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The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11
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The Art of the Wargame-Black Hat Reviews-APMP 2011-Pat Brosey 6-1-11

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Tu Mu, Chinese military commentator, said, “If I wish to take advantage of the enemy I must perceive not just the advantage in doing so but must first consider the ways he can harm me if I do.” A key …

Tu Mu, Chinese military commentator, said, “If I wish to take advantage of the enemy I must perceive not just the advantage in doing so but must first consider the ways he can harm me if I do.” A key part of waging war and offensive strategies in the proposal world is to war game in a Black Hat review where we create potential war scenarios by aligning ourselves and our allies against a set of opponents. Each team assumes the competitor mindset and prepares as if they are the competition. Each team collects intelligence and develops their battle plans and using rules created to closely simulate battle (proposal evaluation) conditions, play out the war game in front of the evaluators. Only one team is victorious, we gain valuable insight into the strategies of our competition, and gather lessons learned. In this session, we explore the Black Hat process, how to define the competitive information you need upfront, develop high producing teams, optimize the teams’ products and leverage them in your proposal.

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  • Introduce myself if it hasn’t been done.I assume that you know what Black Hat reviews are and may have actually participated in them.For those of you who don’t know, the definition of Black Hat review, at a high level, is a competitive assessment to address who the competition is and their strengths and weaknesses.Black Hats occur early in the capture process and can either initiate, supplement and validate your capture plan.My Black Hat reviews encompass more. The purpose is: Independent assessment of the competitions’ and our team’s solutionsDetermine what/how the competition will bid Determine the strengths and weaknesses Improve our team’s solution
  • The General is the Capture Manager. Capture Managers who are not well informed, lose. Many Capture Managers have used this process and won!This Black Hat review process is unique. My Black Hat reviews produce the following successful results:Cause introspection and discussion about our win strategy, solutions, plans, PTW, how we should shape the evaluation criteria, etc.Produce results we reuse in the capture plan that ultimately increase our probability of winWe learn as much about our strategy as we do about the competitiond. My team wins the contract!(Paint a picture upfront – successful BH results meeting stated goals).
  • Here is the introduction of my presentation:A key part of waging war in the proposal world is to war game in a Black Hat review where we create potential war scenarios by aligning ourselves and our allies against a set of opponents. Each team assumes the competitor mindset and prepares as if they are the competition. Each team collects intelligence and develops their battle plans and using rules created to closely simulate battle (proposal instruction and evaluation) conditions, play out the war game in front of the evaluators. Only one team is victorious. We gain valuable insight into the strategies of our competition, determine if our strategies are adequate and gather lessons learned.
  • This is the process and agenda for this presentation. If the activity is not assigned here, it’s the responsibility of the Proposal Manager.We will explore this Black Hat process which is different from other Black Hat review processes. We will discuss valuable lessons learned at each step.The benefits of this process are…(what’s special about my process).Focuses on the information we don’t have and that we need Fosters competition and team camaraderie early in the capture process The customer and competitor teams provide strategy change recommendations to our team.Results in an unbiased 3rd party review of our team’ s and our competitor’s probable strategies.
  • You have to understand your competitors and their strategies so you can beat them
  • Define the information you must learn upfront – see slide 8 for examplesDraft or similar RFPs from the Contracting organization provides valuable insight into their probable proposal instructions (Section L) and evaluation criteria (Section M).
  • You have to understand your team, the competition and also the environment (customer, budget, politics, etc.)
  • Competitor team participation is key to success. We cannot ‘drink our own bath water’ so add external participants to your Black Hat process.Assign team leads that can lead, have the time to participate and are insightful. Describe examples of how this review became fun.
  • Customer team participation is key too. Always add external participants to this team. A team, no matter how smart, cannot provide unbiased evaluations of their product.
  • Black Hat kick-off is usually 1-2 hour long meetings. Don’t adjourn this meeting until you are certain you have commitment from the competitor team members. Competitor teams need to start their efforts immediately.Customer team participation should be defined here too.
  • Prescriptive definition of what you want to see in the resulting team presentations is helpful to the teams. For these questions, I asked for product that includes 15-20 slides. If you have a 5 member team, that’s 4 slides each.Recommend that each team meets at least twice to complete the product: initial assignments and strategy discussion review of the entire team presentation.
  • Discuss the folly of a team who couldn’t define their competition. The Best Informed Wins – Always!Discuss recent experiences with arrogant teams - used BH process to prove to them that their strategies were not unique . Through facilitation, can seed similar strategies in competitor teams. When the competition could develop the same strategies, our team was scared and motivated to think out of the box and expand their strategies. They were not so sure that they were the only possible winners after the BH review.
  • Solution is as good as the data it’s based on… PTW – use this review as an opportunity to look at the possible competitor’s pricing strategies. A 3rd party PTW resource is recommended. Early discussion of pricing strategy may prove that this team is not price competitive and should ‘no bid’.The Proposal Manager optimizes the solutions.
  • Invite an audience of team decision makers – need the senior executive sponsor, capture manager, strategists, BD, pricing management, etc.The most important product is the actions collected during the review. Your team must follow up on all actions.This review could be videotaped for later review.
  • Action items should not simply be to fill in the holes in what you should know.Actions that affect your strategies and odds of winning are the ‘real’ product.Capture plan is the accumulation of all strategies, solutions, actions and decision-making for a specific opportunity.No Bid isn’t always bad… have you ever supported a team where you scratched your head and thought ‘why are they bidding this opportunity?’. Describe why a ‘no bid’ can be a good result.
  • The Black Hat review is one of the first steps in a winning capture effort. Capture will continue over time where the CM continues to gather info about the competition. Over time, the strategy and strengths of the competition become known.The Best Informed Wins – Always.
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Art of the Wargame (Black Hat Review)
      Patricia Brosey
    • 2. Without knowledge of the enemy,
      the General commits catastrophic errors.
      All is lost.
      The Art of War
      The Denma Translation Group
      (DTG)
      2
    • 3. Black Hat Review and the Art of Winning
      Plan and wage war in the Black Hat review
      Create potential war scenarios by aligning ourselves and our allies against a set of opponents
      Assumes the competitor mindset
      Collects intelligence and develops their battle plans
      Use rules created to closely simulate battle conditions (proposal instruction and evaluation)
      Executes the war game in front of the evaluators
      Only one team is victorious
      3
      We can learn as much about our strategy and position as we do about the competition.
    • 4. This Black Hat Process
      4
      Support
      Solution Develop-ment
      Black Hat
      Kick-off
      Leverage
      Black Hat
      Products
      Black Hat
      Review
      Review
      Preparation
      • Define the information you must learn upfront
      • 5. Develop high producing competitive teams
      • 6. Develop customer team
      • 7. Team researches and develops strategies and solutions using the competitor’s mindset
      • 8. Facilitate solution development
      • 9. Provide good data
      • 10. Team resolves review action items
      • 11. Team updates the capture plan and strategies
      • 12. Team leverages in ‘Bid/No Bid’ gate review
      • 13. Define process and teams
      • 14. Define questions and rationale
      • 15. Define reference material
      • 16. Describe expected products
      • 17. Teams present battle plans
      • 18. Teams answer clarification questions
      • 19. Customers score presentations according to evaluation criteria
      • 20. Teams recommend strategy changes
      3-5 days
      1 day
      After attending this presentation, you will understand this Black Hat process and how to maximize your Black Hat ROI
    • 21. "If I wish to take advantage of the enemy I must perceive not just the advantage in doing so but must first consider the ways he can harm me if I do.“
      Tu Mu, Chinese military commentator
      (803-852)
      5
    • 22. Define the Information You Need Upfront
      Work with the capture team to determine what essential information we don’t know
      Competitor
      Customer
      Procurement environment
      Consult the Draft RFP to use the evaluation criteria and required proposal data
      Define the question(s) and instructions - open ended questions are best
      Always include PTW resources in your Black Hat review – this discussion is valuable
      Review
      Preparation
      Lesson Learned: Focus the Black Hat on information you need
      6
    • 23. Knowledge of self and other is vital to the General in every endeavor. Yet it is insufficient without knowledge of the ground, the environment within which the battle occurs.
      7
      The Art of War (DTG)
    • 24. Information You Should Have
      Competitive Information
      Team composition
      Win strategies
      Baseline solution (technical, management, pricing, transition)
      Re-badging strategy
      Reuse strategy
      In-depth pricing data from relevant contracts
      How will they “ghost” the other teams?
      Related past performances
      What “out of the box” ideas will the competitors propose?
      SWOT
      Customer influence chart
      “Environmental” Information
      Customer buying patterns
      Budget pressures
      Strategic fit
      Customer advocacy
      Right solution
      Financial objectives
      Real, funded, timely opportunity with champion
      High win probability
      8
      Review
      Preparation
    • 25. Develop High Producing Competitor Teams
      Each team assumes the competitor’s mindset
      Focus on active, diverse participation and having fun
      Teams should include members of your capture team, teammates, PTW, former employees, “grey beards”, consultants, ex-customers of these companies
      Cross company teams allow people to get to know each other and work together early in the capture process
      Make this review fun
      Foster competition among the teams
      Dress like the competitor you represent
      Wear black hats
      Select and reward a winning team
      Review
      Preparation
      Lessons Learned: Knowledgeable teams with active, diverse participation focused on fun are high producers
      9
    • 26. Develop Customer Team
      Customer team assumes the Evaluation Panel mindset and provides valuable customer feedback
      Team should include someone who has been a customer or supported a customer as a technical, management or pricing SME; must understand the customer mission, organization, why the procurement will occur. Must understand RFP requirements. Often include senior strategists, BD professionals, former acquisition experts, consultants
      They prepare by reading and understanding the RFP; create evaluation scorecards
      They provide customer insights – customer ‘hot buttons’, history, informal organization, how to influence the customer
      10
      Review
      Preparation
    • 27. Kick-off Black Hat Review
      Define process and competitor teams
      Prepare slides that address defined questions
      Set expectations about solution presentations (1 to 1-1/2 hours)
      Account for probable Section M evaluation criteria
      Define questions we need answered and why
      Define available reference material
      Product: Discussion of our team’s solution
      Win strategy and solution
      Strategies and plans
      Price-to-Win model
      Proposal preparation
      What should we “shape?” Evaluation criteria changes?
      Black Hat
      Kick-off
      Start with the end in mind
      11
    • 28. Example Instructions Given to Teams
      How will your team respond to this procurement’s RFP in the following areas?
      Team composition (1 slide)
      Win strategies/win themes (1-2 slides)
      Baseline solution for technical, management, transition (4-6 slides)
      Re-badging and/or reuse strategy (1 slide)
      What pricing strategy will you use? What specific actions will you take to lower your price? How can you interpret the pricing instructions to benefit your bid? What pricing recommendations would you recommend to the customer? (2 slides)
      What “out of the box” ideas will the competitor team propose? (2-3 slides)
      Strengths and weaknesses (1-2 slides)
      Customer influence chart (1 slide)
      “Ghosting” of the other teams (1-2 slides)
      Related past performances (1-2 slides)
      Black Hat
      Kick-off
      12
    • 29. Facilitate Solution Development
      Have you ever supported a team who couldn’t define their competition? Or a a team who was sure they were going to win? Were they so sure, they were arrogant? We can teach valuable lessons during a Black Hat.
      Proposal Manager is review facilitator, participates on all teams
      Set expectations and schedule upfront
      Assign team leads
      Help teams through the ‘forming, storming, norming to performing ’ process quickly
      Focus teams to gather and organize sufficient detail
      Keep all presentations at the same level of detail
      Check for common understanding of and compliance with instructions
      Help teams locate competitive information
      Motivate the teams to create a better solution
      13
      Support
      Solution
      Develop-ment
      Lesson Learned: Proposal Manager facilitation is key to success
    • 30. Optimize the Teams’ Solutions
      Solution is as good as the data it’s based on
      Base on your capture plan data collection
      Use your PTW resources
      Use a known, proven competitive intelligence data source
      This process promotes optimization
      Ask questions about the teams’ products as it’s developed – anticipate the Customer Team’s questions
      Ask the teams to “ghost” the other teams
      Focus the teams on defined questions they are missing
      Question your team’s false impressions
      Third party scores solution and offers recommendations
      14
      Support
      Solution Develop-ment
      Lessons Learned: Solution is as good as the data it’s based on; process is focused on questions and recommendations
    • 31. Black Hat Review
      Teams present their solutions
      Members of competitor teams may ask questions to probe or clarify materials presented
      Customers score presentations according to expected evaluation criteria
      Discussion of our team’s solution
      Determine how our win strategy and solution should change
      Determine guidance on Price-to-Win model
      Provide guidance for preparing the proposal
      What aspects of these procurements should we "shape?” What should the evaluation criteria for this procurement be?
      Collect actions for our team
      15
      Black Hat
      Review
    • 32. Leverage Review Results in Your Proposal or Support a “No Bid”
      Collect actions that affect your strategies to increase your odds of winning
      Teaming actions – determine who is strong where you are weak, they should be on your team
      Finalize your win strategies – define why we should be selected and not the competition
      Results transition to capture plan
      Results may lead to “No Bid” decision
      Resources required to beat the competition may be too much
      It’s better to no bid and spend your scarce B&P funds on a winning opportunity
      16
      Leverage
      Black Hat
      Products
      Lessons Learned: Results will affect your strategies to increase your odds of winning or support no bid
    • 33. Summary
      We can learn as much about our strategy and position as we do about the competition.
      Define the information you must learn upfront
      Focus the Black Hat on information you need
      Black Hat reviews can initiate, supplement and validate your capture plan
      Develop high producing teams
      Knowledgeable teams with active, diverse participation focused on fun are high producers
      Proposal Manager facilitation is key to success
      Optimize the teams' solutions and use them
      Solution is as good as the data it’s based on and process is focused on questions and recommendations
      Results will affect your strategies to increase your odds of winning or support “no bid” gate review
      17
    • 34. True knowledge of the enemy comes from active contact, which the General initiates and conducts. He provokes them to reveal themselves, assessing the full extent of their reactions and resources.
      The Art of War
      (DTG)
      18
    • 35. About the Author
      Pat Brosey has more than 20 years experience capturing, creating solutions and managing new business efforts to US Government agencies.
      She led dozens of successful competitive Black Hat reviews using this process which led to numerous contract wins. Recently, she has managed numerous proposals, independently assessed capture activities, crafted cost strategies and supported process improvement efforts.
      She is a speaker for the APMP National Capital Area Chapter and a member of the Roundtable Planning Committee. She is PMP and AM.APMP certified.
      19

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