November 2012: Proposal Navigator® Enables Late Start to Delivery Ready in 9 Weeks

Using Proposal Navigator® (pat. pend.), I’ve recently managed a quick-reaction development of a complex multi-$100M proposal. It contained multiple volumes with multiple attachments, resulting in over 200 master proposal outline entries. Its nine RFP required cross-references, including IMP/IMS, yielded more than 20,000 cross-reference matrix entries. Because the cross-reference matrix automation alone achieves significant workload reduction, no additional effort beyond my daily proposal manager work scope was necessary to load and maintain the system database.

After shredding L and M into the Proposal Navigator® database and generating the initial proposal architecture (e.g. outline and cross-reference matrix), we auto-generated the draft proposal documents by outline section directly into the desired proposal word template. Each draft document included applicable cross-reference paragraphs, titles and text, so the writers could start immediately—in the right direction—without need for manually copying/ pasting this information from RFP documents.

Through several Proposal Architecture Workshops, the proposal architecture matured with internal (i.e. “blue”) cross-references including past performance, discriminators, risks, win themes, strengths, etc. We continually updated and redistributed the Writers’ Guides, focusing the writers’ efforts to the leadership team’s direction while reducing rework of off-track endeavors.

For the formal reviews, we generated Reviewers’ Checklists which are organized identically to the Writers’ Guides, i.e. by section and containing both “green” (compliance) and internal “blue” cross-references. This approach greatly simplified the reviewers’ task because all review information is integrated into a single checklist document, driven off of the master proposal outline and cross-reference matrix. It also provided a “closed-loop” check of what should be in the proposal documents and where, because both the writers and reviewers were working off of identical information sets.

In preparing the final proposal documents, the over 100-page cross-reference matrix took all of several minutes to produce in its entirety from its home within the Proposal Navigator® database…with no further checks for human errors or typos needed.

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