Articles tagged with : proposal team

Winning solutions begin with a winning proposal team

Crafting a winning solution is an intellectual challenge, but it is also a team challenge. No proposal is won by an “I”; all are won by a team. Yet no matter how many masterminds you assemble, the proposal team is often its own worst enemy. As a proposal or capture manager, how many times have you thought you did everything right? You develop the win strategy, win themes and discriminators; shred, outline and storyboard the RFP; pick solid teaming partners and issue data calls; and assemble a team of experts to architect, write and review…only to result in a color team draft that offers a non-compelling or even non-compliant solution. With a proposal draft that does not reflect the winning vision, what happened? Let’s step back from the proposal solution, and take a look at the team. Proposal teams are short-term, often hastily assembled, and face enormous time constraints. People...

Continue reading...

Building the technical solution – the Lego effect

Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) Bid & Proposal Con 2012 Presentation

One of a capture and proposal team’s goals should be early translation of client requirements into a solution addressing critical client business issues. Early development of a preliminary solution allows the team to preview the proposed solution with clients to verify decisions, test alternatives, and make create awareness of information that might improve their perception of us. Previewing also allows us to gather valuable feedback to refine our detailed solution so it is client-centric and specific. Previewing may also help shape requirements that will appear in the RFP, providing us with a competitive advantage. Building the technical solution (The Lego Effect presentation) explores proposal solutioning – what it includes, how to develop solutions, and how to use them prior to the RFP. It addresses how to build a solution leveraging subject matter experts (SME) and includes a set of questions to get SMEs focused on what is required. Click here...

Continue reading...

What to do with proposal “graphics & mayonnaise” complainers?

Dear Proposal Doctor, Managing a big, complicated proposal is hard enough without having to listen to my complainers all day. I have two of them. They complain about everything from the quality of the graphics to the mayonnaise on the sandwiches at lunch. Responding to their issues and listening to them vent is just taking too much of my time, and I am worried about meeting our deadline for red team. I might even have to postpone it. How can I deal with these individuals? Sick and Tired Dear Sick, I guess you didn’t see the column I wrote on proposal archetypes. The complainer exhibits many of the behaviors of the martyr and the talker, and probably the worst of both. Here are two principles to keep in mind. First, forget responding to their specific complaints. The complaints are symptoms of an underlying attitude problem. If you improve the mayonnaise,...

Continue reading...

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...

Continue reading...