Senior Pursuit Specialist
If you have ever worked on a proposal, chances are you have sent and received various drafts of PDFs. Team members mark up a PDF with red clouds, blue lines and yellow conversation boxes. At some point, the entire pursuit team may even hop on a conference call for a final review. Then, the race against time begins. You have to incorporate all the changes (often conflicting) and schedule a final review before you can produce and deliver the proposal.
This is common practice in our fast-placed industry. Even so, I strongly urge you to add another step to the process. What brilliant new process is this, you ask? I can hear you sigh. Well, it’s not new and it’s not brilliant; but it is effective, reduces late-in-the-game changes, and it’s easy to do…
It’s called a “Pin-Up:”
1. About mid-way through the proposal process, print out the entire proposal (single-sided) including pages that aren’t even begun—fill them with place holders like “insert resumes here”
2. Pin-up the entire proposal; and I do mean “pin” up –avoid glue or tape so you can easily move pages
3. Invite all members of your team to view the pinned-up proposal, and give them colored markers to write their comments directly on the page.
4. Encourage team members to rearrange pages to allow a better flow—as proposal constraints permit.
5. Encourage everyone to express their ideas out loud, so the entire pursuit team can hear and debate them. Sometimes, solid, time-saving decisions are made then and there.
6. Finally, incorporate the changes and repeat the process before printing.
You will be amazed at the ideas that surface during this exercise! The magic happens because the entire team is literally “on the same page,” with the same goal, to share ideas and make decisions together. Good luck!