What is the Top-Level Purpose of Capture?

  |  June 12, 2019

John Capewell

In this article I look at the top-level purpose of the Capture Process. Is it to perform Cheerleader and team building activity for favored opportunities, or is it to be the devil’s advocate to protect B&P from bids with low pWin that are not improvable? Or possibly some blend of both?

One end of the approach spectrum makes friends in high places, the other… not so much. Admittedly, both have their good and bad points.

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen the fair-haired capture lead, perform magic at Gate briefings with perfect grooming, incredibly potent sound bites and graphics that serve to make everyone at the table feel great. But the opportunity really never had a chance.

With a 3-year-long streak, 100% win rate in my product line, all awarded on initial submissions, without clarifications – I was asked to be more like the Cheerleader flavor of the week.

I came THIS close to responding with – OH, you want me to lose more and cost more doing it? But sitting in a room with 12 members of the Leadership Team, my backbone choose to flee the scene.

And, the worst part is, that because they did such a good job of blowing smoke and making friends, everyone forgave the losses and with a hearty pat on the back said – we’ll get them next time.

But, is that the purpose of Capture? Are we supposed to wire all Gates open with rhetoric or Closed with real, factual data? Or maybe a healthy balance of the two?

Give it some thought. Devil’s advocacy wins work, keeps win rate high, lowers B&P costs, and shortens your career if you drive forward like a machine (Exec’s don’t like being told they can’t bid their pet projects).

Cheerleaders get the glory…dammit!

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