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Nov 28

Proposals For an RFP With a CMMI Requirement

by CMMI-Live Staff, Appraisal, No Comments

Nov 28

Did you know that the common win rate for proposals responding to RFPs is less than 5 percent?

Did you know that some agencies evaluate vendor proposals relative to each other rather than against some exact set of criteria?

Did you know that confidence in the proposed approach is frequently part of the proposal evaluation?

IMAGINE adding just three words to your proposal that will increase the likelihood of winning, set you apart from your competitor, and increase the confidence in your proposed approach.

Many RFPs have a CMMI maturity requirement.  In fact, many RFPs require sending the CMMI certificate and the Appraisal Disclosure Statement (ADS) to verify the company has been appraised and received a maturity level. This does not, however, guarantee that the vendor will actually use the process discipline from the CMMI for the RFP project.  There is a high likelihood they won’t.

The DoD has recognized this fact and has stopped requiring a CMMI maturity level for their vendors.  The 2012 Defense Acquisition Guidebook states:

“DoD does not place significant emphasis on capability level or maturity level ratings, but rather promotes CMMI as a tool for internal process improvement. This lack of emphasis on ratings is prudent in the light of findings that not all suppliers are exhibiting behavior consistent with their attained CMMI maturity level rating.”  (Emphasis added)

The bottom line is that some vendors game the system:  They achieve a CMMI maturity level, but stop following their processes after their appraisal.  Federal Agencies go the extra effort to make sure the companies submitting proposals have a CMMI Maturity Level, but they don’t make sure the winning company follows the CMMI.  That doesn’t make sense.

Companies can set themselves apart from competitors who game the system by including a “CMMI Project Monitoring” statement in their proposals.  This will guarantee your company will use the CMMI for the proposal project.  With project monitoring, an independent CMMI process professional will continuously monitor your company to ensure you are following your processes and creating the correct artifacts.

This unique approach will make your proposal standout against the others, will give the agency the utmost confidence in your proposed approach, and increase the likelihood you will win the contract.

Contact me to get all the details or to ask questions.

Kevin Cotherman
CMMI Institute Certified Lead Appraiser
kmcpic @

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