Frequently Asked Questions
What do you do?
The Mission Critical Team are Proposal Management specialists. We partner with our clients to develop winning submissions for competitive procurements. To achieve this goal, we utilize specialized resources to best guide the efforts of single or multiple client teams, writing and developing content and an approach for the proposal response – from kickoff through final submittal. We scrutinize the details of the requirements, manage compliance, and bring the best out of our client team members to create targeted, rock solid content. We exceed scoring requirements in an innovative yet thorough manner, engaging the selection board through organic and original writing, design, graphics and presentation. That same drive is evident in every service offered by Mission Critical, including:
- Proposal Management
- Technical Writing
- Graphic Design and Technical Illustration
- Web Design and Presentation Technology
- Interview Preparation
- 3D Modeling and Visualization
Do you coach for interview preparation?
Mission Critical is committed to a project from inception to conclusion, including interview preparation. Our interview preparation methodology is focused on “content first”, ensuring the team members have the knowledge, tools and approaches needed to present before small or large selection committees, to respond to any question a panel might ask in a conversational and confident manner, and to score strongly in scenario or “challenge” based reviews.
How long do you need to write a proposal?
Mission Critical believes in being involved throughout the project lifecycle, partnering with our clients (when feasible) even before the solicitation release. The most successful efforts, especially those projects deemed a “critical win,” occur when everyone on the team maximizes every minute of the procurement cycle. With early onboarding we maximize opportunities to plan the response, identify data requirements and begin to set the team on a path toward successful submittal.
Why would I use you instead of in-house resources?
For many firms large and small, Mission Critical provides specialized knowledge and resources in those critical “must win” situations. Our expertise adds a spark, with an exchange of new ideas and a complete and total focus on the win, with no distractions from your day-to-day business. We manage the project from kickoff to award, coordinating and developing content, managing schedules and due dates, and directing our unique resources, small and large, as needed. In short, we create an atmosphere of universal accountability and teamwork. This is especially helpful in joint ventures, with the added benefit of a shared cost advantage.
What is your experience with federal procurements?
Mission Critical brings our attention to detail, innovative design and laser-sharp analysis and breakdown of solicitation requirements to the federal procurement market as well. Success in bidding on these solicitations requires not only an understanding of the job requirements but the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and what the government is looking for every step of the way. Our staff has nearly two decades of combined experience in successful bidding of federal work while staying in tune with current regulatory changes.
What is your experience with Alternative Project Delivery procurements?
Mission Critical has guided teams in winning nearly $1B in alternative delivery procurements including:
- Construction Manager at Risk (CM@R)
- Construction Manager / General Contractor (CMGC)
- Design-Build (DB)
- Job Order Contracting (JOC)
If you have specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What other types of submissions do you write?
In addition to our Proposal Management focus, Mission Critical also writes and designs:
- Award Submissions. We work with clients nationwide to write and design award submissions for projects, people and methods. See our Guide to Planning for Successful Awards for key tips and advice for making the most of your award efforts.
- Marketing Materials and Collateral. Well-designed, professionally printed marketing materials serve as an effective leave-behind tool and reinforce your brand, but it’s important to remember that “Content is King.” That’s why we focus on developing the right content first, then creating the right ‘look’ to meet the project objectives.
- Presentations. From Powerpoint to Prezi and everything in between, our presentation team can work with you to deliver the right message to your audience.
What markets do you work in?
Mission Critical specializes in the Heavy Civil and Vertical Construction markets. A keen understanding of subcontractor resource planning, the latest innovations in Green Construction (both vertical and horizontal), or knowledge of FAA Acronyms (do we have FOD in the AOA?) makes all the difference in developing “Rock Solid Content” quickly and effectively. Because we’re Technically Creative, we reduce the level of effort for our clients in winning competitive procurements.
Since 2012, we have provided winning efforts for the following market segments:
- Civil and Transportation
- Mining and Industrial
- Water Treatment
- Education and Healthcare
Do you use templates or a software program to produce your work?
We do not use use templates or “boilerplate” content. We believe that “Content is King.” We focus on technical writing and creating new content targeted for each effort and pair this with new, innovative ways of delivering content graphically as well. Every submission is fresh and unique.
What types of programs or software do you work with?
As a “Technically Creative” firm, we work across multiple platforms to communicate, write, design, review and produce winning work. We use collaborative workspaces to facilitate communication and utilize the Adobe Design Suite to ensure our work looks as good as it reads. We use software for 3D, Architectural and Civil modeling, Web and Presentation suites.
So, Mission Critical edits the final content we provide?
Yes, we can edit final content, but the majority of our work (and what defines our unique approach) involves the development of new content in collaboration with our clients.
Unlike a traditional marketing firm that needs fully or near-fully developed client content to achieve the goal of “designing pretty”, Mission Critical has the technical knowledge and a specialized understanding of the construction market to work with client teams from Day 1 – developing clear, concise and compelling “Rock Solid Content” that demonstrates advantages in capacity, experience and approach. We turn blurry cell phone images into finished content and exhibits, and pretty routinely conference with busy PMs to develop approach during their daily commute time. The result is less “loading” of client’s resources and a final deliverable that fully aligns with the needs and expectations of the procurement agency.
How many people do you have work on a project?
Overall, we tailor our staffing for each project to achieve the goal of lean and cost-effective delivery for our clients.
While the Mission Critical Team includes technical writers, design professionals, proforma specialists, and modeling and presentation experts, we create your specific project team based on the effort required by the procurement. We’re technical, flexible and are able to mobilize specific resources (e.g. Subject Matter Experts) for specific project efforts. People, technology, experience – we have the resources needed to provide the best opportunity for your firm to achieve the win.
What is your typical project size?
Mission Critical has completed efforts on projects ranging from $1M to $1.1B USD, partnering with single or joint-venture project teams ranging from 1 to 50+ members. Mission Critical can mobilize both small and large teams to address any procurement or project effort.
What is your cost?
Every procurement is unique and our pricing structure is tailored to cost effectively meet the scope of the project. To provide a project cost, we follow a three-step process:
- Individual team members review the project procurement, scope and any related documentation.
- The Mission Critical Team as a whole meets to discuss the project effort and to identify clarifications needed.
- We then provide a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for client review.
We’re always interested in discussing your project and usually arrive at a GMP within 48 hours. Questions? Feel free to contact us.
How do you handle printing of final deliverables?
First, no matter where our client is located in the world, Mission Critical hand-delivers every final project in-person to ensure our client’s total satisfaction.
The pre-press and print process is the final step representing weeks or months of team effort. Mission Critical manages and proofs the printing effort with the same diligence that we show in our proposal management scope. On most projects, we utilize an experienced WBE print provider in Phoenix, AZ who has demonstrated a proven capacity, level of quality and understanding of our unique project work and specifications. With this approach, we have the flexibility to manage the pre-press efforts for 10-page briefs or 900-page multi-volume technical submittals utilizing proven methods and processes.
An added benefit is our ability to plan and execute shorter print cycles than would normally be available from your “printer down the street,” providing additional time for our team to physically inspect the final product before delivering to our clients.