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Showing posts from February, 2020

Three Reasons You Should Be Holding Formal Author Cross-Reading Sessions

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A common problem with proposal teams is that it is so easy for authors to avoid communicating—particularly when one or more author is working virtually. This leads to sections that are developed in silos, which can result in inconsistencies across the proposal sections and disjointed writing. I always encourage cross-reading with my proposal teams. However, when key components of my teams are virtual, I try to include formal cross-reading assignments that occur in conjunction with the Pink Team and Red Team reviews. This pushes authors to identify areas where their sections are inconsistent with other sections and encourages authors to collaborate with each other to drive updates to the Style Guide and/or Wall of Truth. These efforts result in three key benefits, which I discuss in the following paragraphs.
1. Improves Consistency When authors read other sections in the proposal, they are frequently drawn to “truths” that don’t align with their “truths.” If one author states that the …

Six Proposal Management Tools I Can’t Live Without

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As proposal professionals, we continually look to find ways to lead our teams and ensure we are getting the best results possible. Tina Benson suggests in an article published on the Chartered Management Institute website that, “by and large, teams reflect their management. So being an effective, proactive manager increases your team’s chances of achieving success.” In line with Benson’s suggestions, as Proposal Managers, we can make great strides in increasing the success of our teams by leveraging the following six proactive proposal management tools.
1. Proposal Schedule One of the first things I establish for each of my proposals is the proposal schedule. This schedule drives the timeline for my team and helps ensure we achieve our final submission in the smoothest way possible. The proposal schedule should set the dates for key milestones and events. For most large efforts, these milestones include the Blue Team, Green Teams, Pink Team, Red Team, and Gold Team, as well as all ass…

Six Best Practices for Proposal Writing Success

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Writing is such a critical component of the proposal process. Because writing for proposals is different than most other writing, it is important to understand how to craft proposal narrative that will resonate and score well with the evaluators. For example, poorly written proposals can obscure our message and make it difficult for the evaluator to follow our proposal’s logic and main points. If we are sloppy and careless in our proposal presentation, the customer can only assume that we will be similarly careless and sloppy in our contract delivery. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to develop well-written, well-structured proposal responses tailored to the customer and the evaluators. To support this endeavor, it is helpful to follow common proposal best practices, including writing to the evaluators and putting the customer first, using the Request for Proposal (RFP) language, substantiating claims and quantify where possible, articulating the customer benefits, and av…

4 Easy Ways to Improve Productivity

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Last week I posted about the importance of getting enough rest and taking frequent breaks. However, many of us still tend to be prone to overworking. That’s because with ever increasing demands to do more with less, the need to improve our productivity is at its highest. This is especially true when we are trying to balance work, family, personal lives, and our health. In this week’s article, I’ll explore four additional ways you can improve your productivity, enabling you to tackle and complete your demanding work tasks, while leaving sufficient time for yourself, your family, and your personal well-being.
1. Quit Multitasking Though it may be tempting to do so, the human brain just isn't wired to multitask. Psychologists have found that attempting to perform several tasks at once can result in decreased productivity. In fact, according to research, multitasking reduces productivity by as much as 40%. This is because switching between multiple tasks limits your focus, hampers wo…