also be evaluated, but it is usually a good idea to show the depth and breadth of your experience, often using matrices and statistics to summarize it.

See also:
Proposal writing before the rfp is released

Questions that drive your strategies

Since this is intended for pre-RFP response, anticipating the final outline is difficult. You can however, anticipate the topics that will be relevant to a Staffing Plan. Apply each of the following questions to each of the topic below. 

  • What matters to the customer about our past performance (typically relevance/size/scope/complexity and reference check)?
  • What in our experience is a differentiator?
  • How does our experience prove our ability to deliver on schedule and within budget?
  • What trade-offs did we face, how did we make them, and why did we make them that way?
  • How does your experience prove you follow through on the promises you’ve made in the proposal?
  • What will the customer get as a result of your experience?
  • What performance risks are the customer concerned about, and how did we handle them in the past?
  • What does your experience demonstrate about your ability to manage risks?
  • How does your experience prove that you are trustworthy?
  • Which references will you use?
  • What are the strengths/weaknesses for each one in the areas of:
    Relevance (size/scope/complexity)
  • Will you include references from your subcontractors?
  • How do the strengths/weaknesses of our past performance selections support or contradict our other strategies?
  • Do we have any gaps? Do we need to select different projects or conside adding a teaming partner?
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