Managing your proposal team is more than just setting deadlines and assigning tasks. While those are vital functions to a winning proposal other items such as establishing roles and responsibilities, team selection, and assigning both content and process responsibilities are critical factors in your overall success.
Establishing Roles and Responsibilities
Before team selection is to begin you must first define all roles and responsibilities within your team otherwise your team selection will be a convoluted and ongoing process. Understanding the roles and responsibilities will guide you in your selection process and put the best candidates in the best roles. Depending on the size and complexity of your proposals you may need multiple people to fill a "single" role. Such as multiple project managers who are responsible for the output from individual business units within the company.
Once your roles are set, team selection can begin. Usually you will have an understanding of your team and the roles they will fill but as the proposal builds you may need to adjust responsibilities accordingly. In many occasions your subject matter experts (SMEs) will be some of the most knowledgeable people on staff but they may not be your proposal or project managers as their brilliance lies solely in creating content, not managing people.
Content and Process Responsibilities
Differentiating between content and process will be key when it comes to crunch time and setting proper expectations can make or break your proposal process. Here is a quick example. You assign the engineering spec section to a project manager in a satellite office on the other side of the country. Your expectation is to have the section completed, proofread and formatted correctly when the deadline hits. Their expectation is to have written the content and submit to you for final approval and integration into the proposal. A disaster situation in the 11th hour. Setting the expectations of completing both the content and the process is key.
Update: This article is a repost from 2019.
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