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What are gate decisions?

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Baskar Sundaram

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Making the right gate decisions is key to a successful proposal. This means avoiding unnecessary investments and ensuring that only worthwhile opportunities are pursued. Every organization has different procedures for making gate decisions, but it’s important to have standardized templates and checklists in order to make these decisions as efficiently as possible. In this article, we will discuss the importance of gate decisions and provide some tips for making sound bid/no-bid decisions.

General Framework

Gate decisions are always a series of critical, strategic choices that help an organization achieve its goals. The process may include market entry decision-making processes such as bid qualification and pursuit, opportunity qualification screenings for both new business opportunities or prequalified existing ones with potential mergers or acquisitions activity. Having set templates and guidelines ready for any situation is useful.

Timeline Based on Information

Setting a timeframe and guidelines is a great way to get started. Expectations on when a summary should be submitted, where the project template is going to be, or what the schedule is going to look like based on information gathered should be decided.

Cost and Pricing

Next comes the investment. The best way to determine your bid’s cost is by figuring out what it will take for you to bid on the contract. This includes any direct expenses like labour costs and other direct expenses required for development as well as any travel or incidental expenses needed during the process such as conference fees etc.


The decision criteria for bids should depend on the risk and sales target of a company. Understanding whether or not an opportunity will result in winning can be helped by understanding what prevents it from happening. Look at factors from your side as well as the client’s. Think in terms of pre-RFP activity designed to influence requirements, customer preferences, customer knowledge of the organization bidding technical capability, management capability, as well as client’s mission, need or requirement, customer champion, and funding availability. 

Decision Makers

Establish who will be making major decisions at every point. Roles, responsibilities and leadership positions change over a period of time, so take the time to decide who are the key decision-makers and who is responsible for ensuring that the right decisions are being made.

These are just some factors to keep in mind when setting out your own framework for bid and gate decisions.

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