Winning Persistent Cyber Training Environment Cyber Innovation Challenge # 4 (PCTE)

  |  May 20, 2020

PEO STRI

Guest Contributor: Ken Blair —

As we approach mid-to-late spring, a young person’s thoughts should turn to the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE). OK, well, maybe not, but let’s talk about this latest opportunity from PEO-STRI.

This program was just moved under the Other Transaction Authority (OTA) on May 19th to make the procurement faster and easier for the Govt.

(PCTE) Background: Within the next 3 weeks, PEO STRI, through the Project Manager for Instrumentation, Targets, Threat Simulators, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) Training Systems (PM ITTS) is expected to release this solicitation for a single award IDIQ contract worth an estimated $957M. This will be a full and open competition.

In a nutshell, the PEO-STRI is looking for a contractor to provide development and maintenance for systems to provide the DoD cyberspace workforce capabilities to conduct training for operations, experimentation, and certifications in furtherance of support to missions that cross boundaries and networks. All capabilities will leverage existing infrastructure and existing tools to provide the required training. The hope is that the PCTE platform and environments will evolve based upon technology, threats, and tactics, as well as techniques and procedures. This evolution will require contractor-developed software, integrated with external vendors and other Government efforts within a rapid delivery framework.

This is a mixed contract type encompassing Firm-Fixed Prices as well as Cost-plus task orders.

Proposal Content: Per the draft RFP, the response will incorporate the following volumes:

  • Volume 1: Technical/Management (75 pages) and a Transition Plan (15 pages)
  • Volume 2: Cost/Price (unlimited)
  • Volume 3: Past Performance (unlimited)
  • Volume 4: Small Business Participation Commitment Plan (unlimited)
  • Volume 5: Administrative Information (unlimited)

Evaluation Factors: The Evaluation Factors include the following:

  • Factor 1 Technical/Management Approach
    • 1.1: Agile Development Operations (DevOps)
    • 1.2: Infrastructure/Platform Operations
    • 1.3: Cybersecurity Posture
    • 1.4 Third Party Integration and Coordination
    • 1.5 Transition Plan
    • 1.6 Management Approach
  • Factor 2 Cost/Price
  • Factor 3 Past Performance
  • Factor 4 Small Business Participation

For this “best value” procurement:

Factor 1 > Factor 2 >Factor 3 > Factor 4 with all non-cost factors (Factors 1,3,4) being approximately equal to Factor 2 Price/Cost.

How Do I Win: Your past performance, and your ability to use it along with other “proof points,” will be critical to winning this procurement. Each Prime may provide up to five (5) recent and relevant contracts as well as up to three (3) additional citations for each major subcontractor. “Major” typically means subcontractors providing more than 25% of total contract value but the RFP is not clear on this point.

Given the unlimited page count for the Past Performance volume, the best approach would be to take the SOW and ensure your citations have SOW references inserted throughout the citations. For the Technical/Management volume, consistently and liberally refer to your past performance as well as additional proof points to showcase your capabilities. Assuming the Government keeps the page limit unrestricted for the Past Performance volume, you will be able to use the opportunity to go even further in-depth in that volume to prove your abilities better than you may find possible in the 75 pages of the Technical/Management content.

I would also consider an extensive meatball chart at the beginning of the Past Performance volume to provide the evaluator with additional insight into the breadth and depth of your experience. Tailor it to the major section of the SOW with ties back to the evaluation factors.

What Do I Need to Do NOW: Using the draft solicitation as a guide, begin pulling together your potential past performance candidates. Consider creating a scorecard for each candidate, and then choose the ones that meet the compliance requirements of recency and relevancy and provide you the broadest coverage of the evaluation factors and SOW requirements. If you find that you have trouble doing this, you may consider that you don’t have the requisite experience to be competitive. If you can do it, then the Technical/Management volume should generally be a description of what you’ve done before and the government will most likely reward you with a better evaluation.

Errata:

GovWin Opportunity ID:           192538

Beta.SAM.Gov Notice ID:         W900KK20R9001

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