Proposal management can be stressful – usually due to insufficient resources and poorly defined process. Getting the right resources will always remain a challenge for any company – large or small – but we have a remedy for the process problems. These problems arise because even the most sophisticated companies have an insufficiently defined approach to proposal management that lacks the most basic and necessary tools: a set of checklists for every major proposal phase.
In most industries, checklists are part of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which serve as a common quality assurance measure to ensure consistent performance. No one who works with anything even moderately complex (such as building or maintaining a system) would fathom not using a checklist. Yet, in proposal management, we tend to rely on our memory and luck to consistently deliver the winning results.
The truth is, proper proposal management includes hundreds of little steps taken in a specific sequence. Some of them come as second nature, and others can be easily forgotten, leading to problems down the road. This is especially true for larger pursuits with multiple team members and contributors. When you do things from memory, even the most experienced proposal professionals are not immune to missing something. We are all human, and we may be “on” or “off” on any given day. Time passes between proposals so we forget our best practices, and what needs to be done.
To help make your job less stressful and your successes repeatable, we have developed a set of checklists for every key stage of the proposal process: