Behind every successful bid review is a team of individuals that can deliver meaningful feedback, in good time. But how do you select the right people and ensure you get the output you desire?
Irrespective of whether you use an internal bid writer or outsource the task to a dedicated provider, a review may form a necessary part of bid development for your business. After all, it is a useful way to monitor progress and ensure the proposal is on track. Perhaps more importantly though, it is an opportunity to identify and make improvements where needed.
To get the most from this process, a strong team is essential. But who you pick and why is something that needs careful consideration. With a list of suitable reviewers, it can be tempting to onboard as many as possible. But more contributors will not guarantee better results. In fact, rather than offer greater value, too many eyes on the task may actually diminish it.
When working within a team, a reviewer may strive to over-deliver, to justify their position within the group. Instead of evaluating the bid at a macro level, they narrow their focus to semantics and other micro elements. Absorbed in their pursuit, they can overlook and hinder key requirements (such as word count restrictions). Worse still, they may push for fundamental changes close to submission, risking the deadline itself.
That said, these problems are not an inevitable part of the process, they are avoidable with strategic planning.
A strategy to deliver an effective review team
Without quality input, you are unlikely to get quality output, so consider the following criteria to ensure you achieve your bid review objectives:
- Choose participants diligently: For your team to be efficient and provide useful feedback, your selection should be limited to those that can add value. This could include commercial, operations, a designer, director or bid manager, as long as they have a purpose for being there.
- Set individual objectives: It is important that every member of the team understands the scope of the review. With this in mind, allocate each person a set of objectives or responsibilities at the outset, to ensure they remain focused.
- Create a review timetable (and stick to it): A plan is nothing without a schedule to action tasks and organise people, so plot key markers and deadlines. Also, consider adding a buffer period ahead of submission should any last minute changes be required.
- Provide sensible terms of reference: Reviewers should not concern themselves with finer details like grammar and syntax; this is a job for the bid writer. To avoid confusion, clarify and outline their role and its expectations.
By implementing this strategy, you can streamline the review process; overcome challenges and most importantly, put an effective review team in place. Using the feedback gathered from your contributors you can then improve upon and develop a more compelling bid that hopefully, will have a greater chance of success.