A Capture plan is a plan to win

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A critical and eventual time-saving step to your process is to make sure your capture manager creates a complete and detailed capture plan. A capture plan is an opportunity-specific document produced to outline your strategy to acquire, or capture, business from a customer. Developing the capture plan is one of the first steps in the bidding process because company stakeholders use the information provided in the plan to support a bid/no bid decision or a bid validation when an RFP is released. If the decision is made to bid an opportunity, the capture plan helps produce a focused and strategic response by providing the basis for the proposal management plan.

Every opportunity needs a capture plan that is tailored depending on the size and complexity of the effort. It is important that there be a standard capture plan template used to ensure consistency across the many opportunities in the pipeline at any time. The size and complexity of the opportunity determines whether it is better to create the capture plan as a document or as a briefing. Either way, the elements of the capture plan always remain the same:

Capture Plan ElementsSample Contents
Opportunity summary·   Contracting agency

·   Current incumbent (if applicable)

·   Acquisition schedule

·   Funding profile

·   Customer objective

·   NAICS Code/small business set-aside determination

Customer information·   Contracting agency organization

·   Procurement office

·   Customer stakeholders, decision makers, end users

·   Potential members of Source Selection Board

Customer hot buttons·   Problem customer is looking to solve

·   Customer pain points

·   Possible issues with incumbent

Competitive analysis of each bidder·   Strengths and weaknesses

·   Potential bid strategy

·   Opportunities to ghost in the proposal

·   Customer’s perception

Capture strategy·   Customer meetings

·   Teaming

·   Staffing, especially key personnel

·   Past performance

·   Corporate experience

·   Pricing

·   Solution (Technical, Management, Past performance, Pricing)

·   Discriminators

Win themes·   Central proposal messages represented in all proposal volumes

·   Must resonate with the customer

·   Include a specific feature of the solution and how it benefits the customer

Teaming·   Strategic rationale for decision to add teammates

·   Functional areas where teammates are needed

·   Customer perceptions of teammates

Past performance·   Number of past performance citations submitted (prime and teammates)

·   Specific programs used as past performance

·   Functional areas supported by each past performance

·   Past performance questionnaires

Draft executive summary·   Prepared by the capture manager

·   Introduces solution, themes, features, and customer benefits

·   Foundation for remainder of the proposal

The capture manager must revise the plan as appropriate when new information and intelligence become known. It is also the capture manager’s responsibility to ensure all capture and proposal team members are aware of any revisions to the capture plan with guidance on how this information affects the overall plan.

The capture plan can do more than help the management team make an educated bid/no-bid decision. It is also the primary source document for completing the proposal management plan once you move into that phase of the process. If the capture manager hands off a complete capture plan to the proposal manager, more than half of the information required to develop a compliant, compelling, and complete response to the RFP is available. In other words, a major portion of the proposal content is basically already written before the proposal team even sits down in front of a keyboard.

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