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How to validate a compliance matrix using MustWin Now

It's all about reliability during proposal writing

A compliance matrix helps you untangle a complicated RFP and build a proposal outline that meets your customer’s expectations. But RFPs are inconsistent. This is a polite way of saying that sometimes they are broken and it can be very difficult to figure out what the customer expects. Sometimes you have to make judgment calls.

Unfortunately, it’s critically important that the proposal outline and compliance matrix be reliable. You really don’t want to have to change them after writing starts. Changing the outline and compliance matrix after proposal writing has started will at least be disruptive and may even be disastrous.

To help you ensure that your outline and compliance matrix are reliable, MustWin Now walks you through the steps needed to validate your outline and compliance matrix. Traditionally, this takes as long as it did to create the compliance matrix in the first place, and often companies cave in to the pressure to start writing without validating their matrix. MustWin Now makes it go as quickly as you can diligently click. And it guides you through the steps.

The first step is a self-assessment. Before you turn your matrix over to others who will review it, MustWin Now prompts you with a list of things to double check. This is an informal review to encourage you to check your own work.


MustWin Now has reports that can help you make sure that you have not overlooked anything when building your compliance matrix. These include:

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  • Unlinked RFP Requirements. Are there any RFP requirements that are not linked to a proposal section? This might be okay. Or it might mean that an RFP requirement has been overlooked.
  • Unlinked Proposal Sections. Are there any proposal sections that are not linked to any RFP requirements? Again, this might be okay. You can have proposal sections that go beyond what’s required by the RFP. But it could also mean that a proposal section that should have been linked to an RFP requirement got overlooked.
  • Items with no written response required. MustWin Now lets you flag items in the RFP that do not require a written response. Sometimes RFP items are just informative. But you might want to double check this…  

To go beyond self-assessment, MustWin Now enables you to assign one or more reviewers from the pursuit dashboard. This provides a fresh set of eyes to more formally review your outline and compliance matrix. MustWin Now handles this in two steps. The first is to validate the RFP requirement cross-referencing, and the second is to validate your proposal outline.

For each of these steps, MustWin Now asks a set of questions for each and every item. To validate your matrix, MustWin Now brings you to each RFP item one at a time, and asks you to click through the checklist. If anything fails or is a concern, it prompts you to explain why. Click, click, click, you work your way through the RFP. Then it does the same thing to validate the proposal outline, with a different checklist. Click, click, click, you validate your proposal outline.


If you do this with diligence, every single item in your outline and compliance matrix will be double checked by at least one other person. You can have as many reviewers as you deem appropriate.

Once you work through the formal reviews, MustWin Now will prompt you to incorporate the review comments and finalize any changes needed. MustWin Now will display any concerns the reviewers had as a list and you can work through it as a process of elimination.


When you’ve made your final changes, MustWin Now will prompt you to do one last check. One last probably unnecessary but just to be super careful last check. Yeah, making sure your outline and compliance matrix is reliable is important enough to build in a pause to reflect on it one more time before publishing it for use.


There are nine steps in the MustWin Now compliance matrix tool. The draft matrix is complete after the third step. The rest is the quality validation before publishing that many companies skip, resulting in many unnecessarily lost proposals. We want to help yours to win.

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