Covering all aspects of business development aimed at federal, municipal, commercial, and academic contracting

Federal Proposal Development Professionals Group

About this Group

Fed*BD*Pro is a resource, discussion forum, and center of excellence for professionals performing business development (BD) activities targeting federal government procurements. BD activities typically culminate in development and delivery of a proposal, a best and final offer (BAFO) process, and ultimately (ideally!) contract negotiations/award, definitization, and execution.

The focus of this group is major federal procurements, typically in response to solicitations from agencies and organizations like NASA and DoD, but its utility extends to other government entities (state, local, municipal), research grants, commercial contracts, and start-ups. The ultimate output of the contracted effort may be a product or a service. This group will address itself to each of the key BD phases listed below and the sub-tasks they comprise. The group will collect and assess lessons learned, identify and review the relative merits of tools and processes that can be used in support of the overall BD discipline, and point out emerging trends in federal contracting.

The BD and marketing life cycle encompasses multiple phases. Based on the supplier, the customer, and the nature of the procurement being contemplated, not all of them might apply specifically, but conceptually, the intent of each phase must be addressed and satisfied. These phases and processes are:


 Internal positioning/competency assessment what does your organization wish to do, what can you do well? This has both a tactical and a strategic component and each must be carefully considered through some hard-headed and clear-eyed analysis.

 Capabilities and intentions gap analysis what skills and capabilities do you need to acquire and/or demonstrate to credibly pursue your objectives.

 Customer assessment who are your likely customers and what are they looking for? Obviously, this feeds back into your assessments of your organization's capabilities.

 Competition assessment what organizations might stand between you and your goals? In this process, you will also identify organizations and individuals that you might wish to "keep off the street" through teaming arrangements or hiring.

 Positioning what is your "brand" vis-a-vis contract opportunities and the competitive landscape? Note that positioning is different from posturing. This is the time you look really hard at your relevant experience and past performance; does it enhance your credibility for the contracts you seek?

 Survey of likely and current RFPs, RFIs, and other solicitations this provides the "lay of the land" for pending and likely procurements.

Business Development process elements

 Survey of likely and current RFPs, RFIs, and other solicitations this provides the "lay of the land" for pending and likely procurements.

 Customer interface & coordination these are the steps you take to foster and enhance "customer intimacy"; what does the customer want and need, how well does the customer know your organization? Activities in this phase include responding to RFIs, BAAs, etc., and participating in industry day events.

 Develop and articulate your business model what are you going to do, how are you going to do it, and how does that make money? What is the value proposition you will offer your customer?

 Assemble/assess your management and key personnel team do you have the skills and personalities required on board; if not where are you going to get them?

 Bid/no-bid decision are conditions favorable to justify the time, cost, and effort required to develop a winning proposal? Can you produce a winning effort? Can you make money carrying out the contract effort (price to win analysis)? Is the contract likely to face funding obstacles in the out years? Does the contract fit well with your strategic plans?

 Proposal Development this is a multi-step process where all your prior seed work comes to fruition.

 Contract Execution are you carrying out your incumbency in a manner that makes it more or less likely that you'll win additional business and keep your existing business across recompetitions? If so, you're reviewing the above steps continuously and revising them as appropriate.

Last update: 12 July 2011