The article shares time-tested tools that enhance proficiency in proposal management. It emphasizes the potency of daily team management meetings and diligent enforcement of the proposal schedule, stressing that beyond tools, successful proposal delivery hinges on open communication and team accountability.
I am on a simplification kick right now. Whether at home or at work, processes, tools, and anything in between that helps me get the job done more efficiently is my jam. I get it — automation is nothing new, and I may be dating myself. I’m okay with that.
If you are in AEC proposal management, you know our professionals often have a large generation gap. But for us, that can be a good thing. While the hands-on experience may differ from the newer class, fresh perspectives, approaches, and methods exist.
So, what do we experienced folks bring to the table? Proven tools that work. I’ve provided my team members with tools that can be used with fancy technology or just good old pen, pencil, and paper.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Whatever the size of your team, having tools at your disposal to effectively manage your team and its pursuit will be a game changer.
What are some of my favorites? I’m so glad you asked. Honestly, I have a few favorites. It is hard to choose. In the interest of time, I will talk about two of them. They are not necessarily my top two, but they are in heavy rotation. As of late, practices/tools that have become “must-dos” for any pursuit I am a part of are:
1. A “play-of-the-day” meeting
Play-of-the-day meetings are also known as daily team management meetings. They are an essential part of pursuits, especially larger, more complex pursuits. This title is slightly misleading as the meetings don’t always happen daily. Depending on the pursuit, they may happen weekly. They are (typically) brief meetings that provide updates on the proposal's progress and provide an opportunity to discuss action items.
2. Enforcing the proposal schedule
This may seem more like a basic function of a proposal manager. While there is some truth to that, not every proposal manager knows how to effectively enforce a schedule from the get-go. Knowing how to make expectations clear, hold contributors accountable, and communicate effectively is essential to stay on schedule.
You Need More Than Tools
Every proposal I have been a part of has been submitted successfully—every single one. I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping communication open between you and the rest of the team. If you allow team members to ask for help and hold them accountable, they will come through.
You may be asking yourself, but what if they don’t? Or saying, I’ve done that, and they still have not produced what they should when they should. That’s possible. I’ve been there.
My approach has sometimes varied from the scenario I’ve presented above. It’s rare, but sometimes you have team members who don’t contribute enough. This may mean they don’t see the value of the proposal process. I’ve resorted to relying on support systems to reinforce the importance of their contribution.
If these tools are outside your current proposal management toolbox, I would like you to research them further and try them out. I’m confident they will become handy additions.