Preventing a Disaster When You Have Off-Site Inputters
Russell Smith | April 9, 2018
During the past 33 years, we have worked too many proposals where there was lack of satisfactory participation from off-site inputters. Sometimes the problem is not like a 3-alarm fire, and you can still prepare a successful proposal.
Other times, the problem is more like a 7-alarm fire. This is where the off-site inputters are not under control of the proposal group; they may even be in different divisions; and there are no positive or negative incentives to help obtain good participation. So the schedule slips. And you may even lose the contract due to lack of support from those who have the information.
Solution to the Problem
The only good solution for this problem is to fix it in advance. The division GM obtains buy-in from the leaders of all groups from whom input is needed. And a process is established through which input problems can quickly be fixed.
Any time a company is preparing a proposal where they need remote input, it is a good idea to routinely obtain buy-in from an executive over every group involved in the project.
Let’s assume you find yourself in the position where you are experiencing a worst-case input problem because it was not fixed in advance. One way to save the proposal is to find an executive with the authority to intervene and get their help in requiring the reluctant inputters to participate.
Back in the day, we had a consultant on assignment with MCI, now merged with Verizon, who was experiencing a severe input problem. This consultant was very dedicated to getting the job done. He obtained the input by stepping on every toe in the company until the inputters provided the information. He got the proposal done, but needless to say, he wasn’t invited back to do another assignment.