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

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

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