TArticles tagged with: advice

Meet Liz Skarlatos: “Princess Leia” of capture managers

I asked Liz Skarlatos, Lohfeld Consulting Group Principal Consultant, who she would be if she were a character from popular fiction. She replied, “I aspire to be Princess Leia. Mainly because she’s spunky, feisty, and a leader. She was respected. There were women heroines before her, but she stood out. She wasn’t afraid to take a stand. I always loved that character—just not the hairstyle!” Liz may say she aspires to be Princess Leia, but her interview revealed to me that if the federal proposal arena is Star Wars, then she is Princess Leia. Liz is a top-notch capture manager who takes a stand for her captures and knows how to avoid common pitfalls so nothing gets in the way of her mission. Read the interview below to get her perspective on capture, and see for yourself how she embodies her icon. You’ll also get her perspective on trending mistakes … Continue reading Meet Liz Skarlatos: “Princess Leia” of capture managers

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Procurement innovation

Responding rapidly and effectively to changing market conditions

Innovation is not simply about new ideas. It is also about responding rapidly and effectively to changing market conditions. The Federal Government is gradually emulating successful commercial market innovations such as category management, Agile procurement, and performance-based acquisition. Capture and proposal professionals must understand these trends and respond effectively with new and/or improved strategies and processes. Category management Category management is a purchasing concept whereby like supplies and/or services are grouped into similar categories. The purpose is to achieve more-effective competition while reducing costs and risks as well as gaining access to greater innovation from suppliers. Department of Defense (DoD) Better Buying Power initiatives as well as Office of Management and Budget (OMB) category management policy related to laptops and desktops, software licensing, and mobile devices and services are all aimed at allowing the Federal Government to act as a single efficient enterprise by sharing best practices and information. Innovative … Continue reading Procurement innovation

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Rank your BD, capture, and proposal skills against APMP key competency areas

Professional development for 2017

The beginning of the year is a great time for proposal professionals to evaluate their professional development and schedule time to polish their skills. So, let’s take a test on how you would rank yourself in comparison to key competency areas defined by APMP – the Association of Record for Bid, Proposal, Business Development, Capture, and Graphics Professionals. Rank yourself on a scale of high/expert, medium/intermediate, or low/novice. Keep in mind that the Harvard Business Review indicates that 10,000 hours of practice (about 1 year and 51 days total) is what you need to gain “expertise” in a field. Functional Area Expert Intermediate Novice Capture plan development Client interface management Compliance matrix development Content plan development Executive summary development Graphics development Information gathering Kick-off meeting management Knowledge management Negotiation management Opportunity qualification Outline development Process management Production management Proposal review management Proposal strategy development Proposal strategy review Requirements identification Risk … Continue reading Rank your BD, capture, and proposal skills against APMP key competency areas

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Five ideas to help your teams (and yourself)!

Typically, as proposal managers, we do not have complete control over who is on our response team. The team is usually some combination of who is best-suited to help win this opportunity and who is available. The team is most often comprised of professionals with varying degrees of competency, experience, and commitment. Team members may cycle in and out, depending on the phase of the proposal process or other circumstances such as re-assignment to another high priority activity, leave due to vacation or illness, or dismissal due to lack of fit. Team members may be onsite or remote, increasing the level of complexity related to team-building. Partner companies on the team may have their own agendas. So what is a proposal manager to do? Here are five ideas that I have implemented successfully: 1. Don’t get stuck storming! All teams go through five developmental stages that psychologist and educator Bruce … Continue reading Five ideas to help your teams (and yourself)!

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