Unofficial Oral Proposal Guide
How to Use this Unofficial Guide
NOTE: This is a living online guide. If you have questions, please ask in the comments section or email LTedder@MITRE.org and I will add my advice to the guide and point you to the answer. If you need help formulating a strategy for your team, please contact your MITRE representative to arrange specialized help, which may include tailoring the techniques in this guide to your specific acquisition, reviewing your solicitation, and training your team.
If you’re new to oral proposals or don’t have much successful experience with them, then this guide is the fairy godmother standing in front of you with a magic wand. It’s the contracting coach whispering how-to’s, encouragement, and—yes—warnings in your ear. It’s the been-there-many-times mentor telling you secrets to get you through a tough acquisition that needs a few months of procurement lead time shaved off or you’ll lose the funding…or you’ll miss your delivery window….or, quite literally, people will die. It’s a career lifetime of oral proposal secrets meant to be shared in hopes of a more positive outcome.
This guide is loaded with personal real-life examples, tips, insights, and information—not to take the place of analytical thinking on your part, but to walk you through a process you can’t afford to botch and to spur your own creativity in tailoring this tool to your acquisition. This is me, walking beside you on this path, telling you what to watch out for and how to navigate any jagged rocks.
This is the same voice in which I have imparted one of my most successful “best practices” to my trainees, to my program offices, and to my Government acquisition teams over multiple decades as a Contracting Officer and procurement analyst for the Air Force, one year as a consultant, and now for The MITRE Corporation…and for you. I’ve honed a particular set of oral proposal techniques that I share in this guide, and I’ve never had a protest while using these techniques.
Use this guide as a starting point for adding oral proposals to your innovation toolbox, or, if you’re already more than a novice at orals, then use it to merge new ideas or practices into your own favorite processes. Any solicitation language or templates should be tailored to your particular acquisition. None of the examples here are mandatory—this is simply another tool to choose from. Ideally, as you read this guide for the first time, you will be taking notes and thinking through how this tool might apply to your acquisition, so if you’ve not got a pen and paper handy or a note-taking app open on your device, stop and do that now.
I hope something I offer here helps your acquisition go easier, faster, smoother, and better than you could have hoped for.
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