Proposal Outlining in Government Contracting

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


On August 20th, The Pulse of GovCon and Eastern Foundry teamed up to facilitate an open and honest discussion on industry best practices and pitfalls when creating a proposal outline in response to a Federal Government Request for Proposal (RFP).

In our mission to break the conventional rules of typical the GovCon meet-and-greet, The Shred event served as an interactive training workshop where participants collaborated to discuss and identify actionable and focused proposal outlining tactics and practices which uniquely support their organization’s challenges.


To facilitate and evaluate the workshop, The Shred utilized two (2) main tools: Slack and a short “Overall Feedback Form”. Slack allowed participants to interact and share their responses/feedback to the prompts in real-time during the event. The Slack channel was reviewed and shared in real-time to all in-person participants. The “Overall Feedback Form” was used to obtain feedback on the overall content, methodology, and arrangements of the workshop.



  • 54% currently serve as Proposal Managers in their organization

  • 21% currently serve in a supervisory capacity when it comes to supporting proposal efforts in their organization

  • 25% currently serve as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) when supporting proposal efforts in their organization

Primary Federal Customer

  • 54% listed various Federal Civilian agencies as their primary Federal customer

  • 35% listed the Department of Defense (DOD) as their primary Federal customer

  • 9% listed Defense Health Agency (DHA) as their primary Federal customer


The Shred presented four (4) prompts which were meant to engage real discussion amongst the group.

  1. What is an outline?

  2. Shredding an outline: an automated or strictly human function? Why?

  3. Give us 5 steps to organizing the elements of your outline.

  4. What about the other sections? What do you do with RFP Sections A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K? Who can name them?


Overall, the participants of the event found the workshop to be stimulating, interactive, and helpful. To assist in summarizing the input captured, The Shred has developed an infographic to display what day-to-day Federal proposal managers and stakeholders believe it takes to create a compliant and compelling proposal outline.



There’s too much self-serving noise in Government Contracting.

GovCon is ever-fearful that their honest thoughts and opinions will cost them revenue & relationships. That’s where we come in. The Pulse of GovCon + Eastern Foundry has teamed up to give blunt analysis on the federal market, customers & what it takes to be successful.  We’re going to shred more than an RFP – we’re here to tear GovCon a new one!

Actions speak louder than words, so let’s do more than scream into the void. We invite you to come together and learn from shared experiences with your friends, colleagues, competimates, and frenemies.


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