Project managers and SMEs are the backbone of many organizations. They have a combination of technical knowledge and communication skills that effectively feeds needed information to customers, bosses, and subordinates. You would think that such people would be great proposal writers, but many of them struggle to contribute responsive and compelling proposal content. Even those who are champion report writers or study leaders can have problems developing great proposal content. Why is this? Let’s look at the job of a project manager. She is charged with delivering some sort of product or service. Regularly, she must explain the objectives and approaches being taken to deliver that product/service. She is providing information about progress and obstacles, and making recommendations to upper management, customers, even subordinates about courses of action to address the issues and challenges of the moment. Most of her communication is about informing people about aspects the project—about the … Continue reading A Way to Help Project Managers and SMEs Write Better Proposals
The CEO of a mid-tier company asked me why many capture managers turn out to be ineffective and, in his case, could he have done something differently in the interview process to predict their effectiveness before hiring them. This is a difficult question because most capture managers will interview well, but some will not live up to expectations once on the job. I thought I would share some insights about this situation in this article. The triple threat Capture managers are part business development (BD) manager, part project manager, and part proposal manager. In this hybrid role, they serve to prepare a company to compete for and win the larger, more-complex bids in the government market and are appointed when a company makes a decision to pursue a particular procurement. You should view capture managers as a triple threat—professionals who are skilled in the three areas of BD, project management, … Continue reading Can you hire an effective capture manager?
Lisa Pafe’s previous blogs discussed how capture and project management can work together during recompetes to influence the customer and gather competitive intelligence. This week, Lisa discusses how the project manager must work with the proposal manager to provide essential information for the recompete proposal itself. In addition to providing customer and competitive intelligence, the project manager also has a role to play in helping the proposal manager gather artifacts that can be used as proof points for discriminators. Additionally, the project manager serves as an essential subject matter expert (SME) for the recompete. Before RFP release, the proposal manager should make a list of the artifacts the project team must gather to help support and prove the win themes, features and benefits, and discriminators. Some items the project manager can continuously gather and share include: Congratulatory emails Awards and certificates of appreciation Customer quotes and kudos Award fees achieved … Continue reading Working with project managers on recompetes: project manager as proposal SME (Part 3)
This week, Lisa Pafe provides additional insights into how incumbents can work with their project managers when preparing for recompete procurements. Project managers have an enormous role to play in gathering competitive intelligence that the capture manager can use to build recompete win strategies. Because the project manager is on-site, the capture manager can coach the project manager to serve as an ethical spy in preparing for a recompete: Who is visiting with the customer? Who has offered brown bags, seminars, and other freebies? What other companies are working for this customer? Because the project manager knows the scope of work intimately, (s)he knows what is most important to the customer. Capture and project management working together can ethically influence the new solicitation to favor incumbent discriminators. For example, if evaluation factors rate key personnel, relevant past performance, and seamless transition as of greatest importance, then the incumbent has an … Continue reading Working with project managers on recompetes: Project manager as an ethical spy (Part 2)