Transition Plan Optimization: Mastering the Transition Period for Government Contract

One of the most important evaluation factors the U.S. Government considers when awarding a contract is what an offeror provides as their plan to transition the incumbent contractor out and to transition their own personnel in. Your ability to clearly state how you will do a good job in transition can be the deciding factor between you winning and losing a bid. This is why Transition Plan Optimization is critical.

Stand Out with Operational Fluency

In general, the Government is interested in getting your team onboard as quickly and as feasible and getting the incumbent off the books. Stand out from the pack by hitting the ground running. Forget lengthy transitions – show you’re ready to deliver from day one. Pre-assemble your dream team, master the procedures, and demonstrate operational fluency. If full immediate capacity isn’t feasible, halve the transition period. Don’t mirror the competition; go the extra mile and prove you’ll exceed expectations.

Incumbency Advantage – Leveraging Transition Periods

The advantage of incumbency allows an offeror to say that no transition period is required and to then sit back and make minor, if any, changes to their program’s position. If the Government should specify a transition period, a smart incumbent will use that time to tweak their program and make personnel decisions that will better position themselves to execute the new contract.

Transition Plan Optimization Strategies for Non-Incumbents

If you are not the incumbent, recognize that the Government views transition as a necessary evil, but that there are certain steps you can take to better your position. Transition Plan Optimization not only clearly defines your plan for an easy transition but it also strengthens your proposal and puts it in a position to win.

  • Make organizational decisions early and know how your program will look and react to the client once in place. Be able to describe it.
  • Make personnel decisions early and be able to show that you can provide continuity with your staffing decisions. Don’t be afraid to approach incumbent staff to the extent possible for positions in your organization.
  • Do your due diligence to determine what, if any, issues the Government might have with either incumbent staffing levels or with individual staff members. More than one bid has been lost by not vetting a “key incumbent” that the Government would wish away.
  • While rivals brainstorm “fresh ideas,” document your own proactive transformation. A transition period showcasing new procedures and improvements not only raises the bar, but also builds trust through transparency. Especially if your BD rep vetted these ideas with the customer in advance.

Proactive Transformation Wins Contracts

Understanding customer preference for transition involvement is crucial. Some crave in-depth collaboration, while others prefer minimal disruption. Misjudging this can sour their impression of your proposal. Therefore, prioritize pre-RFP research on their preferred transition style.

Understanding Customer Preferences

Additionally, when written evaluation criteria exist, consider the Transition Plan’s scoring location. RFPs may call for a separate document, inclusion in the Technical Approach, or, most commonly, as part of the Management Plan. Often, the Transition Plan itself isn’t directly scored. Focus on the section with the higher weighting (Technical Approach or Management Plan) to address critical aspects.

Strategic Positioning of Transition Plan in Proposals

Follow the RFP’s placement instructions but consider strategic adjustments. If the designated section, like the Management Plan, has less weight than the Technical Approach’s risk section, include the schedule and details within the Management Plan, as required. However, discuss key issues like staffing, resources, and potential disruptions within the Technical Approach when addressing risk.

Maximize Your Score with Simplicity and Detail

Remember, with rigorous evaluation criteria, proposals are typically scored, not read. Maximize your score by:

  • Carefully aligning your Transition Plan with the RFP’s specific weighting and placement guidelines.
  • Writing your plan using the language of the client, showing that both parties have a common understanding.
  • Naming names to show that you have a dedicated staff to manage the transition and to execute after contract award.
  • Keep things simple and succinct but be sure to consider major issues that may arise and your plan to deal with them.

If you need assistance with Transition Plan Optimization contact us today to see how OCI can help strengthen your proposals.