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Proposal Preparation

and Notes on Managing Work


(Pass Sample Around)

D. Edberg
ARO 481L/491L

2014/Sep/30 Copyright© 2004-09 D. Edberg. All


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Types of Proposals
•  Internal
•  External
•  Solicited
•  Unsolicited

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Internal Proposal
•  From one company department to another
•  Usually pretty informal
•  Mostly an agreement for a certain number
of support hours (like laboratory testing)
•  Usually doesn’t involve upper management

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External Proposal
•  A proposal sent outside the company or
organization
•  Formal and rigorous
•  Requires upper management approval
•  It is a binding, legal document

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Solicited vs. Unsolicited
•  Solicited = requested by customer (wanted!)
–  Most common type
•  Unsolicited = supplied by your company out
of the blue
–  Less common, but used when supplier knows
customer has a need but no plans to release
RFP (= request for proposal)
–  Government EELV RFP at
http://www.fas.org/spp/military/
program/launch/eelvrfp1/index.html
(caution: LARGE)
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Getting Business
•  RFP released
•  Write a proposal
•  Get money?

•  Not so simple.
•  If you wait until proposals requested, too
late!
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Proposal Process Timeline
RFP Proposal Winner Contract
release due announced ATP Released

Chumming
Q&A Blackout BAFO
White Period
Papers Proposal Begin
evaluation Contract work
Negotiations
Proposal
Preparation

RFP = Request for Proposal


Q&A = Question and answer period
BAFO = Best And Final Offer
ATP = Authority to Proceed

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Know Your Customer (1 of 3)
•  Choose topics of interest or expertise
•  Determine customers: in aerospace, 90% of
customers are DoD or NASA
•  Meet them at conferences, technical meetings
(i.e. AIAA, SAE, AUVSI, IEEE, etc.)
•  Chat, have lunch, sit in the bar, etc.
•  Process is called “chumming”: as you get to
know customer, find out current problems
•  Problems which you are working on or have
solved form basis of “white paper,” an informal
statement of capabilities
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Know Your Customer (2 of 3)
•  Send “white paper” to customer; query
customer after a few weeks
•  Government has money to hire contractors
•  Goal: get customer to release some to you
•  If there is a need for a problem to be solved,
customer will come to you
•  Get involved in writing “statements of
work” (SoWs) for a Request for Proposal
(RFP)
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Know Your Customer (3 of 3)
•  The SoWs you write eventually form the
basis for a RFP
•  Customer informally tells you milestones in
process
•  You are prepared well before RFP is issued
•  You have a much better chance to win
proposal effort compared to someone “on
the street.”
2014/Sep/30 Copyright© 2004-09 D. Edberg. All
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Pre-RFP Preparation
•  Knowing RFP is pending allows planning
•  Meet company management
•  Establish funding for proposal team effort (“B&P”
= bid and proposal)
•  Gather up critical individuals for proposal effort
•  Schedule a proposal “kickoff” meeting
•  Choose proposal manager and “book boss.”
•  Begin storyboarding proposal
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U.S. Government RFPs
•  Released by FedBusOps (FBO)
•  Replaced Commerce Business Daily (CBD)
•  Available at http://www.cbd-net.com/
•  FBO information email
online@cbdweb.com or call: 800-932-7761
•  YOU are responsible for finding
opportunities
•  Typically can search for keywords
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More Funding Sources
•  http://www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/USAF/

•  http://www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/USAF/
AFMC/AFOSR/AFOSR-BAA-2--4-1/Grant.html

•  http://www.afosr.af.mil/pdfs/BAA2004.pdf

•  http://research.hq.nasa.gov/research.cfm

•  http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/SBIR/SBIR.html

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Types of Work
•  RFP = Request for proposal
•  BAA = Broad Area Announcement (a more
vague, “fishing trip”)
•  SBIR = Small Business Innovative
Research
•  STTR = Small Business Technology
Transfer (with universities)
•  “Task order” contract
•  etc.
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RFP Released
•  Submit letter of intent if needed
•  Begin earnest proposal writing
•  “Burst” RFP for individual requirements
•  Split into Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
•  Define Statements of Work (SoW)
•  Split tasks up for individual estimation of
engineering hours, fab hours, and materials
•  Big proposal = thousands of tasks

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Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
•  Breaks scope into measurable tasks &
identifies 100% of work to be accomplished
•  Each task in WBS has an estimated value:
–  Engineers estimate engineering hours
–  Fabricators estimate fab hours & material costs
–  Technicians estimate testing hours
•  Responsibility for each task assigned to
individuals or work teams
•  “Make-Buy” decisions: “Buy” subcontracts
sent out for bidding
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Example Airframe Component Breakdown
Fwd Fuselage Keels

Bulkheads
Fuselage Carrythrough
Upper Skins

Aft Fuselage
Lower Skins

Airframe Inlet Doors


Engine Bay
Nozzle

Carrythrough Spars

Spars
Wings Inner Wing
Span Skins
Outer Wing
Span Flaps

Actuators
Fins
Empennage
Flaps
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Comments
•  Proposal is a sales document
•  Be sure you meet all customer requirements
•  Know your strengths and weaknesses, and
your competitors’, and contrast them
•  Refer to past history of company and its
research to support your proposal

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Timing
•  All planning must include timeline
•  “Critical paths” must be established
•  All must concur
•  Put in margins for unexpected delays,
problems, etc.
•  Must meet customer requirements

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Timing Charts
These are project management tools used to
schedule, organize, & coordinate tasks
•  Gantt chart
•  PERT
•  CPM Courtesy Scott Adams

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Gantt Chart
•  A horizontal bar chart
•  Developed as a production control by
Henry L. Gantt, an American engineer
Chart courtesy of
Eric Schmidt, Class of ‘92

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Gantt Chart

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PERT Chart
•  PERT = Program Evaluation Review
Technique
•  Methodology developed by the U.S. Navy
in the 1950s to manage the Polaris
submarine missile program

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PERT Chart
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Critical Path Method
•  CPM = Critical Path Method
developed in the private sector
•  Has become synonymous with PERT
(technique known by variation on the
names: PERT, CPM, or PERT/CPM)

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Critical Path Analysis

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Proposal Physical Layout
•  Book boss & proposal mgr plan layout
•  Storyboards created for each page of proposal;
placed on wall
•  Authors assigned
•  Graphics planned
(“Action captions”)
•  Style is first-person,
“sales document”
not a report. You
are selling yourself!

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Parts of a Technical Proposal
•  Executive •  Results
Summary •  Methodology
•  Front matter (Intro, •  Schedule
Compliance Matrix, •  Conclusions
ToC, Lists of
Tables, Figures) •  Cost proposal
(usually separate)
•  Background
•  Qualifications
•  Statement of work

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What is a Compliance Matrix?
•  Tells the evaluators where to find responses to
specific RFP requirements in proposal
•  Demonstrates careful attention to the RFP
•  Useful as internal checklists to make sure that
everything in the RFP is addressed
•  RFP requirements in one column; other
columns indicate where the requirement is
mentioned in the RFP and the proposal
•  Sometimes called “cross-reference table” or
“cross reference sheet”
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Compliance Matrix Example

http://www.proposalwriter.com/weblog/archives/2005/02/proposal-compliance-matrix.html
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Reviews of Drafts
•  Typically have at least two reviews
•  “Red Team” is a team reviewing a draft of
the proposal, usually lower managers and
technical types (lots of red ink)
•  “Gold Team” is review team for final draft,
upper managers, executives, and lawyers.
They make sure the proposal is compliant
and legal
•  May be more reviews than this if time/
budget permit
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Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)
NASA
9 “Flight Proven” on Operational Vehicle
• System Test, Flight 8 “Flight Qualified” Through Flight Test and
and Operations
Analysis Verification
• System/Subsystem 7 Full Scale Item Validated at End-of-Life
Development Conditions; or via Prototype Flight
6 Full Scale Components Validated at End-of-
• Technology Demonstration Life Conditions
5 Subcomponent Validated at End-of-Life
Conditions
• Technology Development 4 Elements Validated in a Laboratory
Environment
• Research to Prove Feasibility 3 Analytical/Experimental Demonstration of
Critical Function or Proof-of-Concept
• Basic Technology Research 2 Technology Concept and/or Application
Formulated
1 Basic Principals Observed and Reported
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Project Risk Assessment:
Hazard Assessment Matrix

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Example Hazard Tracking List for UAV
Hazard
Hazard Causes Preventative Measures
Level
Screen intake, Check flying
Engine Failure, Debris
conditions, Pre-flight
16 causing an inability to Weather
checklist. Pre-flight and in-
keep vehicle in air Temperature
flight systems check
Wear protective equipment,
Burns from jet
Designate “Keep out” zones,
engine exhaust;
9 Human Injury No power during maintenance,
blowing debris;
Follow manufacturer’s
electrical shock
recommendations & checklists
Comm loss
Electronics Failure,
Communication Pre-flight and in-flight
8 causing a loss of
interference systems check
power to rotors
Electrical shorting
Vibration, causing
Rotors rotating near
8 instability or loose Pre/Post assembly testing
resonance
components
Fuel leakage, forcing Bad seal on fuel
Quality check, Pre-flight
4 mission duration to be tank, improper
checklist
reduced filling
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Typical Government Proposal
Has Two Parts
•  Technical proposal
–  Typically page-limited
–  Evaluated by technical personnel
•  Cost proposal
–  Typically no page limit
–  Written by “bean counters” with technical data
inputs
–  Evaluated by cost personnel
•  Evaluators get together to rate entire
package vs. other submittals
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You Win The Proposal!
•  Now what?
•  Negotiations! Meet Customer & hammer
out terms
–  Customer attempts to reduce price
–  Proposer attempts to stand ground
•  Result: “Best and final offer” (BAFO)
•  Customer either takes it, or leaves it.
•  If taken, get “Authority to Proceed” ATP
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Use Project Master Schedule
From Proposal

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Monitoring Your Performance
“Earned Value” System
•  Requires a detailed, bottoms-up
performance plan
•  Performance measured against the plan
•  Provides forecast of final expected results
based on data

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Earned Value Measurements
1.  Work scheduled
2.  Budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS)
3.  Work performed
4.  Budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP)
5.  Actual cost of work performed (ACWP)
6.  Schedule variance SV = BCWP – BCWS
7.  Cost Variance CV = BCWP – ACWP
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New Project Performance
Display

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Estimate at Completion
•  Cost efficiency CPI = BCWP/ACWP
•  Schedule efficiency SPI = BCWP/BCWS
•  Estimate at completion
BAC
EAC1 =
CPI
BAC − BCWP
EAC2 = ACWP +
CPI * SPI
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Management Reserve
•  A “fudge” to provide the ability to adjust for
uncertainties (strikes, weather, delays, …)
•  Always accounted at the total project level
•  Normally retained and controlled at the total
project level
•  Must not be eliminated by negotiations

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Summary: Earned Value
Management
•  Earned value management system provides
a key link between the cost, schedule, and
technical aspects of a project
•  Provides an early and reliable prediction of
future performance

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References
•  Quentin W. and Joel M. Koppelman,
Earned Value Project Management, PMI,
Newtown Square, PA 2000
•  Lewis, James P., Fundamentals of Project
Management, AMACOM, NY 2002
•  Stephen Whitmore, LPSRV Handbook,
NASA & USU, 2010
•  Earned Value System courtesy Col John
Keesee, MIT Lecture
•  Cal Poly ARO alumnus Eric Schmidt, ‘92
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