Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The proposal process may seem a bit daunting. Proposal managers and other staff may work endless hours and coordinate across multiple departments to produce the final product. Short windows for response may bump the proposal turnaround into the turbo speed lane.

Because the hectic pace of contracting can launch fast and furious races to the finish line for top prizes, heed the familiar saying, “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, where will you find time to do it over?”

To those who set the bar high and keep up in the race come the spoils of victory over challenges. Those who fall out of the race may become casualties left behind as cautionary tales.

Pay now, or pay later. Do your homework when it counts, and go forward now using the following tips:

  • Follow the rules. Requests for proposals or solicitations instructions to the letter. Submit questions for clarifications in timely manner. Email submission provides an instantly archived time line for reference if needed.
  • Come Correctly. Proposals that reference the correct staff, correct quantities, correct numbers, including page numbers, throughout the proposal reduce compliance issues. Mis-numbering, missing pages, and errors can make glaring distinctions, cause confusion and delays.
  • Count on accuracy. Calculations with technical documents and cost documents, including electronic versions, should be accurate. Accurate formulas, industry standard methods. Using formulas within Excel versus merely inputting figures can avoid time consuming reconfigurations, and allow faster review turnaround. The number of man hours in 1 calendar year is 1920.
  • Zip it good. Bulky email or files clog and clutter information pipes. Use ISO techniques to manage documentation. For example, include dates in naming e-files and documents themselves. Footers and headers work well. Using document edit tracking can also work well.
  • Designate 1 or 2 primary contacts during pre award stage to streamline and lower risk of lost links in communication network. Ensure “Out of Office” automatic replies are turned on, and include backup or alternate contact information.