Please review the following video or read the Step by Step Instructions in order to successfully tag a PDF document for reference requirements in Symphony for the Polaris solicitation. The required URL for Polaris offerors is https://polaris.app.cloud.gov/.
Per the solicitation, all proposal documents should be in Adobe (.pdf) format. All validation documentation submitted should be highlighted and contain comments (“tags”) indicating the specific reference for validation purposes.
The evaluators will be able to locate these claims more quickly and you are ensuring they are looking where you want them to look. You can use the notes function in your PDF and Symphony will search for the text in your comments (annotations).
In order to help the evaluators locate the exact location(s) where you are validating your project claims, please tag your documents using the Symphony legend for only your Core Project Details.
Step 2: Activate the Comment and Markup tools
There are many different versions of PDF Software that are acceptable. For usability, we are referencing the free version of Acrobat reader. Select Comments from the right menu to activate the Comment and Markup Tools toolbar. These tools provide the ability to work with Annotations and Comments. You can use either the sticky note or the highlighter to add comments to your document and meet the solicitation requirements. Other Adobe features like Tags and Bookmarks are not recommended and may not work for evaluation.
Step 3: Highlight and Tag your Evidence for Project Data
Symphony will direct the evaluators to the exact location(s) in your document(s) with the tag you use from the following legend. You can also add text in addition to the comment “Tag” in your supporting documents. For example "POP start" and "POP end". Symphony will search for POP and find both occurrences in one or more document(s) that you select for reference.
The only tags that Symphony requires are:
CR = Cost Reimbursement
LOCATIONS = Number of locations
OCONUS = Outside of the Continental United States work
POP = Period of Performance
TCV = Total Contract Value
TEAMING = Subcontractor/Teaming
You do not have to use all these tags and you can use more. The Tag legend only applies to projects in your Company assets because these are reusable. Some questions (shown below) are optional and do not apply to the Polaris Solicitation(s). Other solicitations may require them.
Additional tags outside the legend can be whatever you want and you identify what those are in Symphony when you "Begin" the Functional Factors for Projects that you add to your proposal Submission. The tags are considered unique to the Polaris solicitation so they are at your discretion.
Step 4: Save Your PDF Document
Once you have “tagged” your document, save your work. You must upload your “tagged” PDF to Symphony after you have completed all your highlights and comments. Upload all project documents to the selected project in My Company and the Projects tab.
Step 1 asks you to create a Project Experience to reference. Step 2 asks you to upload your supporting documents. Step 3 asks you to answer questions that will be supported by your document(s) and are linked to the reference “tag(s)”.
The “tag” feature is also required for performance factors when a project experience is used in a pool submission. You must be in the Projects/Past Performance tab in the Submission screen to claim solicitation-specific factors. Please see How a Proposal works in Symphony for Polaris for more information on claiming Primary Relevant Experience, Cybersecurity or Emerging Technology Relevant Experience.
Tagging is like the "Find" feature in software systems. Therefore, if you have a keyword already in the document you can enter it into the tag field (location in file). Or you can add tags throughout the document(s). In the video, we use an overarching keyword for the solicitation-specific factors for simplicity in using a "Jump to" or "Find function".
For example, our tag could be "Relevant" - with an explanation (ex. Relevant - NAICS, Relevant - Multiple Award, Relevant - Customer), and we only need to enter "Relevant" in the tag field. Your tags are up to you. At evaluation, we will find all instances of your "tag" in one or more documents that you select for the file reference field. The evaluator will see everything you enter in the "location in file" field.
Step 6: Reference your Claims
The most important part of “tagging” is that your PDF comment matches the reference you use in Symphony for that specific claim. Symphony will allow you to attach as many files as you need to support your claims but the size limitation of 20mb will prevent you from uploading too large of a file. File uploads also have additional rules.
File names cannot exceed 250 characters
Files cannot be combined into a "zip" folder but there is no limit to how many files you can upload.
You can not drag and drop from Sharepoint or other Cloud Drives. Files must come from your computer.
When answering a question, each document that you reference, and it may be more than one, will be linked to the question it is applied to, and the reference tag will guide the evaluators to the comment you create that contains that word or phrase in your document(s). Tags for a specific claim can be used more than once in the PDF document. For consistency, only use one tag per claim in Symphony. Please see the tagging section in the Symphony for Polaris FAQ if you need more clarity. Functional/Performance Factors must be added to your Project experience to earn additional points for Primary Relevant Experience, Cybersecurity or Emerging Technology Relevant Experience.
Make sure your tags match in both your PDF(s) and Symphony so that the evaluators can easily find the support for your claims. The reference tags become links in the evaluation tool during the evaluation phase that open your documents at the position of the first tag. The evaluators are then guided from comment to comment, similar to using a Find feature when they review your proposal.
You can add and remove documents, and edit/update your reference tags as needed. If you still need help, pleaseclick here to contact us.
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