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How Proposal Status Visibility Drives Team Accountability

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Cheryl Smith



3 min

Proposal managers want visibility into the team for the same reason executives want visibility into the organization: it helps them set expectations, manage resources, hit their deadlines and achieve their business goals.

Do I need to reschedule the review? Should I reassign these tasks? Should I delay production? Visibility into team and task progress, as well as the proposal document status itself, reveals the Intel proposal managers need to identify, weigh and manage issues before they impact the team and the schedule.   

If you’re a proposal manager tired of leading your team by feeling your way around in the dark, it’s time for better visibility that drives better decisions. In this article, we consider how real-time visibility helps managers make the tough day-to-day decisions that save time and lead their teams to success.

Task Status and Review Cycles

As a proposal manager, you have the singular gift of being able to juggle a hundred responsibilities at once, from tasks and milestones to removing process blockers and ensuring everyone on the team is working in sync toward the same goal. On a day-to-day basis, proposal managers face any number of tough decisions. For example, should I delay the proposal review? 

Your reviewers are your gatekeepers: identifying solution or strategy or compliance weaknesses the team may have blinded themselves to during writing. Whether it’s Pink Team or Red Team, first review or third review, the proposal review process delivers a valuable deliverable; a roadmap of feedback and instructions that guide the team during revisions to improve proposal maturity and quality. 

When proposal content isn’t ready, or up to snuff, it’s time to reschedule the review. How do you know? An Operational Dashboard delivers a real-time, reliable view into writing for assessing progress. For example, you can target a “low percentage complete” section and weigh its impact on the review, before you frustrate executive reviewers with blank requirement responses.

Proposal Status and Writing

Effective proposal management involves breaking down high-level goals into smaller tasks that adhere to a deadline. A truly great proposal manager knows that no proposal—big or small—is managed successfully without a regular look at the big picture. That’s why you have reviews, to take a step back and gauge your proposal progress against the deadline. But what about what’s happening during a writing or revision phase?

Proposal writing is a team sport, tasking experts from across your organization to collaborate and bring a compelling and persuasive capture strategy to life in the proposal. Writing as a proposal team, however, presents a challenge; with more minds comes differing ideas and conflicting information. If not diligently monitored, these conflicts cause hairline cracks that can grow and create glaring gaps in your compliance and narrative, making it difficult for evaluators to read and score.

An Operational Dashboard gives proposal managers the big picture intel they need to focus on the bigger questions. For example, if we keep writing at this rate, will we make the deadline? Or, do I need to reassign these tasks to make the next milestone? This big picture view identifies where the proposal is falling short throughout development and ensures the main goal is being addressed each step of the way; submitting a high-quality, stand-out proposal on deadline.

Proposal Status and the Team

The majority of your team has a full-time job, and everyone has conflicting deadlines and shifting priorities. Our brains may be powerful computers, but having too many tasks on our plate means some tasks will inadvertently slip from our minds, get lost in the shuffle or be trampled on by other tasks. For example, what are my tasks and when are they due? 

An Operational Dashboard serves contributing writers and reviewers as well as proposal managers. For example, their tasks are highlighted along with due dates, empowering contributors to take timely action. As tasks move through the process workflow, the Dashboard updates real-time, keeping the team on point with their responsibilities. As the proposal is reviewed, new comments appear on the Dashboard so responsible contributors can track and address them between reviews and before production.

Poor visibility contributes to proposal failure, and could spell financial loss for a business. Proposal visibility for proposal managers and contributors helps everyone on the team work as an accountable partner throughout the process. Together, they save time, bring their A-game, and hit deadlines.


Author picture

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith is our Senior Content Writer. She has additionally been writing and managing proposals since 1998. Shipley trained, she has helped establish proposal centers and advised on capture strategy, coached orals teams and lead marketing, communications and knowledge management programs. Cheryl is a graduate of The George Washington University with degrees in Theatre, Communications and Literature. When she’s not sharing her passion for work, she loves drawing, writing, cooking and exploring the Virginia woodlands with her husband, their dog Chase and the fuzzy guests they host for Rover.

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