• Eric Bowie

Experience vs. Past Performance



Click HERE to Learn How to Do Business With the Federal Government



The government's evaluation of a contractor's experience is different from its evaluation of past performance. These two fundamentally different evaluations are often confused, but they are not the same, so it's important to know, and remember, the differences.


Hopefully this short blog post can clear the air for you when talking about these.



Quick side bar here: I have heard from some people that they cringe when they hear the terms "past" performance and "previous" experience, because all performances took place in the past, and any experience ever recorded in the history of the world, was always previous to now.



The reason we call them "past" performance and "previous" experience is to differentiate performances and experiences in the future from performances and experiences that might be taking place right now, or in the future. Just had to address that with a quick side bar.



Experience - This is WHAT your firm has done. The types of work you have experience performing is usually very important for a federal government procuring agency. There are many times when an agency relies on your expertise, based on your experiences with the types of work/services/supplies necessary to be successful on a particular procurement. Experience is not always required, but it can help.



Past Performance - This is HOW your firm has performed. The actual quality of your experiences are very important. Whether you have past performance doing work for the government, or not, having a good past performance record, can be crucial. How well you've done always holds a lot of weight. Keep in mind that just because you have experience doing something, does not guarantee that you can, or will, do it well.



Although past performance is never a fool proof guarantee of future success, it is an indicator to the government contracting world that you have performed well. Past performance can also be neutral, and no past performance is not necessarily a detriment. While it's outside the scope of this quick article, I encourage you to research and review the governments rules for "neutral" past performance.There are rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) regarding past performance. My suggestion to contractors and federal contracting professionals, is to become familiar with how past performance is addressed in the FAR, and read solicitations very thoroughly before bidding on federal contracts.


For you all that are looking to do business with the federal government, be sure to address both your experiences and your firms good past performances regarding those experiences, in your capability statements and presentations when pitching your firm's competencies and proficiency. The federal government is highly concerned with both, so your ability to show what you've done and how well you did, can be critical. Please like and share this article with others. For more information, questions, or concerns, please feel free to join me over on Patreon, or simply leave me a message below. I'd love to help!!


Click HERE to Learn How to Do Business With the Federal Government



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