Posted on October 13, 2011 by Alex
Posted on October 12, 2011 by Alex
BY: Randy Richter
We live in a world of logic.
Cause creates effect, action spurs reaction. Thanks to hundreds of years of trial and
error and the scientific method, we can often make educated decisions to predict
the end result of a process. Unfortunately
our world is often one of reacting—rarely do we address problems before they
actually occur. Budget issues are
affecting federal opportunities in drastic ways; why not be proactive in
addressing the problem?
Competitive Analysis and Price to Compete efforts are two of
the most effective tools in creating a viable, credible solution before the
jury weighs in with the final requirements of a solicitation document. Since a shrinking budget and shifted risk to
the contractor are definite trends within the federal government, build a
solution that addresses cost to the customer and how risk will be mitigated.
Posted on October 11, 2011 by Alex
BY: Colleen Jolly
Many companies tell me that they
simply cannot afford time in their schedules to create graphics. Creating
graphics from scratch is a daunting task. Here are some metrics to get you
an average of 1-2 hours/graphic for a simple graphic
Posted on October 10, 2011 by Alex
BY: Wendy Frieman
When I was working in a proposal center in a large company,
RFP delays often resulted in downtime for me. The time between proposals varied
from several weeks to several months. Inevitably, during one of these lulls,
one of the senior managers would suggest that I help out on another proposal
while waiting for my RFP to be released. This sounded perfectly logical, and
yet it never worked. It was always difficult to find a way to add value without
asking many questions of people who were incredibly busy, and even when I got
answers, I still found it difficult to contribute. Conversely, when people were
deployed to my proposals to “help,” it was frustrating to me, rather than
helpful. It took a while to figure out why, but the answer is now clear to me. This
arrangement doesn’t work for three reasons. First, it’s almost impossible to
effective and be only partially engaged in a proposal. Things move too fast.
Someone who is not part of the team at the beginning, and engaged on daily
basis, misses key decisions, and then doesn’t understand the logic behind the
proposal strategy. Everyone else has to educate the “helper.” Second, the
“helper” usually doesn’t feel an obligation to read the RFP carefully and
understand all the background. After all, they have no defined role. They are
only “helping.” Yet it is almost impossible to provide effective proposal advice
without fully understanding the context. I recently saw a senior executive
stand in the doorway of a room where a solution meeting had been going on for
two hours. This executive started offering “help” on the solution graphics with
no knowledge of what had been discussed in the previous two hours or the
previous three meetings. Third, a proposal should run smoothly according to a
plan agreed on by the capture and proposal manager at the outset. Someone who
comes in to “help” is often tempted to suggest changes to the schedule,
activities, and rhythm of the proposal, all of which were probably established
before the “helper’s” arrival. This is disruptive to the team, not only because
it disrupts an established routine, but also because it creates confusion about
roles and responsibilities. These are only a few of the things that can go
wrong—the appearance of the “helper” can undermine the authority of the
proposal manager and, in a worst-case scenario, the “helper” can make
suggestions that actually decrease the win probability. (In an even worse
scenario, the team implements those suggestions.)
The remedy for this is simple, but not easy. Now, when someone
is sent to “help” on one of my proposals, I have a conversation about that
person’s role as soon as the individual shows up. Everyone on my proposal team
has to add value, and each person’s role has to have three attributes. First,
there must be a deliverable. It could be comments on a section, a page of text,
a graphic, a training session. There has to be something. Second, there is a
suspense date for that deliverable. Third, the person has a budget allocation,
and not a carte blanche. A defined role with a deliverable separates those who
really want to contribute from those who want to provide advice without doing
the necessary work (yes, some “helpers” do disappear after that initial conversation).
And it creates an obligation to study the documentation and pay attention to
the details. It’s a win for both the “helper” and the team.
Posted on October 07, 2011 by Alex
BY: Laura O'Connor / Alex Brown
Over the years it has been asked, how does a business
developer fit into the proposal life cycle? The answer is simple, it depends on
if you have a BD’no or if you have a BD’pro.
Posted on October 07, 2011 by Alex
BY: Alex Brown
Two days ago. we lost a man whom some say was a visionary when Steve Jobs passed away. In my mind, the word “visionary” means future-thinking, which he was. But I believe he was very grounded in today; his marketing strategies combined how to sell today and keep an eye open for tomorrow. In essence, he ran his business the way capture managers run proposals.
Think of it this way: Jobs created a market strategy that is so solid that it can easily translate into any field, including ours. Here are a few things we can learn from Jobs:
- Ignore Your Critics. Get past those who say it cannot be done. Today we often look for the “no risk” opportunity. But remember what the famous philosopher Mr. T said to Rocky Balboa …”PAIN.” I believe he was stating, in some minimalist way, there is no reward without some risk. Another not-so-famous thinker, Albert Einstein, said, “Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
- Turn the Ordinary into Something Beautiful. We can think of graphics, but truthfully the words that surround those amazing graphics will keep the reviewer’s attention and drive him or her. Be persuasive in your writing.
- Justify Your Price. We do this every single time we submit a proposal. Look at that! we as an industry are thinking like Steve Jobs.
- Communicate in the Language of Your Audience. This is as clear as glass; speak to the reviewer in a way they can fully understand.
- Extend the Experience. This applies to the whole experience – everything you do before, during and after the proposal effort can persuade or dissuade the customer. Make them WANT to work with you.
- Build a Tribe. Apple calls them a fan base, we call them loyal customers. They are one and the same. Customers buy from companies they trust to deliver.
- Become “the name.” No one has done this better then Jobs. We do not use our MP3 player – we use our iPods. We don’t get our smartphone – we grab our iPhone, And who doesn’t use iTunes?
Thank you, Steve Jobs, for proving a blueprint that we all can use.
"You can't just ask the customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." --Steve Jobs
Posted on October 05, 2011 by Alex
BY: Louise Fisher
Posted on October 04, 2011 by Alex
BY: Olessia Smotrova-Taylor
I often get this
question: “What do
you do when you have no time for
capture?” These situations happen more often
than we prefer: our
management tells us we have to bid on something, NOW;
or we are in a situation like a fast and furious task order
environment and the window of communication with the government has long
been shut. “Blue bird” opportunities look oh-so-tasty,
but we just found out about them and the timeline to submit is oh-so-close.
The answer is simple: do as much as you can in the
circumstances you have by running a
“mini-capture.” Mini-capture means that some “normal” elements of capture will
fall away naturally. Obviously, you are unlikely to have a key element of
capture, customer interface, unless you have an existing relationship with the
customer and you can “back door” it.
Posted on October 03, 2011 by Alex
BY: Bryant Freeland
As we all know an
image is worth a thousand words, utilizing Tables and Figures gives proposals
the ability to convey a lot of information in a small area while grabbing the
reviewers attention. Throughout the Proposal review process these tables and
figures get moved or even eliminated by reviewers and this can cause a chance
for citing incorrectly. The last thing that you want is for a reference to go
to an incorrect location thus giving the evaluator a perception that your
company didn’t bother to review your own proposal before submitting.
Posted on September 30, 2011 by Alex
BY: Chris Johnston, AM.APMP
Sometimes during my research of various journals and blogs they
can reveal some new tool or process. What emerges, most of the time is a consistent
theme,” It’s not about you.”
- Page 4 of 6
- << Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next > End >>