Dear Proposal Doctor, Senior executives in my organization are constantly inserting material into the proposal that is not called for in the RFP and spending time on proposal components that don’t get separately evaluated. The executive summary eats up hours of everyone’s time, and even if it is sometimes required, it is almost never evaluated. Likewise, the graphics are time-consuming and expensive to conceptualize, render, revise, and review. Over and over again. Every major section has an introduction that is not required. We are adding so much to an already difficult workload, and the required sections that do get scored are going to suffer. How can I scale this back before it kills us all? -Drowning Dear Drowning, You didn’t indicate what kind of RFPs you are responding to, but I can make an educated guess that they are Federal Government RFPs. The reason that people want to add sections … Continue reading Ask Proposal Doctor – Creating balance between "required" and "desired"?
“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
At the 2011 APMP International Conference, Lohfeld Consulting Group’s Managing Director Brenda Crist presented an informative session on mitigating proposal risks. Here are Brenda’s identified Proposal Strategy Review Risks and recommended Mitigation Strategies: Proposal strategy review is not held. Hold a proposal strategy, storyboard, or pink team review approximately one-third of the way into the proposal life cycle. Not holding a review results in inconsistent messages communicated across the proposal or missing key win themes and substantiating evidence. Proposal is inconsistent with customer instructions. Verify your storyboards or strategy (writing plan) is consistent with the customer’s instructions for preparing the bid. No key personnel identified. By the proposal strategy review, storyboard, or pink team review, your company should have key personnel identified. If this risk is not mitigated, escalate it to the highest source. By the time the document is prepared for final review, all key personnel must be identified. … Continue reading 12 Ways to mitigate proposal strategy review risks
Review and incorporate the following guidelines and suggestions into your graphics development process. Start with a complete detailed graphic (hand-sketched or computer-generated) and then begin to remove as much detail as you can without destroying the real message. This reduces the graphic to its simplest form. The extra detail can be placed in an appendix to the proposal, if appropriate. Don’t try to generate finished artwork at the first pass. You might have several ideas for graphics that support the thesis sentence, but will eventually select the most appropriate one, or combination, as you develop the text. Be creative. The time to experiment is before the graphic artist renders the graphic in electronic format. Focus on the what, how, and why of the graphic to avoid producing meaningless graphics. Don’t deviate from the message expressed in the text. Role play and look at the graphic from the evaluators’ viewpoint. Will … Continue reading 6 Rules for proposal graphics