Capture Manager Creates Chaos in Post-RFP Collaboration

Dear Proposal Doctor,

Please help me to not kill my capture manager! This person is still running some of the meetings even though the RFP is out. The meetings are long and rambling. There are no agendas and no action items.

Proposal contributors are losing faith that we know what we are doing. They want to work on their sections. I am afraid that the energy is sapping out of the team just at the time that it should be ramping up.

Since my jurisdiction has concealed hand-gun laws, although I would like to resort to violence, I need some alternatives in dealing with this situation.

Ready to Kill

Dear Ready,

Yikes. It is hard to change course once a syndrome like this sets in. But it can be done.

First, you need to have a heart-to-heart with the capture manager to explain that since time is now of the essence, with RFP out, it is important for contributors to meet their deadlines.

Second, suggest a standard format for all meetings –your capture manager’s as well as yours and everyone else’s– that includes a formal invitation, an agenda, a time limit, and defined out puts and action items. When time is precious, this is only good sense and good management. It should be received as a reasonable request. I would think about escalating if you and the capture manager cannot come to a satisfactory agreement.

Having said this, it is important to remember that if the team is still working through the solution, consensus and shared understanding are important. There are times, and meetings, when everyone’s voice has to be heard to avoid confusion (and dissent) down the road. It is often painful, but the alternative is worse. That is a judgment call, meeting by meeting, and although you might not always agree with the capture manager’s decision, you should respect it. Within limits.


Wendy Frieman, The Proposal Doctor