February 2013: Shrinking The "Final" DRFP to Pink Team Timeline By ~2 Weeks: Benchmark
March 1, 2013
Years of experience tells us that one of the very time- and resource-consuming periods in proposal development is getting to the Pink Team review of storyboards/ mockups. Measurably shortening this timeline, while not increasing proposal development risk, yields the obvious benefit of significant B&P cost savings. Accordingly, this article focuses on the "final" DRFP release to Pink Team Review timeline, divided into these two areas: DRFP to Kickoff; and Kickoff to to Pink Team. Depending on the applicable proposal process, the latter may include a Proposal Plan (e.g. PDW) Review.
Benchmarking and analysis results indicate that ~2 work weeks can be avoided during this timeframe which yields ~$75K savings (7.5%) on a $1M B&P budget (alternately a smaller team may be deployed over the original timeframe resulting in similar savings).
DRFP To Proposal Kickoff (Typical 1-2 Week Timeline Shortened To <1 Week)
Ordinary tasks (performed by a relatively small Capture/Proposal Leadership Team) during this period include reviewing the DRFP, shredding it out, preparing the proposal outline, creating initial validated L/M cross-reference matrix, synthesizing and organizing themes, strengths for Writers, preparing for proposal kickoff, etc. My recent experience and DRFP benchmarking indicates that this typical 1-2 week timeline is shortened to <1 week (benchmark actual: 3-1/2 regular work days), using Black Dog Technology LLC innovative processes supported by industry-unique Proposal Navigator® features, including: Shred Document, Integrated Volume/ Outline Management, Integrated References List, Cross-Reference Matrix, and Reverse Matrix validation.
Day 1: After DRFP review, shred, complete outline and initial validated L/M cross-reference matrix (benchmark tests: 4-6 hours for medium complexity RFP)
Day 2: Proposal Architecture Workshop (Capture and Proposal Leadership Team allocate themes, strengths, other items to outline to complete initial Writers' Guides)
Day 3: Prepare for Proposal Kickoff
Day 4: Proposal Kickoff
B&P cost savings for ~$1M proposal budget: ~1 week @ assumed $25K burn rate/ week = $25K (alternately a smaller team may be deployed over the original timeframe resulting in similar savings)
Proposal Kickoff To Pink Team (Typical >2-3 week Timeline Shortened To 1-2 Weeks)
Ordinarily, the now full writing team spends an enormous amount of time and resources during this period getting organized with the information they've received during the proposal kickoff. In my prior experience, I've seen teams spend 2-3 weeks just getting to an initial review of Proposal Plans (e.g. PDWs), let alone getting those to a storyboard/ mockup maturity with solutions. The reason is that the teams spend a lot of time finding the information (usually in many different spreadsheets), and copying and pasting it into proposal plan/ storyboard/ mockup templates. Thereafter, significant effort is spent just verifying that the Writers have copy/ pasted/ inserted the correct requirements/ information into their templates per the direction given during kickoff. Happily, these two huge time and resource sinks can be avoided using the Proposal Navigator® Writers' Guide and Reviewers' Checklist features, which provide this complete, validated Proposal Architecture information to the proposal team in minutes, directly from the relational database system, organized by outline section, and in Word format (if desired).
Day 4: At Kickoff, the proposal team is provided with complete, validated requirements set (Writers' Guides), organized by outline section, and in Word format (if desired) (benchmark tests: several minutes to generate all Writers' Guides for medium complexity RFP)
Day 5 to Pink Team Review: With Writers' Guides in-hand, the writing team starts immediately on solution; avoids requirements copy/ paste, off-track endeavors, needless rework, and further independent requirements validation/ checking.
B&P cost savings for ~$1M proposal budget: ~1 week @ assumed $50K burn rate/ week = $50K (alternately a smaller team may be deployed over the original timeframe resulting in similar savings)