TArticles tagged with: best practices

Applying an Agile Tool to Make Your Proposal Processes Better

Using lessons learned from each proposal effort to improve our approach the next time

We talk about it in our proposals. We know it works. Agile practitioners take it seriously and are diligent about its use. What is it? It’s the idea of using lessons learned from each proposal effort to improve our approach the next time. In the Agile Scrum world, they call it a Retrospective. APMP best practices suggest that conducting a lessons-learned review on each major bid opportunity is a critical best practice.  APMP suggests that after a proposal is submitted, the proposal team meets to discuss: What went right? What went wrong? What deficiencies can we correct in processes or approach, and what winning processes/methods should we repeat on future opportunities? Lessons learned should be well documented and stored for others to access and reference on future opportunities. I suggest that rather than wait until the proposal is submitted, we have our proposal teams capture lessons learned across the proposal lifecycle. … Continue reading Applying an Agile Tool to Make Your Proposal Processes Better

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Webinar replay – Doing more with less and winning more!

Lohfeld Business Winning Webinar

Today companies are trying to make the most of every dollar to increase their competitive edge. Even a small decrease in overhead costs or increase in productivity can make big difference. Lisa and Brenda decompose a budget for developing a 30-day proposal and a 10-day proposal for small, medium, and large companies and provide recommendations for decreasing costs, while also streamlining workflow, effectively using automation, and working smarter not harder. They also describe how they implement management best practices like Agile, Information Technology Infrastructure Library® (ITIL), and Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), and commonly used tools and technology to generate cost savings. Doing more with less does not mean longer hours for less pay, but rather leverages continuous process improvement, teamwork, creativity, and ongoing training to result in long-term savings. Lisa and Brenda share best practices for cost savings. Click to watch the webinar and download the webinar presentation. … Continue reading Webinar replay – Doing more with less and winning more!

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How much should we spend on capture versus proposal activities?

Recently, we worked with Market Connections to conduct a short poll of federal government contractors regarding the effects of sequestration and the government shutdown on the government contracting community—and the changes these reductions are requiring contractors to make to their businesses in 2014. One poll participant asked us, “During your research into Capture Management best practice, for planning purposes, do you have an estimation of the average hours spent or industry standard for hours spent by a Capture Manager between opportunity identification to bid decision?” In response, Bob Lohfeld provided his insights. I don’t think anyone has quantified it in terms of hours since that would vary greatly by the size (value of the job). A better way to look at the question is to ask the shape of spending over the life cycle of acquiring business. For this, there are some guidelines. If your spend before the RFP is … Continue reading How much should we spend on capture versus proposal activities?

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6 changes experts would make to the BD, capture, and proposal process

“Nothing endures but change. Change is the only constant.” –Heraclitus of Ephesus Business transformation, process improvement, continual improvement, business process improvement. Call it what you will. The gist of the matter is that we constantly tinker with the “current state” trying to make it better, faster, more efficient, easier, or more reliable so that we can achieve our desired results. I asked a number of capture and proposal experts to share their responses to the question, “If you could change one thing about the business development, capture, or proposal life cycle or process, what would that be?” Here are their responses – some eminently achievable, some wonderful end-state aspirations. If I were “King,” I would insist that a “yes” bid decision be made only after hard-headed, comprehensive data collection and customer dialog, resulting in a realistic chance to win. There is far too much irrationality in making bid decisions and … Continue reading 6 changes experts would make to the BD, capture, and proposal process

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