Getting Short-Term Proposal Help
What do we do when we need proposal help, on short notice, especially for a “Must-Win” competition?
Short answer: You should turn to supplemental, outside resources, to ensure that the 13 key roles of a proposal team are addressed as strongly and completely as possible.
These issues and others are discussed in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Government Contracts.
Chapter 6 describes the 13 essential roles and related responsibilities of the members of the proposal team. These are roles, not necessarily heads. One role may require more than one head, or a head could play more than one role.
Companies often ask what is the right mix of in-house and outside resources to service business from new proposals. The universal correct answer is, “It depends”.
More helpful is this observation: the right answer is always a mix between the two types of personnel resources. The right mix at a specific time is driven by the workload at that given time. It is simply not possible to carry a level of permanent proposal resources large enough to handle the peak demands, and therefore never use contract resources. Such a practice would not only be very expensive, but would drive away the highly motivated, highly productive individuals. Such individuals are not happy being idle.
In most companies, the arrival of biddable (that is, winnable) opportunities is a stochastic process. Sometimes, the total workload is very high, and sometimes very low. Consider the demands for clerks in a supermarket. In the early evening hours, when shoppers are on their way home from work, the demand is very high.
Many people want to shop between 4:30-7:30 p.m. During the very early morning, or the very early afternoon, the number of shoppers may be very low. That’s why many checkout clerks have more than just that one skill. Between periods of high demand for check-outs, these clerks may check inventory, stock shelves with incoming merchandise, and re-stock the shelves with merchandise left in peculiar places around the store.
In-house resources contribute long-term continuity in proposal process and content, and outside resources provide extra help at critical and high-demand times.
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