Six Rules for Design-Build Teams During RFQ/RFP CompetitionsSunday, March 28, 2010 19:43
Public design-build competitions are nothing like competitive bidding. They require teams to compete based on qualifications, technical expertise, and price (not just price alone).
Here are six rules to remember during your next competition:
1. Form the best team. The public owner will begin by “short-listing” the most qualified teams. It will consider the teams’ prior performance, financial health, and team member resumes. You must meet these minimum requirements. But you must also consider X-factors like: adding local team members (who have experience with the owner) and adding team members with special expertise (the owner may want a particular type of landscaping or “green” component).
2. Create the best story. The competition is about demonstrating that your team has the best solution for the owner’s needs. The owner’s evaluation team will not be comprised entirely of experts. It will likely have lay people end-users of the facility. So, your job is to communicate the best solution in the most convincing fashion. Without question, the best way to communicate this is by telling a convincing story. Figure out your theme, stick with it, and refine it.
3. Prepare quality written submittals. Make sure your written submittals are clear, concise, and directed to a lay audience. Don’t use technical jargon. Don’t pontificate. Be direct. Use the active voice. And get to the point.
4. Use real world examples. One of the most convincing ways to build credibility to through examples of successful projects. Incorporate prior success stories and testimonials into your responses.
5. Use exciting demonstrative tools. Don’t go into an interview planning to discuss design drawings or technical specifications. Use demonstrative tools: photos, models, graphs, and videos.
6. Pick a dynamic presenter. Your story and tools will not shine without a strong presenter who can use them convincingly. Make sure your interview team is led by someone with good speaking skills and who understands the story in and out.