9 Common Startup Problems in Proposal Development

  |  March 6, 2018

Gary Everett

There are many management issues that cause proposal development to get off on the wrong foot and the project is behind before it even starts. Some of these problems are as follows:

1. Delay in filling writing positions on the required work schedule causes missed deadlines, long hours, and work mistakes.

2. Failure to use a proven, repeatable proposal development processes that provide efficiency of effort and reduces mistakes and omissions. Rather, a free-form approach is used instead that causes duplication, lack of understanding and schedule slippages.

3. Writers do not write in one voice which portrays disorganization and causes evaluator confusion. This leads to re-writes, and progress delays.

4. Writers miss schedule dates reducing the time available for effective planning, section design, and review.

5. Development of proposal sections is inefficient because there are not enough up-front reviews, and meaningful improvement plans are not identified.

6. The team fails to develop and distribute a good set of provable win themes early on, and this causes writers to weakly cover proposal strengths in their sections.

7. Style guides and key term definitions are not given to writers at the time of their section assignment, thus work has to be edited for consistency and conformance to RFP specifications.

8. Clarification of solicitation document requirements is not done, and best guess assumptions are made that may cause proposal discrepancies.

9. Management fails to provide objective critiques of technical responses from engineers, and this may lead to proposal solutions that don’t fit client needs.

OCI training provides insight into management techniques that will help avoid problems such as those mentioned above.

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