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Is the way your firm computes pWins keeping up with the times? (3-12-18)

Developing and maintaining an opportunity's pWin (i.e., probability of win) is the time-honored way that capture managers use to periodically, during the capture process, assess their team's ability to win a competitive bid. The theory is that if the "essential elements" of the capture process can be identified, weighted, and given a maximum score, then, as a capture activity progresses, improvable elements can be addressed and re-assessed. Capture plan element re-assessments update element ratings and recompute a, hopefully improving, overall percentage of the maximum possible score (i.e., the pWin). Accordingly, if a capture team's ratings achieve 62 percent of the possible aggregate maximum score, this is expressed as a "pWin of .62."
The pWin development and review process exists to periodically report a capture activity's overall pWin to BD management. The pWin level is used to:
  • gauge the continued efficacy of funding less promising capture campaigns that vie with more promising captures campaigns for scarce B&P and investment funds; and
  • translate the potential of the active portion of a firm's opportunity pipeline into potential future revenues that are needed to backfill and grow an otherwise eroding revenue backlog.
As customer acquisition approaches evolve contractors should adjust their pWin development and review processes. As a minimum, some "essential elements" may need to be re-defined while others will need to be re-weighted. For instance, the weight and maximum score of elements such as "Competition Analysis" and "Price Required To Win" should be weighted more or less heavily as the relative importance of price fluctuates.
Ratings for price-related elements need to be developed using a comprehensive and well-reasoned Price To Win (PTW) process, not with what amounts to a wetted finger against the wind. Armed with a professionally-prepared and timely PTW analysis, BD managers can easily see which flashing RED or GREEN capture team pWins are irrational.
Never forget that the ultimate purpose of a PTW study is to provide capture teams and BD management price targets that represent a pWin of 1, not .62 or anything else less than 1. This is because the brutal truth of government contracting is that a price pWin of less than 1 makes your bid a loser.
Good luck and happy hunting.
If your firm needs to establish a more realistic approach to developing and utilizing pWins, please call us at (301) 807 8171. We are always happy to discuss how we can help modernize your firm's approach to developing and using pWins, PTW studies, and predicting what it will take for you to win.
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