November 2014: The Problem With No Page Limit Is….No Page Limit
I often say in person, and also in previous postings in this forum, that a proposal must be approached as a packaging challenge. That is, stuffing the proverbial 10 pounds of material into a 5-pound sack. So, you get an RFP with an attachment (e.g. a draft CDRL) which has no page limitation…high five ? nope. As you may have noticed, authors tend to write more, not less, when page limitation is not an issue--because it is easier (Mark Twain once said….“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”). So, what are the drawbacks of no page limit? Many fronts, unfortunately. The end result probably does not have significantly more real content or messaging, but the prose is very likely to be less concise than it would be under page restrictions. Because more words are ultimately written, there is:
More to review and comment on (more time)…repeating for each review
More to rewrite (more time)…repeating for each review
More for evaluator to read (more time, possibly annoying, and probably more difficult to find the strengths in the more, but less concise, prose)
The solution is to determine a succinct outline and a reasonable “soft” page limitation for the attachment that the writer adheres to throughout the proposal development process. This approach addresses each of the drawbacks above, and most importantly presents an easier to digest product for the evaluator. This innovative process and Proposal Navigator® tool efficiencies add productive work days to your constrained proposal development timelines. Contact us for your capture/proposal support needs or to arrange your Proposal Navigator® system capability demonstration. 2014 pricing is $25,000 annual subscription (unlimited use) per proposal center site.
The Proposal Team's Mission
Synthesize and package the capture team’s vision into a compliant, convincing and compelling offering whose selection can be successfully defended ... without breaking the pursuit budget “bank”...