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How to Develop a Compliant Proposal

2- Day Live Training. Next Class is June 1-2, 2021.

A compliant and high-scoring proposal starts with a well-thought-out outline. This course dives into the intricacies of developing proposal outlines, annotating these outlines, preparing compliance and cross-reference matrixes, and preparing storyboards or work packages the right way. It starts with analyzing different types of Requests for Proposal (RFP) and Requests for Quote (RFQ) formats to show how various customers may organize the requirements.

A great outline reduces stress and rework during the proposal development process. It helps direct the authors, and integrate the proposal from the start. 

The course subsequently delves into when use of storyboards (or writers’ work packages) is more appropriate than annotated outlines, and vice versa. It shows how to develop storyboards the right way, avoiding the typical problems companies face with storyboard development. 

This course is for those in the Proposal Management, Proposal Writing, and Proposal Coordination fields. It will teach professional skills in annotated outlines and storyboard development. In the course, attendants will explore the outlining topic in a greater depth than in our Foundations of Proposal Management and Writing Persuasive Federal Proposals courses. It addresses the typical areas of struggle for proposal practitioners through individual and group work in a “roll-up-your-sleeves and put the new skills to practice” workshop format. The course zooms in on the nuance of outline and storyboard building that’s a hallmark of true proposal professionals. 

This interactive two-day workshop is 20 percent lecture, 70 percent practical exercises, and 10 percent discussion.

The experts who teach our business development, capture and proposal training are highly experienced currently practicing proposal professionals whose years of successful experience in Government acquisition and training allow them to offer valuable insights to our students. Our instructors can answer tough questions as they come up during the course. They can also tailor the material to their students’ specific challenges, and share their experience based on the most current realities. Check our instructor’s bios on our About Us page.
Advanced Capture Management for Government Contractors
Location: OST Global Solutions, Inc., 7361 Calhoun Place, Suite 560, Rockville, MD 20855 (check our Visitor Guide for location details, driving directions, nearby hotels and restaurants, and more).

Course completion: By attending this class, you will receive 3 CEUs towards your APMP accreditation, or 3 PDUs towards your PMP. At the end of this course you will get a Certificate of Completion.

Who should attend this course: Proposal department directors, company executives and senior managers, capture managers, proposal managers, business developers, business owners, project personnel.

Course materials: Course workbook, handouts, templates, forms, and checklists.

Professional certification: This is a Core Curriculum Course that provides 2 units (2-days) towards Bid&Proposal Academy certification program for proposal professionals. To learn more about the program or enroll:
Course Curriculum
Day 1 Highlights
Module 1: Introduction
  • Introductions and learning objectives
  • ​Overview of where outlining and storyboarding fit within the proposal process 
  • ​How annotated outlines help reduce stress in proposals and get a higher score with evaluators 
Module 2: Navigating RFPs and RFQs
  • How to read an RFP or RFQ
  • ​Different types of RFX structures (including Task Order RFPs), and how to navigate them successfully
  • ​How to decide what sections are important for compliant outlining and what sections are part of a contractual document and therefore don’t require proposal mention. 
  • Exercise: Identify sections pertinent to outlining in different types of RFPs and RFQs.
Module 3: Structuring Proposal Outlines
  • Techniques for structuring proposal outlines correctly Sources of information and degrees of their reliability. 
  • ​Proposal outlines hierarchy
  • ​Telling a story while remaining compliant 
  • ​Deciding on the outline structure
  • ​Allocating page counts correctly
  • Exercise: Decide on the top-level outline structure for a practice proposal.
Module 4: Ensuring Compliance
  • The difference between compliance matrixes, cross-reference matrixes, and compliance checklists, and how to use each one correctly
  • ​Other techniques for showing compliance in a proposal document
  • ​How to set up a compliance matrix
  • ​How to develop a cross-reference matrix
  • ​How to develop a compliance checklist 
  • Exercise: Develop a cross-reference matrix for the practice proposal.
Day 2 Highlights
Module 5: Developing Resume and Past Performance Templates and Other Volumes
  • How to develop effective resume templates
  • ​How to design compliant and compelling past performance templates
  • ​Setting up outlines for business volume
  • ​Setting up outlines for the cost volume 
  • Exercise: Set up a past performance template, resume template, and business volume outline for the practice proposal.
Module 6: Transforming the Topical Proposal Outline into an Annotated Outline
  • Creating useful annotations to guide the authors
  • ​Incorporating proposal mock-up elements into the outline
  • ​Incorporating section flow into the outline
  • ​Reviewing and refining the outline
  • ​Issuing assignments to the authors using an annotated outline
  • Exercise: Annotate the practice proposal outline.
Module 7: Creating Proposal Storyboards and Work Packages
  • The pros and cons of working with storyboards and writers’ work packages
  • ​Deciding when to use storyboards
  • ​Setting up the storyboards correctly for the writers to eliminate typical storyboard breakdowns
  • Exercise: Create a writer’s work package for the practice proposal.
Module 8: Summary and Recap
Learning Objectives
Upon course completion, the participants will have learned and be able to put into practice:
  • ​Understanding how properly annotated outlines help reduce stress in proposals and get a higher score with evaluators
  • ​Navigating different types of RFX structures like a professional
  • ​Mastering the techniques for structuring proposal outlines correctly
  • ​Setting up compliance matrixes
  • ​Developing cross-reference matrixes
  • ​Developing compliance checklists
  • ​Allocating the page count correctly
  • ​Developing effective resumes and past performance templates
  • ​Setting up outlines for business and cost volumes
  • ​Creating useful annotations to guide the authors
  • ​Incorporating proposal mock-up elements into the outline
  • ​Incorporating section flow into the outline
  • ​Reviewing and refining the outline
  • ​Issuing assignments to the authors using an annotated outline
  • ​Navigating through the pros and cons of working with storyboards and writers’ work packages
  • ​Deciding when to use storyboards
  • ​Setting up the storyboards correctly for the writers to eliminate typical storyboard breakdowns
“As a proposal professional it is always important to know that you should continue to refine your skills. Taking this class has provided me with additional knowledge, tools and techniques to manage and prepare proposals more effectively and with a deeper understanding of the customer requirements. Thank you OST!”
Michelle Norman
Proposal Manager

NPC, Inc.
“I’ve worked almost 2 years in proposals in our company where we continue to evolve our processes. This class has provided a lot of nuances as to how we can take our existing process to the next level to be more competitive. The class gave me more confidence in analyzing an RFP and setting up a quality outline that will help solicit value added, compelling information from our authors.”
Eric Amundson
Proposal Specialist
“I have worked with Proposals in the Requirements management world for 10 years. Recently I started working Business Development for the last 2 years. I have had issues with getting the author kicked off with confidence in what they are writing to win the proposal. The knowledge acquired in how to do an annotated outline will be valuable in time spent and confidence with the author’s ability to jump in and write!”
Angela J. Davis
Proposal Analyst
Ingalls Shipbuilding
How to Develop a Compliant Proposal
$1390 per one attendee
$1250 per attendee when registering a team of 3 or more
Register for an Upcoming Class

Classes start at 9am EST and end at 5pm EST each day.

June 1-2, 2021
October 25-26, 2021
Still have questions?
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Seating is limited to 16 participants. Do not delay registering.
Cancellations and rescheduling policy: Cancellation notification must be received 10 business days prior to the training date. Upon notification, your registration fee will be refunded less a $100 non-refundable processing fee. Any cancellations beyond the 10 business days are non-refundable, but the course fee can be applied towards another training course, webinar, or an OST Global Solutions training product. No refunds will be made for the cancellation of a rescheduled course. Courses need to be rescheduled at least 24 hours in advance because we have to print the materials. As we constantly update the materials, they cannot be reused for another class. If a registrant didn't request to reschedule and simply doesn't show up on the day of the class, they forfeit the ability to reschedule. Attendee substitutions may be made at any time. Payment must be received prior to the course date. No-shows are liable for the full class fee.  
Additional Information: If you would like to discuss whether this class is right for you or have any other questions, please call 301-384-3350 during normal business hours.
Other Types of Payment: If you’d like to pay by check and send us an invoice, please send an email to (NOTE: the payment must be received prior to the course start date).
Would you like to take this class remotely? We have webcasting capability. Please send us an email at if you’d like to attend a class via live webcast. The date and time, as well as pricing, will be the same as the classroom training.
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