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From your experience, how does a company create a winning Federal government proposal?

I think what counts the most is a winning attitude within a proposal group at a company -- and, of course, talented people. It is exciting to be around people who are growth-oriented. I love being in that kind of environment. And that energy carries one through a lot of hurdles in a short period of time. This winning attitude, I believe, shows up in the proposal.

What else is important besides this winning attitude?

Clarity is very important. You may have a proposal with a great price, the best engineers and the best engineering solution, but if you cannot explain it in a straightforward, easy-to-read fashion, it will not be very effective. Make whoever is reading the proposal feel smart. And make sure that someone doesn't need much background in the area to understand what is being said.

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Any tips on what to watch out for in the proposal process?

Every proposal is different. However, in some cases, the more the technology volume works with the price volume, the better the result. For example, there are many times that staffing from the technology volume feeds into the price volume. Those staffing numbers can be completed at a very late date (or changed), leaving very little time to create winning numbers for the price volume.