More Q&A with the TACTIX ITB Strategic Advisory Team

May, 2018


The advent of rated and weighted ITB requirements has introduced a level of complexity which challenges traditional ITB business best-practices. The development and delivery of a winning ITB strategy and proposal now requires a much more holistic, purposeful and innovative approach to achieve success.

The TACTIX ITB Strategic Advisory Services Team is your answer to developing a winning ITB proposal that meets the Government’s requirements, while respecting your business priorities and shareholder expectations. The TACTIX team brings unique field-proven insights into the government’s defence requirements, procurement process and ITB policy, as well as best-practices from industry-seasoned experts.

In the second part of our ITB Q&A series, the ITB Strategic Advisory Services Team shares some insights into what to think about when planning, developing and delivering a successful ITB proposal.

Start early! It’s an obvious statement, but early-stage preparation and planning is critical to preparing a high-quality ITB proposal. The need to develop a portfolio of ITB activities requires sufficient runway to identify, scope, price and secure necessary buy-in. Early identification of potential synergies and leverage points within the ITB portfolio provides opportunities to manage ITB delivery costs and risks – both critical elements to building a winning ITB proposal.

Early stage planning also provides the opportunity to apply scenario planning best-practices. Anticipating and predicting the Government’s final rated/weighted ITB requirements can be challenging, with industry days, RFIs and other forums providing insights into the government’s ITB expectations before RFP. Scenario planning introduces a disciplined and structured approach to developing a set of ITB portfolios that would cover the anticipated requirements space. Risk, costs and other delivery considerations can then be identified, building confidence not only in the individual transactions, but also in how best to build a winning proposal. Scenario planning also provides insights into communications, marketing and government relations activities, while also helping bidders take full advantage of the ITB banking policy.

Upon release of the RFP and related ITB requirements, the scenario planning approach provides the framework and building blocks to quickly down-select to the ideal ITB portfolio, reducing the workload during final proposal preparation, and significantly reducing risk. The introduction of rated and weighted ITB requirements makes early stage planning increasingly a “must” rather than a “nice to have”.

In short, preparing a winning ITB proposal is best achieved by starting early, leveraging portfolio scenario planning best practices, and working with a world-class partner like TACTIX who brings unmatched expertise, experience and insights.

It goes without saying that the introduction of rated and weighted ITB requirements shifts the “game” for ITB planning. Maximizing ITB points, and developing a fulsome understanding of the cost-per-point within the ITB portion of the overall proposal is critical to delivering a winning proposal. Determining how to maximize ITB points is therefore taking on the rigor, analysis and discipline traditionally applied to maximizing points for technical requirements – a shift which can be challenging to organizations with ITB business processes largely developed for non-rated ITB requirements.

Moving to rated and weighted ITB requirements therefore calls for a rigorous analysis of the cost associated with the overall ITB portfolio – with individual transaction delivery costs becoming increasingly complex as R&D, technology demonstration and strategic alliances supplement more traditional ITB transactions likes supply chain agreements. As is the case with technical requirements, each ITB point will have a cost associated with it, and not every ITB point costs the same. This will increasingly be the case as the Government seeks to secure a diverse set of socio-economic outcomes through the ITB requirements.

Applying a portfolio approach when developing an ITB proposal can also provide important insights to the cost-per-point of the ITB portion, providing much-needed insights when determining where to “over-bid” vs. “under-bid”, and how best to leverage the ITB proposal within the overall proposal. Taking a more rigorous “price-to-win” approach to the ITB portion of the overall proposal will likely become best-practice as bidders seek to deliver winning bids.

In short, maximizing ITB points requires rigorous cost-per-point methodologies as part of an overall ITB portfolio approach, developed with a world class partner like TACTIX who brings unmatched expertise, experience and insights.

Canada’s rated and weighted ITB requirements is a major shift away from the traditional “pass-fail” IRB requirements which defined the IRB policy for many years. The rated/weighted regime requires a new mindset, business approaches and partners to achieve success. It goes without saying that rated and weighted ITB requirements will push bidders to transform how they plan, develop and deliver winning ITB proposals.

Critical to establishing a new way of delivering ITBs will be alignment of objectives – finding how best to develop ITB proposals that “makes business sense”, while responding to and aligning with the government’s evolving ITB requirements. Under a rated and weighted ITB regime, more accurate costing of diverse ITB activities becomes ever more critical. Minimizing cost-per-point through a disciplined price-to-win approach typically seen with technical requirements is not a “nice-to-have”, but increasingly a “must-have”.

The complexity of rated and weighted ITB requirements also calls for a more holistic portfolio approach to ITBs – moving beyond the individual transactions to developing a coordinated and leveraged portfolio that can deliver impacts of benefit to all parties involved. Additional policy outcomes such as support to aboriginal businesses and the development of Key Industrial Capabilities (KIC) can be supported by leveraging existing business initiatives (e.g., Corporate Social Responsibility; Innovation Plans, etc.) to support the development and delivery of ITB activities, thereby helping mitigate the costs and risk of ITB delivery. Purposeful early stage planning prior to RFP release is therefore critical to respond to this new way of doing business, and developing a strategic ITB framework and building blocks for success.

In short, achieving success with your ITB strategy requires transforming how you think about, plan, define and deliver ITB proposals, and choosing a world-class partner like TACTIX who brings unmatched expertise, experience and insights.

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The TACTIX ITB Strategic Advisory Services Team is your answer to planning, developing and delivering a winning ITB proposal.

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Meet our Strategic Advisory Services Team


Steven C. Dover

Senior Associate

Steven Dover develops relationships with key government stakeholders and delivers client-focused business development opportunities.




Paul S. Hillier


Paul Hillier specializes in risk management, advising clients across industries on how to manage reputational risks.




Ken Pennie

Senior Associate

Ken Pennie’s outstanding career as a senior military leader offers clients strategic advice in global defence and aerospace operations.




Howard Mains

Managing Principal ~ Owner

Howard Mains’ client-centric approach brings a high level strategic focus on key mandates.




Dan Duguay


Dan has a unique ability to navigate political, economic and policy issues that affect TACTIX’ clients by employing exceptional strategic advice.



 Government Procurement, Industrial and Technological Benefits