Proposal scheduling – make it or break it (Part 1 of 2)

This week Brenda Crist, PPF.APMP and APMP Fellow shares her time-tested advice on proposal scheduling – part 1.

One of the most daunting proposal management tasks is ensuring all proposal tasks are performed on schedule. The inability to meet milestones can have a ripple effect throughout the proposal and affect staff members’ stress levels, proposal quality, and on-time delivery.

Instituting scheduling best practices before, during, and after Request for Proposal (RFP) release can help alleviate these risks and improve a company’s chance of developing a compliant, compelling, and winning proposal.

Part 1: Effective scheduling prior to RFP release

Take time to prepare to develop an accurate schedule based on a solid understanding of required tasks and how long it took to perform them in the past. Review your company’s scheduling metrics so you can accurately identify how long it takes to perform basic proposal tasks. If you don’t collect metrics, consider using the following chart to jump start your metrics collection process.

Standard proposal task timeframes

(Click for MS Word Standard proposal task timeframes – Lohfeld Consulting Group template)

If you find it takes your company considerably longer to perform the tasks listed above, consider attending Lohfeld Consulting Group’s Proposal Management training class or hiring us to help speed up production.

Next, ensure the information you need to develop the schedule is centrally located. The time allocated to planning the schedule after RFP release is never enough, so having all the information you need at your fingertips will increase scheduling speed and accuracy.

What best practices do you follow in your proposal scheduling? Send your thoughts to me at, and I’ll share your advice in upcoming posts!