Insights Blog

Think Positive for Positive Results

Attitude is everything

We’ve all heard the saying about the glass being half empty or half full. Your answer to this question can have profound affects on your proposal group and your bottom line win rate! About 20 years ago, I went through a divorce. It was the worst and most painful experience of my life. I lost two years grieving, feeling like a failure, and sitting on a real pity pot. My glass was completely empty. Thanks to lots of counseling, pastoral support, and the love of friends, I came through that period and learned that I have a choice today – the choice to be happy! And when I am happy, those around me are happy. It has become one of my primary life goals – to be happy. Studies have long shown that not only does success at work lead to individual satisfaction and happiness, but that happiness leads to … Continue reading Think Positive for Positive Results

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Seven Keys to Successful Solutioning

A compelling solution speaks directly to what the customer values.

A compelling solution speaks directly to what the customer values. It details your discriminating value proposition: how your solution exceeds customer expectations for quality, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, compliance, mission success and/or risk mitigation. The emphasis is on the how: in what specific ways your offering will accomplish contract performance objectives resulting in specific proven benefits the customer values. The how is exactly how many of our proposals fail. Here are seven keys to successful solutioning that will improve your win probability. #1: Begin earlier: Once you have qualified an opportunity, immediately begin the process of defining the how (people, processes, technology). Understand that solutioning is an iterative, time-consuming, evolving process. You will not arrive at your solution in one or two sessions. Once your team identifies an initial solution, capture professionals (and the project team on the ground in the case of a re-compete), must vet this solution. What solution elements … Continue reading Seven Keys to Successful Solutioning

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Agile Proposal Management – Proposal Team Roles

Agile practitioners value individuals and interactions over processes and tools

The Agile Manifesto talks about people, communications, the product, and flexibility. With respect to people, Agile practitioners value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. It takes a team to produce a winning proposal, and they must work together effectively through productive interactions. This does not mean that processes and tools are not important, but simply that the interaction between people on the team is more important. Team efforts to explore the requirements, work through solutioning, ghost the competition, and clearly identify corporate strengths is better accomplished through personal communication, brainstorming, and collaboration than by email, spreadsheets, documents, or automated analysis tools. Consider today’s tools that can generate the compliance matrix for you. When I use one, I still prepare my own compliance matrix, and often have another person do the same to compare our interpretations, cross-check each other, and to ensure complete comprehension. As you adopt an agile, Scrum approach … Continue reading Agile Proposal Management – Proposal Team Roles

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Agile proposal management—team values

I was recently asked if I have used agile for proposal management on a bid to the Federal Government. This individual was working on a proposal where the targeted contract provides agile software engineering services for a major Federal Agency’s mission support systems. The individual was considering the application of agile principles to the proposal process itself—a great way to demonstrate corporate commitment to agile philosophies! This is an idea I have considered for almost 4 years but have yet to find the right environment/opportunity to put completely into practice. I am a Certified Scrum Master and work on many bids that involve agile methodologies as part of the solution. I suggest the principles of agile and scrum provide opportunities to improve our processes and the outcome of our proposals—that is, improve our win rates. The Five Scrum Values—applied to proposal management In this and future articles, I’ll explore the … Continue reading Agile proposal management—team values

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