The “MAPS” Difference

Q: What does it take to integrate proposal management, lower risk, increase the likelihood of success, and beat the competition?

A: Proven proposal expertise and a knack for creative thinking that gives customers a winning edge.

While this Q & A may seem like an obvious truth, it’s surprising how so many think that proposal development and winning are mostly administrative, or “copyediting” job. Well, in fairness, for some proposal “professionals” it may be just that: people who set up meetings, agendas, but not much else. But in today’s competitive environment, few can afford to invest in people who are mostly attending meetings, copyediting and formatting–they need people who can wear a lot of hats, and bring a lot of value for the money. At Michael & Associates, that’s exactly what we do.

Blueprint for Implementation. The problem with most proposals is that they’re intended to do one thing, and one thing only: comply with the requirements. The reality is, however, the customer generally wants to know how and why you will implement your solution after award. This detailed explanation, what we at Michael and Associates refer to as “The Proposal Blueprint” will do two things: a) it will provide transparency for customer into your implementation approach, post-award, and b) it will address any clarifications or deficiencies up-front. So, rather than throw out the proposal after your team wins and wonders what to do next, they will have a clear blueprint for implementation going forward–all with the advanced approval of the customer.

blueprint 2.0

Project Management Tracking and Gap Analysis. Proposal management is, at its core, project management. Whether you have a team of twenty or a team of two, the approach is largely the same: transparent project management that ensures everyone is clear about roles and responsibilities, tasks, the schedule, and what’s at stake. We have developed high-end project management tools that act as a “swiss army knife” of project management capability to ensure that everything is available–tasks, schedule, milestones, contact lists–in one easily accessible, continuously updated tool.

MAPS project management tool

Template Design: Critical for Compliance. This one’s a biggie–and not something you’re likely to get from “industry-standard” approaches that use inflexible methodologies. Templates are absolutely critical to the success of your bid. After nearly 20 years of proposal work, we know that the structure and design of a template can make or break a bid. Why? Because many of today’s RFPs are challenging, at best; it can be extremely difficult to figure out what’s compliant. RFPs these days are often inconsistent, and often leave people wondering what it takes to be compliant. As creative, intuitive thinkers we draw on our experience to “translate” what the customer is actually looking for, and can help ensure that your template is structured to meet (and exceed) Government requirements. We’ve even devised a proprietary, unique way to address “shall” requirements under tight page constraints to ensure compliance (click here for an example).

template sample

Beyond “shall to will” and Exceeding Requirements.  For today’s Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) bids, simply complying with the requirements and providing a pricing solution can be enough. But when you need to explain the how and the why of your solution, you need someone who can tell your story better than anyone else–you need someone who can actually write. If two bids are largely in the same price range, the Government will often turn to the bids themselves to see who has the better approach. We have the experience, verbal skills, and extensive knowledge of what the customer expects to help you put your best foot forward and beat out the competition on technical, management, and past performance factors.

compliance table

Why not take a few minutes to get in touch to find out how we can swing the odds in your favor on your next proposal.