Fixing the broken Red Team


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Presentation given at the UK-APMP 2008 conference \"Beyond Best Practice\".
The Red Team is the most universally regognised Proposal Management best practice, but it is just as universally broken. This workshop looks at how to get more value from the Red Team process and suggests an alternative approach to \'colour teams\' in general.

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  • Fixing the broken Red Team

    1. 1. Fixing the Broken Red Team A ‘beyond best practice’ workshop Presented by: David Warley Bid to Win Ltd Michael Forster Nokia Siemens Networks Saibal Sen Zenesys
    2. 2. Our thesis: Colour teams are broken; we need to fix them Blue Team Red Team Black Hat Team Pink Team Vision / Value Win Strategy & Themes Publication Standards Responsiveness & Focus Structure & Compliance Winning Proposal Proposal Validation Plan
    3. 3. Our Agenda <ul><ul><li>Exercise: Red Team Simulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion: Red Team De-Brief </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposal: A better way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bid Products and Quality Criteria </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise: Build your own quality criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bid Products and Quality Criteria for your own bids </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposal: Quality methods vs Reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise: Linking it all up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop your own Proposal Validation Plans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implementing the approach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. 1. Red Team Simulation Exercise: If a proposal is like a steak then are the Red Team like restaurant critics? 3 mins Document your recommendations 3 mins Identify Improvement Areas 2 mins Review Sample Proposals Provided 2 mins Read Red Team Instructions 5 mins Appointment of Red Teams & Facilitator Briefing
    5. 5. Red Team Simulation Notes <ul><li>3/4 real Menus (Mc Donald’s, Pizza Service, Indian and Hotel restaurant to submit to audience volunteers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(groups of 2-3 people chosen as experts from the audience) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instructions as such that volunteers for Mc Donald’s and Pizza service should run the Red Team for Hotel restaurant Menu and volunteers Hotel restaurant runs it for a fast food Menu </li></ul>
    6. 6. 2. Red Team De-brief (Post Mortem) <ul><ul><li>What went wrong in creating those proposals? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could the review process realistically have improved them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Please recall as well your experience at your company! </li></ul>
    7. 7. 3. A Better Way Taking a leaf out of the project management book
    8. 8. A proposal does not emerge from thin air it is derived from many other ‘bid products’ Win Plan Working Paper RFQ Requirements Checklist Outline Storyboard Mock up Used to derive: Examples of: Bid Products Finished Proposal
    9. 9. To create quality products you need clear quality criteria Customer Quality Expectations Bid Product Quality Critera Quality Methods Proposal Validation Plan Winning Proposal
    10. 10. Some pragmatic principles: <ul><li>No bid product should be created unless: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The time to create it is less than time saved later </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It helps to validate a later bid product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The cost of its creation will result in greater post proposal savings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effort used should be commensurate with: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The time and effort available for the pursuit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The importance, value and potential risks involved in the proposal </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. 4. Exercise Start your Validation Plan
    12. 12. List the Bid Products and their quality criteria Here’s an example: <ul><ul><li>Use the template form provided </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete ONLY the first TWO (2) columns </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. You try it! Define the Bid Products and their Quality Criteria for your bid 3 mins Discuss your conclusions 5 mins List the main quality criteria For each bid product: 5 mins List Bid Products used on your bid 2 mins Group Assignments
    14. 14. 5. Quality Methods Why use a nutcracker when a sledgehammer will do? (and might be cheaper and faster) Quality methods should be appropriate to the criteria and situation
    15. 15. Team Reviews are not the only quality method available. <ul><ul><li>A ‘ quality method ’ can be any suitable technique to check that a ‘bid product’ meets the quality criteria set for it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality methods can include: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Checklists </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stress testing (e.g. of a strategy against different scenarios) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inspection (Automated and Manual) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Validation tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Peer review </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>etc, etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many existing reviews could be implemented as checklist based inspections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This allows checking each product as it is completed without a proposal wide ‘pens down’ review </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. At NSN checklists help ‘non-career’ bid managers assure compliance and completeness of PROCESS: 6 checks for proposal preparation steps 9 frequently forgotten but important topics
    17. 17. Checklist inspections can be used for products. ‘Famous’ Quality Methods: <ul><ul><li>Blue Team checklist: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Black Hat Team checklist: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pink Team checklist: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate completeness of win strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test strategy against prospect needs and requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate that the strategy provides a clear advantage over competitors and their approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the competitors’ likely strategies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are competitors’ strengths and weaknesses? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What issue do you ghost? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you become the competitor to beat? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate deployment of Win Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sequence and flow of topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Win Themes consistent and supported by proofs </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Criteria based scoring can be used (especially useful for qualification)
    19. 19. Stress Testing <ul><ul><li>Useful for validating strategies and intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use multiple scenarios: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ In this scenario do we still win?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Is this intelligence still valid?” </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Proposal Scoring tools: <ul><li>Example: Shipley BidBench™ </li></ul>
    21. 21. Checklists are never static: they need to be opportunity specific <ul><li>The test criterion should be: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Is this ‘bid product’ achieving its objectives?” </li></ul>E.g. Does our solution strategy meet the buying criteria? Is a specific discriminator supported by proofs? Generic Quality Expectations Proposal Objectives Specific Quality Criteria Bid Product Quality Method(s) Applied
    22. 22. Checklists are never static: they need to be opportunity specific Generic Quality Expectations Proposal Objectives Specific Quality Criteria Bid Product Quality Method(s) Applied
    23. 23. 6. You try it! List the Quality Methods you’d use to test the criteria you already developed In the same groups as before: 3 mins Record your conclusions on the sheet 5 mins Identify who might apply the method 5 mins Identify the Quality Methods you could use 2 mins Review the Quality Criteria you defined For each bid product in your list:
    24. 24. 7. Putting it all together: <ul><li>We now know: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WHAT will be reviewed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The CRITERIA for the review(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The METHOD for each review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WHO will be the reviewers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If we add: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WHEN the reviews will happen and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RECORD the outcomes of the reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have a complete </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposal Validation Plan </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. It need not be complicated. A single sheet can capture a complete plan
    26. 26. 8. Conclusion <ul><ul><li>Proposal Validation is basic Quality Assurance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The project management world provides a ready made model for this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The techniques are scalable from case to case </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overhead is low as a fraction of total effort </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional benefits: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear traceability maintained from strategy through to final proposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Products can be reviewed as and when they are created </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘running Red Team’ becomes a manageable proposition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A clear audit trail is created through the ‘quality records’ created </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Thank you! For more information: Visit Come and talk to us in the Exhibition area.