Showing posts from January, 2019

Agile Proposal Development: A Spotlight on Stakeholders

Last week I posted an article that discussed how proposal management is in actuality project management. I pointed out how our long-standing proposal best practices are Agile, and have been Agile long before Agile was the latest industry craze. I was so pleased with the discussion that this article sparked, including how this recognition can help us to improve how we develop proposals. Over the next few weeks, I plan to build on some of these discussion points in a series of articles focused on how we can expand the application of Agile in our pursuit processes. This week I’ll take a deeper look at stakeholders, and how we can better integrate stakeholders into the business development lifecycle. Stakeholders Stakeholders are anyone outside of the team with vested interests in the working of the team and the products they develop. If you’ve worked on a proposal, you know there are many stakeholders involved, and their buy-in is critical to a successful proposal ef

Why the Proposal Process has Always Been Agile

The latest craze surrounding Agile Proposal Management has puzzled me since its original buzz within the industry. When studying project management and Agile as part of my MBA program a few years ago, I immediately recognized proposal management as project management, and similarly recognized the long-standing proposal best practices to follow Agile. The notion that Agile proposal development is something new or innovative baffles me. This article will examine eight key Agile terms and draw their correlation to proposals and the proposal development process. 1. Agile Project Management: Agile Project Management is a term used to describe project management that uses Agile methodologies. This may include daily standups, collaboration among the stakeholders, continuous integration and availability of working product, etc. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Since I can remember, daily standups, stakeholder collaboration, and continuous integration and availability of working product (

The Art of Persuasion: 4 Strategies for Writing Customer-Focused Proposals

When we write proposals, we tend to tout our team and our solution. We tell the customer how great we are and describe the terrific solution we are delivering. However, this is not a customer-focused approach. Instead, proposals should be about how the customer’s needs are met by our solution and the benefits the customer receives. Bottom line: the focus should be on the customer , not us. Here are four tips to make your proposals more customer-focused: ·        Put Them First—Literally ·        Use Their Name More Than Yours ·        Write to Their Key Issues/Hot Buttons ·        Speak Their Language 1. Put Them First—Literally. One of the easiest ways to make your proposal content more customer focused is to put them first—literally. Instead of saying, “Team ABC’s solution delivers a low-risk transition,” flip the construction and write, “Customer A receives a low-risk transition with our comprehensive transition approach.” The two sentences convey the same overal

Surviving the Shutdown: Three Things You Should be Doing

In the midst of the Government shutdown, many of us are experiencing a lull in bid and proposal work. Because we are so used to the fast-paced environment of our profession, we may start to get antsy when we experience such slowdowns. However, we should really embrace this downtime and use it to our advantage. Here are three things to tackle while things are slow. 1. Update your Proposal Library. How often do we complain that our baseline past performance write-ups are out of date? That we don’t have enough proof points? That our metrics are out of date and stale? Use this downtime to do the research that can go by the wayside when Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are live. I know this isn’t the most exciting task, but when your content is ready for you during the next proposal, you’ll be glad you put forth this proactive effort! 2. Refresh your Skills and Certifications. Have you been putting off getting a certification because you just have not had the time or energy for

Three “Proposal” Resolutions to Increase Your Win Rate

I know most of my content is typically proposal focused, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret that successful companies already embrace: proposals do not win opportunities, capture does. If you’re focusing the majority of your time and energy on an effort after the request for proposal (RFP) has been released, then you’re not setting yourself up for a high probability of win. Here are three resolutions you can make this year to increase your overall win rate.   1. Start Earlier. Long-term planning provides corporate awareness of upcoming opportunities aligned with strategic goals. Once opportunities are targeted, Capture Managers should begin gathering customer, opportunity, and competitive intelligence. Remember that building a relationship with your customer and understanding their underlying concerns takes time. Without solid customer relationships, you won’t have the opportunity to understand their programmatic concerns or determine what really keeps them up