Proposals might be one of the only things – outside of furniture acquired at Ikea – that people jump into without reading the instructions first. For that sleek modern desk you want to construct in your den, maybe that’s ok. But when your company is pursuing a contract that has jobs, financial growth, and critical new capabilities riding on it, you should always read the instructions first!
That’s where the compliance matrix comes in. Right out of the gate, you should examine the proposal requirements and evaluation criteria and develop a compliance matrix to track against as you develop your proposal. A good compliance matrix will ensure that your solution is developed and presented within the rules established by the procurement office that issued the RFP you’re responding to.
No matter how good your solution is, no matter how much lower your cost is than your competitors - if you fail to develop a compliant proposal, that is grounds for automatic rejection from the evaluation board. Winning contracts is hard enough with so many competitors going after so few contracts – don’t shoot yourself in the foot by failing to learn the rules that let you get into the game.