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APMP Foundation: Proposal Outline Development

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Second session in the Planning the Proposal Phase module of Bid to Win's APMP Foundation Accreditation preparation webinars.
In this webinar we shall learn about the purpose and content of the proposal outline, and how it can help us get organised.

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APMP Foundation: Proposal Outline Development

  1. 1. APMP® Accreditation Programme Planning the Proposal Phase Session 2: Proposal Outline Development Planning the Proposal Phase© APMP 2005 and Bid to Win Ltd 2010 Version: 0v9
  2. 2. Winning Document Design In this module, we shall learn about the purpose and content of the proposal outline, and how it can help us get organised. Planning the Proposal Phase2 © Your Company 2003 Confidential
  3. 3. This module will help you to:• define the purpose and content of a proposal outline• create an outline• annotate an outline• add more structure to an outline• describe the benefits of using an outline Learning objectives Proposal Guide 124
  4. 4. Some definitions of an outlineAn outline could be:1. a line drawn as a boundary2. a list of topics3. a basic project plan
  5. 5. Creating and using an Outline
  6. 6. Simple three step process • Follow RFQ • Weight by • Allocate Win instructions customer Develop Add Annotate Themes to • Create top priorityTop Level detailed your sections level • Develop Outline headings and structure informative Outline • Guidance for writers numbers headings
  7. 7. Creating a proposal outlineReview the bid request and prepare a top-level, topical outline that follows the prospect’s:• Instructions
  8. 8. Creating a proposal outlineReview the bid request and prepare a top-level, topical outline that follows the prospect’s:• Instructions• Numbering scheme – assists in referencing specific topics
  9. 9. Creating a proposal outlineReview the bid request and prepare a top-level, topical outline that follows the prospect’s:• Instructions• Numbering scheme – assists in referencing specific topics• Priorities – which evaluation criteria score highest
  10. 10. Creating a proposal outlineReview the bid request and prepare a top-level, topical outline that follows the prospect’s:• Instructions• Numbering scheme – assists in referencing specific topics• Priorities – which evaluation criteria score highest• Naming conventions – use the prospect’s terminology and language
  11. 11. Develop your proposal outline as the prospectsuggests, either in the bid request or verbally.Precisely follow the prospects proposal organisationalinstructions. Mirror prospect’s numbering system and naming conventions RFQ SECTION TOPICAL OUTLINE 1. ORGANISTION OF RFQ 1. ORGANISATION OF PROPOSAL 2. REQUIREMENTS 2. RESPONSES TO REQUIREMENTS 3. TERMS AND CONDITIONS 3. TERMS AND CONSDITIONS 4. EVALUATION FACTORS 4. COMPLIANCE MATRIX For the benefit of evaluators, a common document organisation makes comparing proposals easier.
  12. 12. Prepare a top-level, topical outline that followsthe prospect’s organisational priority.Mimic the numbering system, naming convention andorder listed in the bid requestEXAMPLE Many bid requests are written by different people, with different knowledge and interests, over months or years. Follow the organisational priority set by those who manage the evaluation process.
  13. 13. The top-level, topical outlinemight start like this Proposal Guide 125
  14. 14. Section Typical Contents 1 Table of Contents 2 Executive Summary 3 Technical Responses 4 Pricing 5 Delivery Schedule 6 Terms and Conditions 7 Compliance Matrix 8 References and Testimonials
  15. 15. Deviating from the bid requestSometimes necessarybecause you have more tosay or prospect’s intent isn’tclear.Whatever the reason, explainwhy you deviated. For example,when describing the structure ofyour proposal you might say:Additional section 3.8 included todescribe environmental considerations Make life easy for the evaluator! Proposal Guide 130
  16. 16. Assign or allocate all other response requirementswithin the topical outline.That is, for all requirements that weren’t dealt with in the top-level topical outline, consider how they can be incorporated.When adding structure:• Confirm compliance with the customer’s instructions• Do not interfere with the “core” numbering system and/or naming conventions• Announce organisation; then follow it• Order points in decreasing order of importance• Group similar ideasTry to maintain a balance when extending the topical outline.
  17. 17. Develop outlines for unsolicited proposals: 1) Collaboratively with your prospect 2) Based on discussions with your prospect, or 3) Logically. Prepare a response checklist. Proposal Guide 129
  18. 18. To assist evaluators in finding informationquickly, use telegraphic headingsin line with section headings in the bidrequest.Below the level of section headings that theprospect has instructed you to follow, useinformative headings that link to your proposalstrategy and themes. These help sell your ideasand make your proposal more compelling to read. Use informative headings to convey your messages Proposal Guide 86 Proposal Guide 128
  19. 19. Use informative headings at section levels belowthose specified by the prospect.Informative headings can impart a positive message.EXAMPLESTelegraphic Headings Informative HeadingsProject Team Structure Proven Team Structure Reduces RiskFire Protection Plan Proactive Fire Risk Management Cuts LossesSeismic Protection Plan Earthquake Readiness is a Priority
  20. 20. Allocate pages according to the relativeimportance of the topic to the prospect.Determine relative importance, based on:Evaluation criteriaDiscussion with the prospectJudgement
  21. 21. Example of priorities Technical Evaluation Criteria Priority Power Consumption 4 Heat Output 6 Physical Footprint 5 Reliability 3 Repairability 2 Performance 1 Proposal Guide 125
  22. 22. Technical Evaluation Criteria Priority Pages Power Consumption 4 8 Heat Output 6 4 Physical Footprint 5 6 Reliability 3 12 Repairability 2 12 Performance 1 16Add more detail (and pages) forhigher priority topics Proposal Guide 128
  23. 23. Technical Evaluation Criteria Priority Pages Effort Power Consumption 4 8 2 Heat Output 6 4 1 Physical Footprint 5 6 2 Reliability 3 12 3 Repairability 2 12 3 Performance 1 16 4Estimating page budget and effort Proposal Guide 128
  24. 24. Time for some ‘Top Tips’
  25. 25. Indicate who does what and when Use the outline for planning Proposal Guide 130
  26. 26. Proposal responsibilities matrix Proposal Guide 130
  27. 27. Annotate outlines to guide writers to• include success stories• state assumptions• recommend writing styles• ensure the prospect’s words are understood and used Proposal Guide 129
  28. 28. Example of annotationsEvaluation Criteria Additional InformationPower Consumption Under loads not exceeding xxxHeat Output See environmental papersPhysical Footprint Data Centre cost savings white papersReliability Under normal operating conditions/air conditioned environment/controlled temperature and humidityRepairability Refer to prior case studiesPerformance Review boilerplate statements
  29. 29. Re-using Material from Previous Proposals BOILERPLATE Answer the question directly Use boilerplate to support your answer Update boilerplate frequently Maintain to ensure currency Incorporate client names and terms Use specific information and references Avoid overuse Use only relevant boilerplate Beware the dangers of indiscriminate Cut&Paste
  30. 30. Check for completeness• Cross-reference the Outline to the bid request, the Requirements Checklist and the Compliance Matrix• Update the Bid Structure based on the Outline• Add supplementary information such as: – Deviations – Explanatory comments Further requests for clarifications – Assumptions
  31. 31. Review• Make sure everyone in the team understands the outline and the part that they will be writing. Outlines should be team reviewed before writing• Check for consistency, completeness, starts to assure a overlaps and underlaps. consistent and No! We agreed that was in your logical structure. part. I thought you were doing that. Sigh!
  32. 32. Useful checklistsA compliance checklist is list of specificcustomer requirements. The list is oftengenerated by splitting complex questionsinto separate requirements.A requirements checklist is similar to acompliance checklist, but can be selfgenerated when there is no writtencustomer requirement. It is often used as atool to monitor progress. Proposal Guide 41
  33. 33. Some Benefits of outliningOutlines help ensure that your proposals:• follow the prospect’s instructions• mirror the prospect’s numbering system and/or naming conventions• make responses easy to find• through annotations, identify key points to highlight• are well planned
  34. 34. Quick Quiz Question:When developing an outline, which of thefollowing would you say is NOT best practice?a. Your response should mirror the RFP numbering systemb. You should maintain the same order in your response even if this does not seem logicalc. You should allocate page count according to your competitive advantagesd. Your response should keep the same naming convention
  35. 35. Let’s consider our options …From this session on outlining, we have seen that we should endeavour tomake it easy for the evaluators to make their decision in our favour.This means that a) our response should mirror the RFP numbering system andb) we should maintain the same order in your response even if this does notseem logical and d) we should use the prospect’s terminology by adoptingtheir naming conventions.Answer c) which states that we should allocate page count according to yourcompetitive advantages is incorrect, as best practice suggests that we shouldmake the page count allocation according to the relative importance of thetopic to the prospect. Proposal Guide 128
  36. 36. Summary: Outlining• Essential for understanding the structure of the proposal• Follow the Bid or Tendering Instructions to produce the outline• Use the outline to estimate page count and effort• Can be annotated to provide additional information to contributors• Use outline to identify cross-references from proposal to the requirements checklist and compliance matrix
  37. 37. e-torial preparation ManCo issues RFP! Responses required.• Read Case Study Exercise Five (includes RFP)http://bid-to-win.ning.com/group/apmp-foundation-distance-learning-2012/forum/topics/planning-the-proposal-phase• Prepare an outline for your ManCo proposal• Upload you work into the class space

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