Category Results for Proposal Doctor

How to deal with sensitive proposal info? Ask the Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor, As the proposal manager for a large and important bid, I have access to information that senior executives in my company consider sensitive. Sometimes this is information about future assignments or promotions, and other times it is information about our solution, which suggests something about staffing, relocation, and the like. When people on the proposal team ask me what is going in the proposal, I don't like telling them something that isn't true, but the higher-ups insist that certain things be kept confidential. This puts me in a bind. What is the right approach in this situation? -Torn Between the Team and the Execs Dear Torn, You raise an excellent point. Since you didn't say whether you are a consultant or a full-time employee, I cannot tell if this is a recurring problem or just a one-time event. It is troubling for two reasons. First, it is...

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How to bring a proposal team to a single POV? Ask the Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor, As a newly-accredited APMP member (Foundation Level), I appreciate the importance of making everything customer-focused. That is a big part of the curriculum. I get that. Here is the problem: our RFP has been out for several weeks, and everyone on my team has a different idea of who the customer really is and what they really want. This divergence of opinion is making it very hard to come to closure on important parts of our solution that should have been decided a long time ago. Some people on the proposal team are senior, with a lot of expertise and many years of experience. Others are more junior, but in closer contact with people likely to be influential in the final decision. The discussions go in circles with no clear conclusion or resolution. At this rate, not only will we never get done, we will never get...

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How much planning is too much? Ask the Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor, My team received a draft RFP about 6 months ago, and since then the government has continued to extend the procurement schedule. It now appears that we will not see a final RFP for several more months. At least. The government is accepting comments on the draft, but it is a one-way conversation. We get nothing back by way of useful information. The team has already created a detailed solution based on the draft, and there are people in my organization who insist on creating an entire proposal document (red team ready was one suggestion) before we see the final RFP. Naturally, some of us are pushing back. I, for one, am afraid we will run out of money before the final RFP appears. How much planning does it make sense to do in this scenario? -Perplexed About Planning Dear Perplexed, This is a common challenge, so...

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Helping proposal introverts open up and play nice? Ask the Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor, Our solution architect is a brilliant person who is also a Serious Geek and unreconstructed introvert. This person does not want to interact with anyone and does not express himself well in writing. He will only talk to people who are as technical as he is, and that is a very small club. Everything else we do on the proposal - our teaming, our pricing, our staffing - has to be validated by this person. Not sure how we are going to get there from here with the RFP due out in less than 2 weeks. Is there a drug we can give this guy to make him open up a little and play nice with the rest of us? In Search of Pharmaceuticals Dear In Search, Can’t comment on the pharmaceuticals since I myself can’t tolerate much more than aspirin. However, the introvert challenge is interesting....

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