What is in a Capture Plan?

Before you start writing a proposal, be sure to insist on having your business development team prepare a capture plan. This will support a Bid/No-Bid decision, a bid validation check once the RFP is released, and will help you start producing a focused response in a shorter timeframe.

Whereas the capture plan will still have a distinctively BD-feel, it should serve as the basis for your proposal plan (see Proposal Planning: What to Do Before Kickoff) as well as the source for roughly 40 to 50% of the proposal's content. Imagine: when you insist on a properly written capture plan, half the proposal will be written for you before you even start! There will be elements of the capture plan that may be unknown at the time of first drafting this. The idea is to continuously refine until the RFP is released so that BD can pass the effort off to proposal management with as much leg work done as possible.

Irrespective of the stage of refinement, the key elements of a capture plan comprise the following:

Section Description
Opportunity Summary Snapshot information for the opportunity: agency, office, rebid info, current incumbent info etc.
Opportunity overview Synopsis of the opportunity including key requirements and proposal deliverables (e.g. how many volumes, questionnaires, etc.) and schedule
Opportunity Background Information pertaining to the opportunity which you feel gives insight into the rationale behind the solicitation and a better understanding of it
Key Information from customer interactions or prior solicitations for the same work Any information that you feel needs to be highlighted verbatim for the benefit of the proposal team
Customer overview Customer name, mission statement, stakeholder, end user and evaluator information
Issues and hot buttons Describe the drivers for the procurement, the pain points, why the procurement is being competed, and the overarching objective for the customer
Evaluation process What are the evaluation criteria for the procurement
Competitors Who are your competitors and why
Opportunity strategy How will you win? What actions and posture will you undertake
Solution Describe your intended solution to the overarching customer need
Teaming partners Who else is on the bid team and why
Past Performance Which past performances will you use in support of the bid
Theme Statement What is the central message of your proposal that will resonate throughout your narrative
Mock executive summary A first cut at the executive summary as prepared by the persons that know the opportunity best

Getting your BD team to pull their weight in the proposal process is key to allowing you to write more proposals better and faster. Insist on a capture plan. Donít take no for an answer.

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