In the world of government contracting, your success is frequently determined by the strength of your team. Reliable and capable partners can significantly enhance your chances of winning federal contracts.
When you build strong teams, you will absolutely be able to compete against other small businesses chasing the same opportunity.
In a recent LinkedIn live training "How to Build a Strong Team of Government Contractors That Can Win Contracts" Neil McDonnell focused on his 7-step process to help you build strong teams and improve your competitiveness in the market. Watch the full replay to benefit from extra stories and recommendations.
A Requirements Gap Analysis (RGA) is a process for comparing the contract opportunity requirements against your skills, experience and certifications of your team.
The RGA process helps you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and ensures you only fill your sales pipeline with qualified opportunities.
To create a Requirements Gap Analysis (RGA), simply break down the opportunity's Performance Work Statement (PWS) into detailed task areas.
A RGA can simply be a spreadsheet that lays out the detailed requirements including major task area titles, the explicit and implied needs or requirements of an opportunity and the required skills and certifications.
Next, score each task area based on your strengths and weaknesses, and identify the necessary skills and certifications required for the project. For example, if a cybersecurity project requires expertise in a specific technology, the team should have members with experience in that area.
The next step is to create a Teaming Worksheet. This document specifies the type of teammate you are seeking, such as a prime contractor or a subcontractor, and outlines the specific skills and competencies they should possess. The Teaming Worksheet provides a basis for evaluating potential partners during the selection process. For example, your worksheet may include aspects like cybersecurity certifications or prior experience with government contracts.
The next step involves identifying and connecting with possible teaming partners. Set a goal of 10 to 15 potential teammates who match your requirements and express your interest in exploring collaboration. Schedule 15-minute introductory calls to gauge their alignment with your needs and to understand their qualifications and past performances. You can find prospects using your existing network or through DSBS market research.
Once you have confirmed a good fit with a potential teammate, create a basic NDA and be sure it protects both parties. The goal is simply to protect sensitive information during the teaming process. Remember that NDAs are not legal documents. They're sales-related documents. However, all team members should sign an NDA before any detailed project plans are shared.
The next step in the process is to ask your potential teammates to fill out the RGA with their own scores and past performance data. Even if you can't use this information in the final proposal, it helps validate their capabilities and commitment to the team.
In this process, each potential partner will provide their skills and expertise for assessment. If the prospective partners are taking the preliminary process seriously, it is a good indication of future working dynamics.
When you consolidate the RGAs from all potential teammates into one document, you'll get an overview of your combined strengths, weaknesses, and coverage of the project's requirements. A strong team brings 100% coverage of all requirements.
Within the combined RGA, you want every task area to have at least three past performances. This is usually led by the prime, but your subcontractors should be able to cover at some level, unless they are only there for their SME status.
Finally, after selecting the best team members, you’ll need to finalize your new teaming arrangement by executing a Teaming Agreement. Start by speaking directly with your teammate partner to confirm the agreed details of the Team Agreement.
Be sure to clarify any ambiguities and details. For example, you will want to be clear on work share etc.
Next, follow up with an email that confirms your understanding of the discussion.
Only then can you move forward to the formal teaming documentation and process. This Teaming Agreement is a legally binding contract that formalizes and solidifies your commitment to collaborating on the opportunity and protects both parties' interests.
Small businesses can create strong streams of contracting revenue by teaming with other small businesses and with large prime contractors.
By following this seven-step process, you can establish effective partnerships that lead to more wins and predictable, repeatable results in the government contracting process. Remember, forming a capable and reliable team sets the foundation for successful bids and future opportunities.