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What’s in a Capture Plan?

By Ann Martin | Harkcon's Vice President and Business Development Specialist

A capture plan is a living document, start with a simple outline and expand as you move forward and gain additional information. Capture plans can be built as a document or as a PowerPoint presentation. Documents are easier to manage if there is a lot of data captured on the opportunity, but be careful...remember you are not crafting the great American novel! Also, you will likely be briefing the plan to management, teammates, and proposal writers, so it’s critical that you be able to easily pull data from the document for briefing purposes. Creating and maintaining the capture plan as a PowerPoint presentation makes creating briefings easy and supports minimizing verbiage when presenting the capture plan details.

At a minimum, a capture plan should include the following items:

  • Description of the Opportunity – estimated value, contract type, POP, include high level summary of tasks from draft PWS when available

  • Customer Organization – mission, organization chart, contract history, key decision makers

  • Customer Hot Buttons

  • Competitor Profiles - strengths and weaknesses of each

  • Teammate status (if subcontractors are being used)

  • Probability of Win - updated

  • Description of Proposed Solution – summary of the technical solution

  • Win Themes

  • Past Performance – list of past performance references being considered and strengths and weaknesses of each

  • Staffing – list of potential key staff being considered and strengths and weaknesses of each

  • Capture Milestones – including proposal development

  • Proposal Development – outline tentative proposal schedule that is updated once RFP is released

  • Budget for Capture and Proposal Development

Now that you’ve completed the initial version of the capture plan, you will want to get in front of the customer and continue to research the opportunity. At this stage you should be making and communicating updates to your capture plan at least monthly. Once you have sufficient information about the details of the opportunity, the next step is proposal planning. Next article I will discuss some ideas on how to make your next customer meeting meaningful. In the meantime, if you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to and reference the title, "What’s in a Capture Plan?"

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