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Effective Management of Large Proposals


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This presentation clarifies the roles of decision-makers in large proposals to government agencies.

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Effective Management of Large Proposals

  1. 1. Waste Management 2010 Session 83 March 11, 2010 Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities of the Top 5 “Key Personnel” in Major Proposals By Jim Janis
  2. 2. Summary <ul><li>The five “key personnel” in any major proposal project are the: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive manager – Senior executive decision-maker of bidding company(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capture manager – Senior business development representative of bidding company(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed Project/ Program manager – most important key person bid on the proposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposal Manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Red team chair – and the other review team members </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Summary (cont.) <ul><li>These five people usually act as managers of teams rather than as single individuals, and that is how I will describe them for the rest of this briefing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capture team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key personnel team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposal team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review team </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Usual relationship of teams Executive team Capture team Proposal team Key personnel team Review team
  5. 5. 1. Executive team <ul><li>The Executive team consists of the senior management of the company(s) submitting the proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Their final decisions are usually required on the proposed Project/Program manager, other key personnel, proposal budget, fee proposed, contract terms, and risk elements such as target cost, fixed price, etc. </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2. Capture team <ul><li>For major proposals, the Capture team consists of the business development manager(s) of the company(s) forming the bid team – or their direct representatives </li></ul><ul><li>The Capture team chair is the representative of the lead or majority company </li></ul>
  7. 7. Capture team (cont.) <ul><li>The Capture team is the day-to-day decision maker on strategy, key personnel, budget, target cost, fee, and proposal management </li></ul><ul><li>If there are orals, the Capture team selects the orals coaches and manages the orals process </li></ul>
  8. 8. Capture team (cont.) <ul><li>The Capture team’s decisions on major items are often reviewed by the Executive team – this varies by company </li></ul><ul><li>The Capture team chair approves all questions submitted to the customer during the proposal process and manages any discussions with the customer that may occur after the proposal is submitted </li></ul>
  9. 9. Capture team (cont.) <ul><li>The authorities of the Capture team derive from the Executive team – and sometimes from the Boards of Directors of the team members </li></ul><ul><li>There is much variability in the degree of authority granted to the Capture team – it depends on company policy </li></ul>
  10. 10. 3. Key personnel team <ul><li>This team includes all of the people being bid in key positions </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally, the Key personnel team is identified early in the proposal process and is available throughout the preparation of the technical and cost proposals </li></ul><ul><li>It doesn’t always work out that way </li></ul>
  11. 11. Key personnel team (cont.) <ul><li>There are two schools of thought as to the level of involvement of the Key personnel team on very large proposals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One school says very little, except in a review capacity and to lend their expertise to the Proposal team as required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The other school says that the Key personnel should be fully in charge of major proposals, make all major decisions, and write the technical proposal themselves </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Key personnel team (cont.) <ul><li>My preference is somewhere in between these two extremes – although I have worked on winning proposals under both conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the personalities and experience of the Key personnel, I like to involve them directly in proposal preparation and key decisions – it usually results in a better proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Involving the proposed Program Manager early in developing the proposal increases his/her ownership of the proposal and this helps greatly in orals </li></ul>
  13. 13. 4. Proposal team <ul><li>The Proposal team is lead by the Proposal manager, who may be a company employee or a consultant </li></ul><ul><li>The Proposal team creates the written technical and cost proposals, including text, graphics, final proposal, etc. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Proposal team (cont.) <ul><li>The Proposal team takes its direction from the Capture team, with input from the Key personnel team as discussed above </li></ul><ul><li>The authorities of the Proposal manager and the Proposal team derive from the Capture team and vary greatly depending on the company(s) involved </li></ul>
  15. 15. Proposal team (cont.) <ul><li>Technical and cost proposals are often prepared by different teams because of the different knowledge and skills required </li></ul>
  16. 16. Proposal team (cont.) <ul><li>It is very important, however, to ensure that the technical and cost proposals are well integrated, along with the overall project schedule </li></ul><ul><li>The overall Proposal manager , under the direction of the Capture team chair , is generally responsible for ensuring the integration of the technical and cost proposals </li></ul>
  17. 17. Proposal team (cont.) <ul><li>If there are orals, the Proposal team works closely with the orals coaches and Key personnel team in creating any slides or other materials needed for the orals </li></ul>
  18. 18. 5. Review team(s) <ul><li>There are sometimes as many review teams as there are colors in the rainbow </li></ul><ul><li>Most important are the Red team review of the technical proposal and the Green team review of the cost proposal </li></ul>
  19. 19. Review team(s) <ul><li>If the tasks required by the RFP are technically complex, have a Pink Team review of the outlined technical approach </li></ul><ul><li>This gives ample time to thoughtfully alter or refine the proposal team's final approach </li></ul>
  20. 20. What happens if we ignore the Red Team’s comments?
  21. 21. Why do you need 5 teams? <ul><li>Sometimes you don’t…but it is important to understand roles and responsibilities in all proposals </li></ul><ul><li>For smaller proposals, several of the five teams could be collapsed into a smaller number </li></ul><ul><li>For example, the Key personnel team, the Capture team, and the Proposal team might all be the same people </li></ul>
  22. 22. Why do you need 5 teams? (cont.) <ul><li>For many proposals, the Review team and the Executive team will overlap in membership – this is a positive thing </li></ul>
  23. 23. Why do you need 5 teams? (cont.) <ul><li>It is never a good idea, however, to overlap the Proposal team and the Review team, since independent reviews are one of the keys to successful proposal management </li></ul>
  24. 24. Conclusion <ul><li>Major proposals are usually very costly and time-consuming </li></ul><ul><li>To help ensure success, it is important to understand the roles responsibilities and authorities of the responsible “key personnel” </li></ul><ul><li>Having a clear understanding up front as to who does what and who decides what will reduce stress and cost, and contribute to … </li></ul>
  25. 25. Winning!
  26. 26. Contact Information <ul><li>Jim Janis </li></ul><ul><li>The Janis Group, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>and Janis-Bradburne Executive Recruiting LLC </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web Site: </li></ul><ul><li>Office: 505-438-3080 </li></ul><ul><li>Cell: 505-690-3243 </li></ul><ul><li>PO Box 749 </li></ul><ul><li>Cerrillos, New Mexico 87010 USA </li></ul>
  27. 27. Cerrillos, New Mexico