What is the Compliance Matrix?
A compliance matrix is a tool used to help ensure that the proposal responds to and complies with all RFP requirements. It maps the requirements of the RFP down to the location in the response where the requirement is answered. It is a tool for managing response preparation and demonstrating compliance to the customer.
Purpose of a Compliance Matrix:
It shows you what requirements must be addressed in a given section. It enables you to validate that all requirements have been responded to and makes it easier for you (and potentially your customer) to understand the RFP and how to navigate your response to it. It also helps Proposal Managers and Internal Reviewers verify that the proposal meets all requirements. A complex RFP needs a Compliance Matrix to map the requirements to the outline. A good compliance matrix also serves as a plan of action for writers.
Building a Compliance Matrix:
Read the RFP thoroughly and from the very beginning make a list of all the requirements identified. The compliance matrix should capture the requirement, the location of the requirement in the RFP, and the location in the proposal where the corresponding response appears. It should include the elements for both the RFP and the proposal response. Create your compliance matrix early in the planning process, before writing begins, and update it throughout the proposal process.
Some of the best practices include preparing a compliance matrix for every bid request, building the compliance matrix early, shredding the RFP line by line, tailoring the compliance matrix for your customer and setting, creating your compliance matrix using a spreadsheet application, following the customer’s lead, keeping the compliance matrix up to date throughout the proposal process, submitting a response matrix with your proposal, enhancing compliance with responsiveness and using the compliance matrix as a selling tool.
A compliance matrix is both a guide to the evaluator and a checklist for the Proposal Manager to make sure every requirement is answered. Compliance matrices should be created early in the proposal process before writing begins. It also serves as a responsibility assignment matrix for the Proposal Manager to effectively manage and follow up on responses. A good compliance matrix ensures that all customer requirements have been answered. It should always be used in any proposal in any industry. Proposal developers can develop a compliance matrix by shredding an RFP line by line.