12 Ways to mitigate proposal strategy review risks

At the 2011 APMP International Conference, Lohfeld Consulting Group’s Managing Director Brenda Crist presented an informative session on mitigating proposal risks. Here are Brenda’s identified Proposal Strategy Review Risks and recommended Mitigation Strategies:

  1. Proposal strategy review is not held. Hold a proposal strategy, storyboard, or pink team review approximately one-third of the way into the proposal life cycle. Not holding a review results in inconsistent messages communicated across the proposal or missing key win themes and substantiating evidence.
  2. Proposal is inconsistent with customer instructions. Verify your storyboards or strategy (writing plan) is consistent with the customer’s instructions for preparing the bid.
  3. No key personnel identified. By the proposal strategy review, storyboard, or pink team review, your company should have key personnel identified. If this risk is not mitigated, escalate it to the highest source. By the time the document is prepared for final review, all key personnel must be identified.
  4. Incomplete or uncompetitive technical solution. Not having a solid technical solution before writing the document for final review is extremely high risk. Your company exposes itself to potential contract compliance, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, financial, and legal risks. Make it a high priority to complete the technical solution.
  5. Incomplete or uncompetitive management solution. If your company is unsure how to manage the contract, it exposes itself to potential contract compliance, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, financial, and legal risks. Make it a high priority to complete the management solution before writing the document for final review.
  6. Lack of key personnel. Not having key personnel at this stage may result in not having the most qualified personnel to work on the contract and put your company at a competitive disadvantage.
  7. Lack of excellent past performance references. If your company or a teammate finds its clients are unable to provide excellent past performance references at this point, it is imperative to find a partner who can provide excellent technical references. Not having excellent references will most likely reduce your score and even cost you the contract.
  8. Inability to clearly define win themes for major sections. If writers are unable to articulate why your company should win, evaluators will also be unable to determine and defend why your company should be given the contract.
  9. No executive summary. At this stage in the proposal life cycle, having an executive summary is vital to communicating the vision, win themes, and technical and management solutions to writers.
  10. Inconsistent proposal strategy across sections. Now is the time to correct inconsistent messages so all writers understand their assignments and the inconsistencies are not reflected in the business or technical proposals.
  11. No graphics developed, resulting in inconsistent message, color palettes, or space problems later in the proposal life cycle. Mitigate this risk by immediately creating and polishing the graphics.
  12. Teaming agreements not completed by this stage. Immediately complete the teaming agreements. If unable to complete, consider dropping the teammate.


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Lohfeld Consulting