You have decided to bid on a RFP. Now what? One of the most critical steps you can take is to create a compliance matrix. A compliance matrix is simple in concept: create a chart of every requirement listed in the RFP. This includes the evaluation criteria, but also every time you read: “The Contractor shall….” It is a simple tool, but a powerful one.

You may ask yourself: Do I really have time for this? After all, you are under a deadline to submit a response, and everyday the clock is ticking. You do. Typically what you will discover is that the evaluation criteria and suggested RFP response format provide only a partial view of what the government is really seeking. More often, the details of what the government is really looking for, is buried in the text of the RFP.

A compliance matrix is a safety net for you. It tracks every requirement so that you are not dinged points for missing something the government wants. It can also serve as an outline for your response.

The next time you decide to bid on a RFP, take the time to carefully review each page and create a matrix of all of the requirements. After your draft is complete, go through the matrix and check off every requirement to make sure you have addressed all of the points. This way, you will have the confidence that you have answered all of the government’s questions.

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