What is Wrong with the Proposal Review Process?
Many companies have proposal reviews of different colors. The reviews we'll focus on in this installment are the two most common, Pink and Red Team reviews. The goal of a Pink Team review is to ensure that the structure of the response is appropriate. In other words, the review focuses upon whether the win strategy is sound and whether the proposed technical and management approaches support this strategy.
A Red Team review tries to evaluate the persuasiveness of the proposal, i.e., how well the proposal clearly presents and sells the solution. Red Team reviews are usually undertaken when the proposal is essentially complete; suggested changes are incorporated in previous reviews. Red Teams reviews also try to mimic the customer's evaluation process.
In our view, the energy devoted to Pink and Red Team reviews is often wasted. The processes are, to say the least, frustrating to the proposal's authors. One can imagine it is difficult from the writers' perspective to see their work hacked up by the reviewers.
So, what is wrong with proposal reviews? The following table lists some
suggestions on how to mitigate the waste of energy inherent to the process.
|Pink||Review first draft of proposal sections||Many sections are blank and the document is full of placeholders||Build outline responses faster by:
|Pink||Critique how win strategy is "baked into" the response||Pink Team reviews usually turn into strategy meetings||Ensure your strategy appears in your proposal by:
|Pink||Right-track/wrong-track evaluation||Typos, language, and rewording become the focus||Make your Pink Team work for you by:
|Red||Single-voice conformity||The contributions of each writer is distinguishable from those of the others||Conform your proposal to one style by:
|Red||Evaluate based on customer's criteria||Little focus on customer viewpoint; a scramble is in place to make sure proposal is completed||Mimic the customer's process by:
|Red||Determine how effective the proposal is at selling the product/ approach/ solution||Many minor details are being looked at such as layout, language, formatting. Management wants to introduce major changes||Ensure critique of selling points by:
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