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Proposals: Building & Leveraging a Solid RFP
How to build solid RFIs, RFPs, RFTs and RFQs, for complicated systems, that will maximize the number of highly qualified bidders

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Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote This three-day course is de¬signed for engineers, scientists, project managers and other professionals who design, build, test, buy or sell complex systems. Each topic is illustrat¬ed by real-world case studies discussed by experienced system development and acquisition professionals. Key topics are reinforced with small-team exercises. Over 200 pages of sample RFIs and RFPs are provided. Students assess real RFIs and RFPs in class using checklists and templates provided..Instructor:

    Mack McKinney, president and founder of a consulting company, has worked in the defense industry since 1975, first as an Air Force officer for 8 years, then with Westinghouse Defense and Northrop Grumman for 16 years, then with a SIGINT company in NY for 6 years. He now teaches, consults and writes Concepts of Operations for Boeing, Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, Raytheon Missile Systems, Joint Forces Command, all the uniformed services and the IC. He has US patents in radar processing and hyperspectral sensing.

    Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

What You Will Learn:

  • What are Requests for Information (RFI)? How do they differ from RFPs?
  • How can they help us cost-effectively buy robust systems that meet not only the specification but also meet the needs and expectations of the end users?
  • What makes “good” RFIs and RFPs? What should always be included and what should never be included in them?
  • What is the one item that, if missing from the RFP, will ensure no reputable firm will bid the job? What is the one thing that inexperienced RFP writers inadvertently do that guts the competitiveness (only one company will bid) and practically guarantees protests of any contract award?
  • What RFP components and features will attract the most qualified bidders?

    After this course you will be able to write solid RFIs, RFPs (or RFTs and RFQs) and you will know how a well-crafted RFP is organized, structured, designed and built by an acquisition/procurement enterprise (either gov’t or a contractor).

Course Outline:

  1. The Government’s Perspective on Procurements
    • US and Other Governments’ Acquisition Peculiarities
    • Government’s Quandary of Lowest Price versus Highest Quality
    • Concept of “Best Value”
    • Mistrust of Contractors: Problems, Causes and the Fix
    • Specifying the Desired Capability, Not the Solution
    • Fixed-Price versus Cost-Plus Contracts

  2. Industry’s Perspective on Procurements
    • Corporate Structure and Motivations – Why companies do apparently bizarre things when bidding jobs
    • Investment Philosophies
    • Intellectual Property Considerations
    • Mistrust of Governments: Problems, Causes and the Fix
    • Common Bid Tactics - Pros, Cons and Pitfalls

  3. The RFP as One Component of Integrated Procurement Plan
    • Advanced Engineering Studies – Pros and Cons
    • Building-In Solid Requirements
    • The Specification
    • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
    • Statement of Work (SOW)
    • Common Procurement Tactics and Pitfalls
    • Evolutionary Development for Sequenced Delivery of Capabilities – building it into the plan and the RFP
    • Lessons Learned from RFTs by NATO and the Royal Australian Air Force, and from RFPs by the USA (Governments’ mistakes and how to minimize their impact)

  4. Lessons Learned From No/Poor RFPs – real world problems with defense and other complicated systems
  5. How Much Support to Buy? The dangers of too little, the expense of too much, and how to strike the right balance for each project/program.
  6. Beyond the RFP: Configuring a program for success and the critical attributes and crucial considerations that can be program-killers (case histories and lessons-learned)
  7. Each student gets instructor’s slides; college-level textbook; ~200 pages of RFIs, RFPs, case studies, templates, checklists, technical writing tips, good and bad RFPs; Hi-Resolution personalized Certificate of RFP Competency and class photo; and opportunity to join US/Coalition RFP/CONOPS Community of Interest


    Tuition for this three day course is $1490 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to

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