Category Results for Proposal Doctor

Do I have to understand the proposal contents as the Proposal Manager? Ask the Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor, Do I have to actually understand what is in the proposal I am managing? Sometimes this is an overwhelming task, and it distracts me from the blocking and tackling of the day-to-day management. Often the material is technical and written for people who are “inside the bubble” and who understand all the jargon and acronyms. This makes it difficult to know if the writing is not persuasive or if it is intrinsically not understandable to a layperson. Yet it is hard to give direction to the writers if I don’t know anything about the content. How do others manage this challenge? -Struggling to Keep Up Dear Struggling, This is a constant challenge, and you will be disappointed—or relieved— to know that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There is no question that we are better proposal managers when we have a grasp of the subject matter. It helps...

Continue reading...

How to screen and interview proposal managers?

Dear Proposal Doctor, My organization is woefully short of proposal managers and I have been under pressure to hire more. We advertise in the usual places and we get applicants. The interview process does not seem to be a good predictor of who will be effective and who will be a good fit with our environment. No matter what questions we ask, we don’t seem to find out the right information. Sometimes we are pleasantly surprised; more often, we are not. This means we might be actually turning away the candidates we should be hiring. What are the right questions to ask? I am wondering how other people screen applicants for this position? -Immersed in Job Interviews Dear Immersed, You are correct. Proposal management is not a textbook subject, so it is difficult to ask “the right” questions. People can claim to have certain skills and attitudes, and they might...

Continue reading...

Pressing commitments – how to be “fair” as proposal manager?

Dear Proposal Doctor, I am running a big proposal. Several people on the team are critical to the effort because of how much they know. Each seems to have some kind of personal commitment that cuts into their day several times a week. It’s either kids, medical appointments, other professional commitments, a sick relative, a household repair, or something else. I don’t want to have one standard for most of the team (you need to be in the office) and another standard for a select minority (you can set your own schedule because I can’t live without you). I am at a loss as to how to manage this and still maintain the morale of the team. Please help. -Trying To Be Fair Dear Trying, You are correct. It is very difficult to have two standards and maintain your integrity as a leader. So, I would suggest just one standard,...

Continue reading...

Fed up with proposal politics? Ask Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor, My proposal has become a hornet’s nest. The capture manager is intensely unpopular. She makes arbitrary and often unwise decisions with zero transparency. People have to go behind her back to get her decisions reversed because she will not engage in discussion. Although this could be a unifying force, instead the proposal team has broken up into factions, each trying to curry favor with senior management in an effort to get the capture manager replaced with a candidate of choice. The amount of politicking is mind-boggling. It is no wonder that no one is able to meet any proposal deadlines—they are all too busy plotting and scheming. It’s a demoralizing atmosphere, needless to say, all the more so because the behavior makes it less and less likely that we can win. As a proposal manager, my power is limited. Yet I am dying to do something to...

Continue reading...

Page 4 of 9« First...23456...Last »