Articles tagged with : lessons learned

Creating an Optimal Path for a Losing Proposal

Ask the Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor: I am currently the proposal manager on what I believe to be a losing proposal. We have never met the customer and have no first hand insight to the customer’s requirements or hot buttons. Our technical architect has developed a solution that meets 75% of the customer’s requirements. My management is very enthusiastic about our chances of winning. What should I do? Sincerely, Troubled Dear Troubled, As proposal managers, we have to develop a range of skills and behaviors. Right now, your job is to learn to compartmentalize (not easy) so that you can take three steps: State your position. Get on with the show, because the show must go on. Address the long term. Here is what I mean. First, if you have not already informed senior management that this should be a no-bid, you should state all the reasons why the company is probably wasting...

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3 Steps to Improving Your Proposals

Break the cycle of relearning key lessons each time around.

No proposal is ever perfect. Every company executive wishes he or she had just a few more days to tweak the last sections. But after the proposal goes out the door, it is time to reflect on what did or did not go well in the proposal process and what could have been done to improve the outcome. A review of lessons learned is a valuable step in improving proposal development efficiency and raising your win probability on the next bid. Surprisingly, not all companies do such reviews. Even more surprisingly, many companies that do them repeatedly make the same mistakes. The review should follow the same process after every significant proposal. The process has these three fundamental steps: 1. Gather data. Give the proposal team a few days to settle back into its normal operations before trying to collect information about the last proposal. People need time to reflect...

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