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Writing Winning Proposals

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Writing Winning Proposals

  1. 1. Writing Winning Proposals
  2. 2. Agenda Proposal Life Cycle Call for Proposals Proposal Development Team Writing Proposals Conceptual Framework Proposal Outline Logical Framework Proposal Budgeting Roadmap for Winning Proposals
  3. 3. Proposal Life Cycle Opportunity: Identification and initial assessment Bid/No Bid: Assess win rate and capacity Risk Assessment: Low/Medium/High Prepare Proposal: Write your response Teaming Selection: Partners and subs Review Proposal: Quality assurance Submit Proposal: Printing, binding, and submission Contract Review: Obligations and rights Debrief Stage: Document lessons learned
  4. 4. Call for Proposals – Pre-writing Thinking Process Do you know what the client wants? Have you attended information sessions? Discuss with others thoughts, questions, ideas, issues related to the client guidelines and the solution requirements Do you know what you want? Do active reading: write notes Highlight relevant points and words or sentences that strike you or trigger a thought (winning themes) What is your organization’s position: can you add value? Where is your comparative advantage as organization that allows you to tab into the right area/program of the call of proposal scope of work/statement?
  5. 5. Proposal Development Team Is there a need for a well-defined structure for a proposal team? Proposal development members can range from few to several persons with complementing roles and functions Focus on clear functions, duties and roles regardless of the number of the proposal team in order to complete the proposal on time and assure compliance
  6. 6. Proposal Development Team Organizational Structure
  7. 7. Proposal Development Team Meetings Initial Kickoff Meeting Proposal calendar Initial teaming/partners Your team will have Competition a strong start to jump in Technical Proposal Kickoff Meeting conceptualizing & writing Evaluation criteria/scoring your proposal Differentiators Personnel Kickoff Meeting Rights candidates Staffing plan Cost Kickoff Meeting Cost strategy/ceiling
  8. 8. Writing Proposals – The Big Picture
  9. 9. Writing Proposals – Conceptual Framework (What | Technical) What is a Conceptual Framework? It is a visual representation of the overall technical approach Why is it a preferred tool to start with? Informs and guides the writers on the technical approach Provides the client with a clear and concise picture Identify & formulate the problem and the opportunity (solution) Craft and draft ideas: formulate your overall objective and sub-objectives (SMART) Solutions drive Activities : how will you accomplish your overall objective/SMART goals? Activities drive Results: Results is the Outcome statement: what will you want to achieve in measurable terms by the end of the project and beyond that?
  10. 10. Writing Proposals – Problem & Solution Identification How to Identify the Problem Scope of work Existing needs Research and statistics What does a solution mean in general terms? Who will benefit (Target Groups) Where it will be implemented and how long (region) How to manage the process (Management Approach) How to maintain the product? How to ensure sustainability
  11. 11. Writing Proposals – Writing Objectives Formulate SMART Objectives: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-bound Specific : What exactly the project will provide Measurable: no of units, number of beneficiaries Achievable: applicable, realistic Relevant: related to the problem and the need, thus achieving the intended results Time-bound: when the change is expected or when the deliverable will be handed
  12. 12. Writing Proposals – Technical Approach Answers the “what you will do”, “ how you will do it” questions Cover all requirements in the scope of work Demonstrate why your approach is advantageous to the client – Cost savings, time savings, sustainability, value adding, innovative, etc. Describe activities and services Ending with results
  13. 13. Writing Proposals – Proposal Outline It provides a framework for the proposal writers to guide them when writing There is an initial outline which is up-dated as we go further in the proposal writing process It helps in making writing assignments to various writers (i.e. distribute writing efforts) Compliance check to the requirements in the RFP Go back to the evaluation criteria under the client guideline and organize your outline according to importance and relevance of evaluation grid Allocate page limits to various sections according to the evaluation criteria By adhering to the evaluation grid, you are making it easier for the evaluator to score the responses
  14. 14. Writing Proposals – Logical Framework (Why | Managerial) Definition An analytical tool used to plan and formulate projects. It derives its name from the logical linkages set out by the planner(s) to connect a project’s means with its ends A basic instrument that facilitates the design, execution, follow-up, and evaluation of actions Need Answers the question: “Why are we doing the things we’re doing”. Helps the project remain focused during implementation Incorporates the full range of views of all stakeholders of a project
  15. 15. Writing Proposals – Logical Framework The structure behind the LFW is a 4X4 matrix Intervention Logic Should address the benefits to beneficiaries Should address the core problem Should relate to the Scope of Work Indicators Measurements used to describe achievements that are leading to fulfilling expected results Help in knowing if what was planned is happening Could be quantitative or qualitative measures Source of Verification: is the information you collect to provide evidence Assumptions: the external conditions to be considered to minimize risks
  16. 16. Proposal Budgeting Why to have a well prepared cost proposal? Cost competitiveness – best value for client An indicator of understanding the project requirements Specialty of resources Level of effort Demonstrate transparency / confidence: through detailed verified budget items
  17. 17. Proposal Budgeting Cost Categories Labor / Consultants Salaries Indirect Rates OH rate: all costs required to make your business operable (rent, utilities, accountants… etc) Fringe benefits: medical insurance, life insurance… etc G&A: board costs such as meetings, marketing Daily Rate Calculation
  18. 18. Roadmap for Winning Proposals – Before RFP Positioning through early intelligence Meeting the client as early as possible Cultivate a relationship Identify potential specialists (Winning Horses) Share success stories / case studies
  19. 19. Roadmap for Winning Proposals – Within the Document Understanding of the client requirements (what the client wants to see) – Conceptual Framework Compliance with RFP requirements (Outline) Demonstrate understanding of the local context (cultural/schedule) Use of ringing bells words e.g. social media Highlight technical and management winning themes (case studies, success stories, excellent team leaders, mobilization) Demonstrate experience (prestigious projects, industry recognition, references, endorsements)
  20. 20. Roadmap for Winning Proposals – Submittal Reviews: assure consistency and quality Review outline to reflect what is required in the RFP Production quality
  21. 21. Roadmap for Winning Proposals – After Submittal Presentation if asked Negotiations Other activities (workshop or public activity that you may invite the client to)
  22. 22. THANK YOU