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  • Managing a program is analogous to managing a proposal in nearly every way. Program and Proposal Managers are faced with the same challenges and driven by similar processes and business goals. Whether it’s a huge proposal response containing multiple volumes with 60 days to respond to a short turn-around IDIQ/GWAC task order with 5 days to respond, a proposal can be defined as ‘a mini program on steroids’! During my 20 years of proposal and program management experience, I can’t count the times I’ve asked myself ‘how would a good Program Manager manage this proposal challenge?’ The key difference is that a proposal manager has a well-defined, demanding deadline; he can overrun budget but he can’t run over the schedule because if he does, his company loses! This presentation and discussion considers the key factors that lead to successful proposal management, program manager and proposal manager roles and responsibilities, proposal and task order response processes and lessons learned. Over the last 20 years, I’ve managed and captured over 100 large and TO proposals winning over $2B. I don’t often get a chance to talk about what I love to do, proposal management! I love the strategy, competition, schedule, challenges and camaraderie of a proposal team! It’s challenging and it’s fun!
  • Project Scope: Scope of the proposal (project you are bidding) is first defined during the first gate review. It’s further defined through discussions with the customer. It is clearer at Draft RFP release and finalized at Final RFP release. Project Communications: Extremely important in proposal development; need to understand your stakeholders early in the process; daily status calls; proposal repository; track side meetings; track important decisions in baseline solution document Introduce and describe the APMP. Note that the APMP has a certification process similar to the PMI certification process. APMP also has a huge Body of Knowledge. Project Communications = Proposal Progress Reporting in APMP Accreditation Syllabus Project Communications
  • Project Manager role defined in PMBOK. The parallels between the Project Manager and Proposal Manager are incredibly close.
  • Define the Capture phase and Proposal phase. This list encompasses the capture product needed to start the Proposal phase. Defined IDIQ efforts. Task order: IDIQ contracts have task orders, mini RFPs requiring a proposal response. Task order ‘factory’ is a well-oiled, co-located, responsive, capable, “soup to nuts” machine to efficiently respond to task orders. During the APMP International Conference next week in Arizona: Beth Wingate will present an excellent presentation called ‘Creating a Winning Task Order Proposal Process’. It explains the task order process and provides excellent lessons learned.
  • Good news – you won! Initial euphoria you won the hard fought competition! Bad news – you’ve got to execute to that plan you proposed! Well, sort of… A very short cost strategy tutorial here: When bidding a proposal, plan for the ECPs (work beyond the proposal scope) that you know the customer needs/requires A well thought out ECP plan can improve your profitability and lower your costs beyond the proposal price you submitted Analyzing what is evaluated and not evaluated in a RFP’s Section M and what will be actually bought or not, applying your margin to what will be bought but isn’t evaluated, produces a total lower bid price, improved your probability of win in a price sensitive competition and improves profitability after award Need to inform your Project Manager of what he should ‘sell’ (high margin items) and what not to sell (little or no margin)
  • Pointed out the similarities of the Project Management phases above the yellow line and the Proposal Management phases below the yellow line.
  • Only a few Proposal Management lessons learned Many parallels to Project Management processes and techniques
  • About the Speaker: Pat has been involved in all facets of government contracting, from program management to business development and proposal management to engineering for Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc, General Dynamics, Digital System Resources, Lockheed Martin, IBM and others. Pat’s current responsibilities at Lohfeld Consulting Group include managing, writing and producing winning proposals to US Government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Responses have ranged from large, multi-volume proposals to fast-turnaround, electronic submissions with response times spanning 5 to 90 days. She conducts formal classes in Business Development and Capture Management for her clients as well as workshops and one-on-one mentoring, while also continually working to improve the client’s Business Development and Capture Management Process. Pat has in-depth project management experience as program manager and earned value management system (EVMS) cost account manager. Pat achieved the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification in 2006. She led Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Models (SEI CMMI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 compliance and assessment activities. Pat is an active member of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals.
  • (click here to download presentation)

    1. 1. PM Survival Guide to Proposal Management How My Program Management Skills Saved Me as a Proposal Manager Patricia Brosey, Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. Presented to PMI June 2, 2009
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Comparing Project Management and Proposal Management </li></ul><ul><li>Very Similar Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Roles and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Key Factors to Successful Proposal Management </li></ul><ul><li>Where Projects and Proposals Meet </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal and Project Phases </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal and Task Order Lessons Learned </li></ul>Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
    3. 3. Project Management and Proposal Management <ul><li>Have you ever experienced the following? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Had personnel conflicts on your project? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical path analysis showed your project will be late? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Found someone had charged your project number in error? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessed the risk of your program and found more risks than you had time to mitigate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had scope and schedule changes at the last minute? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had Engineering change the solution at the last minute? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project and Proposal Management have the same challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Both have similar processes and business goals </li></ul>Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Proposals are really projects on steroids!
    4. 4. Very Similar Processes Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Project Management Processes Proposal Management Processes Project Integration Management – Identify, define, combine, unify and coordinate the various processes to be used on the project Select the appropriate proposal processes based on the RFP (full process, task order process), our role (subcontractors adopt prime’s process), proposal personnel (proposal maturity) Project Scope Management – Define the project – what needs to be accomplished. Ensure that the project includes all of the work required and only the work required to complete the project successfully First management gate review defines the proposal scope. Scope is refined and communicated during subsequent gate reviews. Project Time Management – Complete the project in a timely manner Proposal schedule must be managed; status presented at gate reviews. Use critical path identification and management Project Cost Management – Planning, estimating, budgeting and controlling costs to meet the approved budget Proposal cost must be managed; status presented at gate reviews. Difficult to manage given the short duration of a proposal Project Quality Management – Determine quality policies, objectives and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken RFP states which standards apply and which metrics will measure compliance. Quality is planned into a proposal or project; not inspected in. Project Human Resources Management – Organize and manage the project team Operations provides the proposal staff. How do I get the best staff and use who I have as best as I can? Project Communications Management – Ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval and ultimate disposition of project info. Set up daily status calls, proposal repository, track side meetings, track important decisions in baseline solution document Project Risk Management – Risk management, planning, identify, analysis, responses, and monitoring and control on a project Must assess and mitigate risk throughout process; status presented at gate reviews. Project Procurement Management – Purchase and acquire the products, services or results from outside the project team to perform the work Purchase and acquire the products, services or results. Team to fill a gap; perform ‘make or buy’ analysis; procure COTS
    5. 5. Roles and Responsibilities Copyright 2008 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Project Manager Proposal Manager Assigned to achieve the project objectives. Supports Proposals providing execution ‘realism’ and management support Responsible to create the winning, compelling and compliant proposal on time and within budget Managing a project includes: Managing a proposal includes: <ul><ul><li>Identifying requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enforcing requirements compliance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing clear and achievable objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing clear and achievable winning solution objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balancing the competing demands for quality, scope, time and cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balancing the competing demands for quality, scope, time and cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapting the specifications, plans and approach to the different concerns and expectations of the various stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapting the specifications, plans and approach to the different concerns and expectations of the various stakeholders – create a compelling proposal </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Key Factors to Successful Proposal Management <ul><li>What should you do if you are asked to manage a proposal? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know the proposal process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find an experienced proposal team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure you have the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Client requirements understood and documented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive assessment complete </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preliminary solution developed and linked to customer requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solution positioned with the customer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Win themes developed and compelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaming agreements in place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pwin analysis complete and acceptable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment complete and acceptable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task Order (TO) factory, if IDIQ/GWAC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperative management </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. W Handoff to Proposal Manager
    7. 7. Where Projects and Proposals Meet <ul><li>Good news – you won! </li></ul><ul><li>Bad news – you won! </li></ul><ul><li>What should you expect from a Proposal Manager? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RFP with all amendments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full proposal submission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technical, Management, Pricing, Past Performance, Contracts Volumes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All backup data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Execution plan developed during the proposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schedules, plans, procurement agreements, proposal notes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ECP plan based on prop technical and pricing solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plan to improve profitability/lower costs beyond proposal plan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Key is Program Execution: Price to win, manage to price! </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Handoff to Project Manager
    8. 8. Proposal and Project Phases Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Concept (Project Selection) Planning Design And Development Closeout (Lessons Learned) Implementation Project Management Phases Proposal Management Phases <ul><li>Pursuit </li></ul><ul><li>Organize capture team </li></ul><ul><li>Understand customer requirements and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Develop preliminary solution </li></ul><ul><li>Position solution with customer </li></ul><ul><li>Assess competition </li></ul><ul><li>Develop win strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Build and execute teaming strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Establish price to win </li></ul><ul><li>Assess risk </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare gate review package </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-Proposal Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Assign proposal resources </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct baseline solution review </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and develop early stage proposal products </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare proposal development plan </li></ul><ul><li>Plan kickoff meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare gate review package </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal Development </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare and validate proposal outline </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare and conduct kickoff meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Begin writing proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Develop oral presentation (concurrent with proposal development) </li></ul><ul><li>Review and approve price proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct Pink Team </li></ul><ul><li>Revise text </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct Red Team </li></ul><ul><li>Revise text </li></ul><ul><li>Complete detailed edit </li></ul><ul><li>Gain final management approval (Gold Team) </li></ul><ul><li>Produce proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Quality check </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity Identification/ Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Identify opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Meet with customer </li></ul><ul><li>Qualify opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare gate review package </li></ul>Release Draft RFP Release RFP Industry Day Award Receive Proposals Conduct Orals Sources Sought <ul><li>Post Submittal </li></ul><ul><li>Write thank-you notes to proposal team </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to customer requests for additional information and engage in discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Rehearse and present oral presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare final proposal revision and submit </li></ul><ul><li>Receive award notice </li></ul><ul><li>Attend debrief </li></ul><ul><li>Document lessons learned </li></ul>
    9. 9. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Be compliant and responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Use compliance matrices </li></ul><ul><li>Make response easy to score </li></ul><ul><li>Develop win themes early </li></ul><ul><li>Identify differentiators </li></ul><ul><li>Document solution </li></ul><ul><li>Link proposed solution to objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid wordy explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid “buzzwords” </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid complacency </li></ul><ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify key staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support skills matrices within resumes </li></ul></ul>Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
    10. 10. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting examples/metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry “best practices” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed team’s responsibilities/authorities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exceed evaluation criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Past Performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comparable past performances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current references </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage business units </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the proposal schedule – communicate schedule often! </li></ul><ul><li>Keep configuration management; use collaboration environment </li></ul>Copyright 2008 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Your Project Management Skills Can Save You Too!
    11. 11. Questions? Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
    12. 12. Contacts <ul><li>Pat Brosey, Principal Consultant, Capture and Proposal Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>19377 Diamond Court </li></ul><ul><li>Leesburg, Virginia 20175 </li></ul><ul><li>703.282.1774 </li></ul><ul><li>Bob Lohfeld </li></ul><ul><li>Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. 940 South River Landing Road Edgewater, Maryland 21037 410.897.1100 www.LohfeldConsulting.com </li></ul>Copyright 2009 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved.