The first step in understanding how to invest in achieving operational solutions for the federal government is to explore the definition of what an operational solution is. Incorrect or inconsistent understanding can lead to mistakes in the proposal development process. We have noted that the government is often involved in the solutions development process. So, a PWS or SOW may contain descriptions of the desired solution or constraints on what the solution cannot be. Only the statement of objectives (SOO) places the burden of solutions development completely on the proposal development team. Despite the details provided in many RFPs, proposals that merely affirm delivery of what the government wants may be compliant but do not present solutions. In fact, RFP instructions will sometimes stipulate that the PWS or SOW should not be merely reiterated as a proposal response. Even the most detailed PWS or SOW must therefore be treated as guidance on how to develop the winning solution.