6 Early-stage proposal products to identify and develop

More adventures start with a lack of planning. –Capt. Dick Shakeshaft, Keynote Speaker, APMP Nor’easters 2011 Fall Symposium

Keeping a proposal team on a winning track means getting an early start on the proposal. Arguably, the most important activity during the Pre-proposal Preparation Phase is preparing proposal products early. While each RFP contains unique questions that are difficult to anticipate, we can get a head start on many standard proposal sections during this phase.

Identify proposal products typically included in similar or related bids for this client, and begin developing these sections before RFP release. Typically, these products include:

  1. Resumes
  2. Past performance summaries
  3. Graphics
  4. Plans (quality, safety, program management, transition, small business, etc.)
  5. Executive summary
  6. Orals presentation

This allows you to spend post-RFP release response time revising, reviewing, and polishing content versus writing it from scratch.

Early writing has many benefits.

  1. Writers begin writing to outlined content while the outline is still fresh in their minds.
  2. Early development allows time for more revisions to content and more time for quality reviews – leading to polished, error-free content that fully supports your overall solution and approach.
  3. Finally, getting an early start on developing proposal products reduces the panic and rush to complete text upon RFP release.

By Beth Wingate