Writing a bid is a complex activity that very often does not receive the required level of attention because the contributors you need to write pieces are busy with paying work. Nevertheless, bid writing is one of the most important things an organisation must do to stay in business and secure a reliable pipeline of work.
Why not use Prommpt to focus your activities and manage your bid writing? After all, preparing a bid for a project is in itself a project on its own terms. All characteristics of a project are met:-
- Bidding has a determined start and end date
- Bidding requires the temporary sourcing and allocation of resources
- Bidding requires a dedicated cost budget
- Bidding has many stakeholders involved in the bid
- Bidding requires effective and timely communication
So since writing a proposal is like a project, Prommpt is your perfect companion. Here is how:
Lets start with the basics. If you apply project management principles to the development of a bid, you will by default run it through these five processes:
Initiation (launching the bid) Here is where you nominate the bid manager and core members of the bid team and set out the strategy you want to follow for your bid.
Planning This is where you build the roadmap to take you towards a winning proposal, which involves creating a schedule of the tasks and deliverables, deadlines and resources needed to complete everything on time. You would also identify any stakeholders and plan the engagement and how they are need to be addressed by the bid.
Execution The project begins and the project plan is put into action with everybody on the team start working on the allotted elements.
Monitoring & Controlling To make sure the bid preparation is proceeding as planned, you need to set up mechanisms for monitoring the progress. If the bid project isn’t proceeding as planned, work to control and resolve issues before they become problems.
Closing (reviewing and submitting the bid) Bids are temporary endeavours, so they eventually come to an end and need to be closed, team members debriefed, re-allocated other tasks and the total cost of the bidding efforts need to be assessed.
So far so good. Now, here is how Prommpt can help you through each of the processes when you think of it like managing a project:
- Identify the bid manager and key contributors and capture them in the people module.
- Brainstorm/develop the strategy stemming from the brief, bid meeting, intelligence, research, etc. and capture all the information in the notes module.
- Outline the value proposition, approach and services corresponding to your strategy and capture it as project brief so everybody can revert to it.
- Identify the activities for preparing the bid document, create the bidding programme and capture all the deliverables with their due dates in the milestones module.
- Add contributors to the bid team if needed (people module) and assign responsibilities to the deliverables (milestone module) to be able to keep an oversight.
- Create an additional budget for the bid preparation for things like travel, delivery of the bid, attending bid conferences and the like and add it to the incidentals module.
- Plan for bringing in external key experts or associations and add it to the stakeholder module. There you can also capture all interactions and agreements.
- Use Prommpt to communicate using the notes module.
- Plan for risks using the issues tracker.
Execution (developing the bid)
- Write/create the narrative content and refer to your strategy by regularly checking in on the project brief you had captured.
- Plan the execution of the actual project in question as per your proposed approach, i.e. what are the time frames, key resources, budgets, stakeholders, etc. and develop the fee proposal. For this you can just create a new project in Prommpt and plan it as such. In many cases screenshots of Prommpt in your bid to show how you would manage the project when won offer the client assurance of your capability.
- Review the bid carefully to ensure it completely addresses the requirements and approach captured in Prommpt.
- Capture any decisions you take
Monitoring and controlling
- Make sure you keep the data in Prommpt up to date and update the expected due date of the milestones, utilised resources and budget spent in the respecteive modules.
- Every plan needs to be checked to make sure you are still on track. Prommpt keeps you updated at a glance and you always know where you stand.
- Don’t lose oversight of the objective – it is always easy to get distracted by the nitty gritty. Use Prommpt to trigger informed conversations with the bid team.
- About halfway through the creation of the bid start reviewing content for compliance, accuracy, relevance, etc. with the whole team. For this you can just simply create a pdf of the entire execution plan for the project you are bidding and share it with all relevant people.
- Once all is done and you are comfortable with content and structure prepare for the final printing and check for completeness of the release candidate.
- Debrief and release the bidding team and document any lessons learned in the notes module.
- Review your total bidding costs and deviations that occurred during the preparation of the bid.
Try these simple steps and reap the benefits of using Prommpt.