Low Risk — Key to a Winning Transition Plan

  |  June 26, 2018

Vince O’Connell

For any contract competition, evaluation criteria are always tied to the concept of minimizing risk. The lower the risk shown in an offering, the higher the Government will rate the proposal. This is particularly true for contract transition plans. The Government always seeks a carefully developed and well-resourced contract phase-in that promises minimal disruption to their working environment.

So, what are the key features of a truly minimal risk transition plan? Certainly, risk avoidance is a harder “sell” for non-incumbents. But the truth is, it is not infrequent for the Government to be seeking a change in contractors. It will weigh the downside risks of “changing horses” against the benefits of infusing new blood, heightened energy and efficiency-enhancing innovation—something that a complacent incumbent may be lacking in their current work performance.

Here are some of the most critical keys to writing a winning transition plan:

Get the staffing solution right. You have to show that the grass is greener on your side. Your staff will perform better than what the customer has now. This is often just what the customer yearns for. The team you are proposing needs to be smarter, more innovative, more up-to-date on technologies and best practices, and experienced doing similar work before and achieving great results. They will walk in on Day One and start making a real difference for the customer and its environment.

A sub-element of this staffing-focused transition concept is getting the security clearance process for your value-added staffing solution right. If there will be customer-conducted security vetting to enable your staff to enter on duty expeditiously, pledge that you have vetted candidates as thoroughly as they will, thereby accelerating the clearance issuance process without preventable delays.

Apply transition-focused corporate resources to help the project manager. In most cases, the offer of these “Transition Working Groups” or similar resource is best provided at no additional direct cost to the customer. The message is that you too are concerned about getting the transition right, and you are putting the company’s resources to work to ensure that happens.

Think through how you can best ensure knowledge is transferred to your team efficiently and effectively. If you are proposing an “over-the-shoulder” shadowing technique for your proposed staff to observe the incumbent perform the respective duties, add spice to this method by noting concomitant techniques like intense orientations to accelerate the knowledge transfer process.

Describe how you will approach the project kickoff already prepared to execute. Note how you will bring to this important initial meeting with Government counterparts your draft plans and transition schedule. In your proposal, prepare and cite questions you will need to have the Government answer to ensure an effective transition. This preparation shows a proactive understanding of the challenges posed by transitioning in a team to the Government’s specific workplace and environment.

While there are many required elements of an effective transition plan, what will truly sell the Government on your transition solution is your understanding and approaches to minimizing risks for this particular customer at this point in time. Capture Leads for your proposal need to help the writing team understand what the transition-specific hot buttons are for the customer. Get those right, and your bid is far more likely to be successful.


    Sandra Thurman Custis

    A sound transition plan is essential to earning the clients confidence. Upending a strong incumbent, requires a clear road map which communicates your firms understanding of the requirements.

    Allow the client to imagine what it will be like working with your firm.