What Is a Compliance Matrix?
A compliance matrix or compliance traceability matrix is a valuable cross-referencing tool used in proposal development. It assists proposal managers by helping them ensure the proposal is written in compliance with the solicitation. It's an important document because developing a compliant proposal is the critical first step towards winning the bid.
To create a compliance matrix, begin with a thorough reading of the solicitation. Starting from the beginning and, in a sequential fashion, each time a solicitation requirement is identified, list it on the compliance matrix. The compliance matrix should capture the requirement, the location of the requirement in the solicitation, and the location in the proposal where the corresponding response appears.
At the start of writing, the compliance traceability matrix informs the layout of the proposal outline. After the proposal is complete, it becomes a proofing tool. The matrix is used to double check that every solicitation requirement found its way into the proposal.
The compliance matrix template below provides a bit of additional functionality as well. It doubles as a status tracking tool because it captures the name of the person to whom the writing was assigned and the status of the writing.
Compliance Matrix Template - Excel
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Compliance Matrix Template - PDF
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Who Creates the Compliance Matrix?
The compliance traceability matrix is created by the proposal manager. It could be created or reviewed by any number of people on the proposal team but ultimately, the document is owned by the proposal manager. It's his or her duty to ensure the proposal is compliant with the solicitation instructions.
What Are the Inputs?
The solicitation is the input to creating the compliance matrix. The solicitation may be a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a Request for Information (RFI).
How Is It Used?
The compliance matrix is used to prove that the proposal complies with the requirements found in the solicitation. Every requirement found in the solicitation is listed on the compliance matrix. Alongside each requirement, the location of the proposed response is noted.
The compliance matrix is used to develop proposal responses in a compliant manner. It is also used to perform a running compliance check and a final compliance check.
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