What is production? Many people in our industry think of production simply as printing and assembling our proposals. But, production also includes all of the steps that lead up to our ability to hit Print. These include desktop publishing, graphic design, and editing—all necessary before you print and assemble your books, and most importantly, deliver your winning proposal!
These activities are typically thought of as tasks we accomplish in the last few days before delivery; however, I want to impress upon you that production activities should be incorporated throughout your BD life cycle.
The graphic below depicts a typical BD life cycle with five phases:
- Phase 1 Opportunity identification and assessment
- Phase 2 Pursuit
- Phase 3 Pre-proposal preparation
- Phase 4 Proposal development
- Phase 5 Post-submittal
While we’re all familiar with how proposal management fits into the overall BD life cycle, I want to discuss how production fits into the life cycle. The high-level production activities for each phase are discussed below; I’ll dive deeper into each phase in later posts.
Phase 1 Opportunity identification and assessment and Phase 2 Pursuit
Remember, these are the activities you should be performing before you ever have a real proposal on your plate. There are two main activities that should be accomplished in this phase:
- Document your production plan
- Develop company templates
Phase 3 Pre-proposal preparation
- Begin drafting your production plan: proposal-specific
- Revise templates to meet (anticipated) RFP requirements: fonts, size, colors, etc.
- Begin conceptualizing graphics
- Revise style guides to meet client-specific naming conventions/acronyms
Phase 4 Proposal development
- Implement production plan
Phase 5 Post-submittal
- Archive and shred!
- Conduct lessons learned activities
How does your company incorporate production into each phase of the BD life cycle? Does it support production as an integral component of developing winning proposals? Send your thoughts to me at BWingate@LohfeldConsulting.com, and I’ll share your advice in upcoming posts!