News & Knowledge Center

Proposal Doctor: Stop the madness

How to steer management towards realistic metrics and schedules

Dear Proposal Doctor, The company I work for is bidding on a large government contract, and the proposal is a huge undertaking. My team consists of more than 50 people, and my MS Project schedule has hundreds of lines. It’s a challenge, which is to be expected. I was excited and optimistic when we started, but now I have a boatload of senior executives breathing down my neck. All the time! I spend at least half of every day explaining and justifying what we are doing to some vice president or other and the other half of the day managing the proposal. How can I get these people off my back? Pounded by Management Dear Pounded, Your frustration is understandable, and so is the behavior of your managers. The company is spending a lot on this proposal—in real cost as well as opportunity cost—if your team has 50 people on...

Continue reading...

Beth Wingate Elected 2012 APMP COO

Will serve as APMP's COO in 2012, CEO in 2013, and Past CEO in 2014

New APMP Board Members Announced (Washington, DC) — December 6, 2011 — The Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP®), the worldwide authority for professionals dedicated to the process of winning business through proposals, bids, tenders, and presentations, today announced its new 2012 Board of Directors from its recently concluded 2011 elections. Elections were held for the Chief Operating (COO) and the Director of Education APMP Board positions. Beth Wingate of Lohfeld Consulting Group ran unopposed for the COO position and officially wins her seat to serve as APMP's COO in 2012, CEO in 2013 and Past CEO in 2014. She most recently served on APMP's Board as its Director of Education for 2010 and 2011. Beth Wingate, aka AppMaven and an APMP Fellow,has been an APMP member since 1996. She has more than 24 years' proposal development, management, and corporate communications experience. She serves as Managing Director for Lohfeld Consulting Group,...

Continue reading...

The Proposal Dentist: Extracting a Technical Approach from the Technical Experts

by Brooke Crouter (This article appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of APMP-NCA’s Executive Summary eZine.) As budgets shrink, there will be fewer new contracts in the government market. With fewer deals, firms that compete for federal business will need to write sharper proposals to win their share of work. It is imperative that our proposals tell a clear story that resonates with the buyer. In particular, we must be able to present a fact-based approach that demonstrates a clear, tangible value to the potential customer. To achieve this, we need three critical elements: compliance, reviewability, and approach. Compliance. Compliance is the “entry fee” to the game; we must respond to the RFP criteria completely or risk having our proposal removed from further consideration. Compliance defines the structure of our response and ensures we meet all requirements. We all know we have to focus on compliance, and we rarely miss...

Continue reading...

How bad are your proposals?

Only 15% of companies said their proposals were always compliant, responsive, and compelling

In last month’s column, 6 ways your proposal can fail, I wrote about a company that submitted a less-than-professional proposal and wondered how pervasive this problem really is. After all, as professional proposal managers, how bad can our proposals really be? All professional proposal managers strive to make every proposal compliant, responsive, and compelling, yet a recent presentation reinforced my assessment that only about 15% of the firms bidding on U.S. government contracts consistently achieve these fundamental objectives. In a GovCon Business Development Weekly webinar hosted by Deltek’s Michael Hackmer, I discussed four fundamentals for creating a winning proposal. The first three fundamentals comprise creating a compliant, responsive, and compelling proposal. We polled the 150 webinar participants from a cross-section of small to large government contractors and asked them to rate how well their proposals did in achieving those three objectives. What we learned was surprising. Only 15% said their...

Continue reading...