Believe it or not, there is a sound, objective approach to making bid decisions. We recommended defining bid decision criteria for every bid, then assessing the state of capture and proposal efforts against these criteria at a set of gate reviews. PWin is the most important indicator within our bid decision criteria.
Components of PWin
- Internal Resources: Do we have, or can we easily get, all the people we need to do capture right and put together a winning proposal, including solution development, proposal leadership, writers, pricers, proposal production leads, and so on?
- Technical Qualifications: Can we credibly make the case that we know how to do this work, have done it before, and have all the resources needed to execute the contract with low risk?
- Relevant Experience: Have we worked with this particular customer before? Have we worked in this country, or region before? Do we have previous contract experience that this customer would consider to be relevant to this new opportunity? Is our performance on those relevant contracts superior?
- Competitive Positioning: How do we stack up against the likely competition, in terms of experience, capabilities, price strategy, and reputation with the customer? Has another company shaped the procurement to their advantage?
- Client Knowledge: How well do we know the customer? Do we have good relationships with the decision-makers (technical/program, contracts, and leadership)? Do we understand clearly what problem the customer is seeking to solve with this new contract?
- Proposed Staffing: Can we identify the best people to bid, including the ideal program manager and other key program leads?
- Pricing Strategy: Do we clearly understand the customer’s decision-making strategy for price? Can we determine the likely winning price with confidence? Can we get to that winning price and still have a viable bid?
What Is PWin and Why Should You Use It?
PWin is a concept that helps us evaluate how well prepared we are for developing and submitting a winning proposal. Assessing PWin helps capture teams drive capture activities; if you’re engaged in a capture task that does not materially improve at least one component of PWin, then you’re wasting your time.
Since the components that comprise PWin are inherently subjective, the actual PWin number is also highly subjective; it is therefore imperative that no one fixates on the number itself (and your PWin spreadsheet calculator should be unceremoniously thrown in the trash). Rather, PWin should be used to frame discussions about the actions being taken to improve our chances of winning.
Important Things to Remember About PWin
- It ultimately is used to determine 1) our competitiveness and 2) the actions we need to take to improve our chances of winning.
- All the actions the capture team takes should impact and inform the PWin calculation.
- If we are doing capture right, PWin should increase over time.
If your BD team uses a consistent, agreed-upon set of bid decision criteria to make bid/no-bid decisions, you’ll improve your win rates and avoid wasting time on unwinnable opportunities. By using PWin as a driver of capture activities, you can keep your focus on the activities that help you win—making your team more efficient while improving the chances of winning.