Maximize Your Chance of Success in DoD Contracting by Understanding the Evaluation Process

It is no secret the landscape for Department of Defense contracts is becoming more competitive every day due to increasing pressure on the DoD Budget, delays in the contracting processes, changes in contracting laws, and an inexperienced procurement workforce. To succeed in this environment, companies must maximize capture and proposal efforts with efficiency, focus, and effectiveness.

There are many commercial models for developing and managing proposals. Most are very sound in their approach to driving systematic development of the offer in the context of the solicitation requirements. Process models are important to managing the typical proposal effort and are necessary to bring together a team that ordinarily does not work together except in these times of constrained, group efforts. That said, even the best models can drive inefficiency if the team does not understand the mechanics of how proposals are evaluated.

Understanding how the DoD evaluates proposals and selects awardees is one of the most important actions you can take to improve your competitive advantage. There are unique nuances to this process directly impacting how you should structure and develop your proposals. A few examples include:

  • Contracting officers must be able to document their award decisions with evidence drawn directly from the proposals. This evidence is gathered by evaluators and NOT the contracting officer personally.
  • Evaluation teams are typically decentralized and geographically separated.
  • Past performance and price are almost never evaluated by the ‘true customer’ but rather by contract specialists in the contracting office.
  • Best value tradeoff decisions must answer the question, “Are the strengths of this offer worth paying a premium?”
  • Evaluators can only document proposal content against the requirement, not how the proposal compares to the competition.
  • There is a ‘lingo’ unique to DoD evaluations and knowing this affects how to craft your narrative and develop proof points.
  • Risk can be evaluated in two different ways depending on the solicitation.

The impact of these nuances and the strategies a good proposal team applies, to either mitigate and/or make the offer more competitive, are too detailed to enumerate here. However, we spend quite a bit of time with our customers educating, coaching, and mentoring on these topics in order to maximize their PWin. In order to close the gap between the Government’s evaluation process and potential awardees’ understanding of how to develop a proposal, we routinely give our clients a detailed overview of the process and how it affects proposal development.

Join us for a one-day seminar designed to help you better understand the mechanics of Source Selection, which will change the way you view contract pursuits and proposals. Understanding what happens during Source Selection will immeasurably increase your competitive advantage.

This seminar is a joint effort between Agility Development Group and Hogan Government Solutions. Both companies specialize in supporting companies seeking to win business with the Department of Defense. Our team has extensive experience in Government, Industry, and Education and applies a ‘vested interest’ approach to provide on-demand consulting, information, and learning services in the areas of business development, capture, and proposal support.

Let us help you succeed!

-Michael Devine

Register for the “UNDERSTANDING DoD SOURCE SELECTION – Linking the DoD Source Selection Process to Your Proposal Development” Seminar at