Insights Blog

Capture and proposal innovations: time management

Time. As capture and proposal professionals, we find that it is most certainly NOT on our side. We are always battling time constraints and deadlines that fall at the most inconvenient times, such as vacations or family events. Summer is particularly taxing, especially as we get closer to the end of the Federal fiscal year and the government pushes out a seemingly endless stream of solicitations. Advice abounds on how to better manage time. But, what time management innovations are most useful for our profession? People The biggest time waster related to people is due in large part to distractions caused by innovation. Our teams are so connected to the world through smart phones, tablets, iPads, and the like that they lack focus. It is virtually impossible to hold a meeting without most of the attendees checking their email, social media posts, and text messages. With all the innovations in … Continue reading Capture and proposal innovations: time management

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5 strategies to get your team performing…and winning

Productivity is getting maximum results for time and effort expended. For business development, capture, and proposal professionals, maximum results provide a greater number of qualified bids and/or bid-related activities, increased quality, and decreased error (non-compliance)—all resulting in more wins. Yet most companies are content with a win rate of no more than 50%. On one of my favorite Mad Men episodes, aptly named Commissions and Fees, Don Draper says “You’re happy with 50%? …I won’t settle for 50% of anything. I want 100%.” Clearly, we can’t achieve a 100% win rate except perhaps in our dreams, but we can expect and demand 100% productivity. Everyone is facing tight budgets and more and more competition. We simply cannot afford unproductive teams that decrease our win probability, waste time and money, and result in proposal losses. Educator and psychologist Bruce Tuckman defined the 5 stages that all teams experience: Forming, Storming, Norming. … Continue reading 5 strategies to get your team performing…and winning

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How to stop the endless cycle of color reviews? Ask Proposal Doctor

A vicious cycle that leaves everyone exhausted and demoralized

Dear Proposal Doctor, How can we stop the seemingly endless cycle of color reviews? My capture manager forces the pink and red reviews way too early in the schedule and then adds multiple review cycles that leave everyone exhausted and demoralized. After pink, we have the rose review. After the red review, we have the wine review, the magenta review, and so forth. The writers give up because they know that no matter what they do, they will be forced into another review cycle. The capture manager justifies the additional reviews by pointing to the poor quality of the proposal at any given point. It’s a vicious cycle that I cannot seem to break. What to do? –Colorblind Dear Colorblind, This question is so old that it is practically a point of proposal management theology. Let’s start with the basic principle that any piece of writing needs a review by … Continue reading How to stop the endless cycle of color reviews? Ask Proposal Doctor

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A look back at 2014 and a look ahead to 2015

Amtower Off Center – featuring Larry Allen and Bob Lohfeld

Host Mark Amtower interviews Larry Allen, and Bob Lohfeld on the big issues from 2014 and what will be big in 2015 on “Amtower Off Center.” Topics include: 2014 as the year of the layfoff for BD, capture, and proposal professionals DoD budget squeeze and the rise of civilian spending Budget reductions bottoming out? LPTA blowback? The unintended consequences of small business success (win too much, graduate, then lose your contracts) OFPP’s Anne Rung’s three-prong plan Click to listen now!

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