I’m remedying that with the outline below, which covers proposal processes: What to look at and how to divvy up the work, from the time an RFP first comes in the door until you put it in FedEx. It’s a framework that can work for everyone from one-person shops to large agencies.
Basic Proposal-Response Processes
- Management function
- Good fit?
- Competitive landscape?
- Risk/reward ratio?
- What questions must be answered by the potential client before proceeding?
- Start with order / requirements of the RFP, if listed
- Determine unque/highest values of your team’s approach
- Write the executive summary first; build document from that foundation
- Assign boilerplate retrieval to admin staff
- Small proposals generally written by one person (proposal manager); larger ones may be assigned by section to team members
- Price the work after the workplan narrative is complete, not before
- Requirements Review (“Did we answer all the requirements?”)
- Risks Review (“Have we identified and mitigated, to our satisfaction, any risks in the potential client’s desired approach?”)
- Red Team review (“What will someone think seeing this for the first time?”)
- Flyspecking (“Is it free of typos or other embarrassing mistakes?”)
- Is the work priced competitively?
- Have contingencies been identified?
- Have we left room for negotiation?
- Admin process (leaves proposal manager free to move onto the next thing)
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