Insights Blog

Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 4 of 4

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood… Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest English. (-William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act III, 1598.) Here’s the wrap-up of my current 4-part series on capture and proposal war stories shared from industry veterans (stay tuned for more jaw-dropping war stories as I’ve received many from readers that I’ll share in future posts). As you engage in your next capture and proposal effort – unto the breach again – consider the war stories shared in my previous … Continue reading Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 4 of 4

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Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 3 of 4

What do two or more capture and proposal folks inevitably talk about when we get together – our latest war stories, of course! Just like ants and bees go back to their nests and hives and share information with their peers, I think the sharing of war stories at every capture/proposal gathering is some sort of subliminal survival mechanism in this profession. I recently asked a number of my colleagues to share their favorite war stories – and tell us what they learned from the experience. Here is part 3 of my 4-part series on capture and proposal war stories. Over the years we’ve seen people suffer serious health issues, buildings be struck by lightning, FedEx packages go missing, and weather-related apocalypses. The best advice I can take from all of these is to leave extra time; never ever push final production or delivery until the last minute! –Colleen Jolly, … Continue reading Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 3 of 4

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Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 2 of 4

We’ve all heard, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” (–Albert Einstein) Has this quote applied to any capture or proposal efforts you’ve supported? I’ve heard war stories and observed some first-hand over the past 25 years that make me wonder how some capture and proposal folks simply haven’t learned from their own and others’ mistakes and broken the constant cycle of self-sabotage. I asked a number of my colleagues to share some of their favorite war stories – and tell us what they learned from their experiences. Here is part 2 of my 4-part series on capture and proposal war stories. There have been many wars, death marches, battles, and skirmishes through the years. When I think back, most of the war stories stem from not using a defined proposal process, and as the process matures and even small … Continue reading Industry experts’ proposal war stories and lessons learned – Part 2 of 4

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21 Experts’ predictions for capture/proposal industry changes – Part 3

Bundled contracts, unbundled contracts, emphasis on well-trained procurement support staff, training axed in cost-cutting measures, short turnarounds, extended and extended extensions, virtual proposals, everyone in the war room… The more things change… Play this government capture and proposal game long enough, and you start recognizing and anticipating the changing patterns. Talk to those who’ve been in the business for years, and you’ll gain insights into how to deal with a particular round of changes based on what the veterans experienced the last go round. I recently asked a number of my colleagues, “What changes do you anticipate in the next 5 years for the capture/proposal industry, e.g., technology and tools, types of proposals, customers, training, lead time to prepare responses, pricing, etc.?” Here is the final set of their responses. How will you and your company start positioning yourselves to address these projected changes? I expect more bundled contracts with … Continue reading 21 Experts’ predictions for capture/proposal industry changes – Part 3

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