Are you tired of missing the cut?  Are you tired of being a good competitor; but, just not the winner?  Then perhaps the solution is a stronger capture.  As contractors, we sometimes believe that our prior work will be sufficient for the proposal.  However, this thought can cause complacency – leading to failure.


As a capture is transferred from the Capture Manager to the Proposal Manager, the handoff can leave out valuable information, data, hot buttons, and precious “golden nuggets” that can lead to a contract award.

A Capture Plan has a shelf life.  Therefore, we must be careful to design a capture model that considers all aspects of capture.  In order to prevent Capture Expiration we recommend the following steps.

  • Execute a Competitive analyses (Black Hat)
  • Develop a Gap analysis
  • Perform a Requirement analysis
  • Perform a Price To Win (PTW analysis
  • Manage to the plan, understanding that reality will depart from the plan every day.


What can small businesses do to better manage a long range pipeline so there’s time to conduct a capture?  Most small businesses are opportunistic by necessity.  They must find revenue quickly, or be eliminated from play – quickly.

The Capture Process employed is entirely dependent upon your growth strategy.  As leaders, we must provide vision and discipline to achieve the growth plan.  So, how can we do that?  It starts with self-discipline.  I highly suggest you move from an ad hoc business development model to a growth strategy that includes a Business Development – Capability Maturity Model (BD-CMM) that escalates in rigor and confidence periodically.  Articulate your strategic capture and growth strategies to your internal team on a periodic basis.  Conduct weekly Business Development briefings, and review your pipeline using a proven Capture Checklist (we can provide one for you, free of charge) if you do not have one.  Eliminate unrealistic capture efforts from your pipeline as soon as practical.  Remember, all captures have a shelf life.

Keep your captures relevant through research and communication with your potential customers.   Time is the limiting factor.  Ensure you maximize the capture time, and you will avoid Capture Expiration and win more work. Never allow a capture to fail because the Capture Manager is replaced.

If you are interested in more articles like this, please sign up for our RSS Feeds.  If you need Capture Management assistance, contact us at 256-945-7774, or .  We will gladly support you.

Happy Hunting!

Sean Heileman

CEO, ProSource Technology, Inc.