​Our more precise approach was inspired by Judge Learned Hand’s formula for deciding whether someone was negligent (click HERE   for the full wiki article), and Judge Hand said was that negligence is a formula:


[T]he owner’s duty, as in other similar situations, to provide against resulting injuries is a function of three variables: (1) The probability that she will break away; (2) the gravity of the resulting injury, if she does; (3) the burden of adequate precautions.

The amount someone should spend to prevent an injury = The chance the injury will occur • The severity of the injury if it occurs


The amount of time you should spend on a proposal = The chance you will win • The benefits you will get from doing the proposal

Now notice that I said the benefit you will get from DOING THE PROPOSAL, not the benefit you will get if you WIN.

This is important. In your first couple years, you are a very new contractor and every proposal you do will significantly improve your proposal library and every bid team you are on will significantly improve your relationships so as we said last class, that happens whether you win or lose.

Comparison to other P-Win approaches:Most P-Win calculations focus on trying to estimate your chances of winning based on your connections to the government customer and how fierce the competition is likely to be, but as a new entrant into the government market it is almost impossible to know these things, so we are going to focus on the elements that we can estimate and make some assumptions about the rest.

Our P-win Process steps:

1) Check for “show stoppers”

a) That you have enough time to put together a proposal

        b) That there aren’t any administrative “show stoppers” (e.g requirements that you simply can’t meet)

3) Figure out how much time it is likely to take to write your parts of the proposal

4) Figure out the benefits you are likely to get from going after this RFP

5) Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to decide if it is worth going after​