In this blog, we will look at the steps involved in traditional document creation and how much time and money goes into it. This will give you tangible numbers to gauge if it’s time to switch to a more efficient system.
1) Kick Off Meetings and Scheduling
A typical Documentation Process starts off with a preliminary Kick off Meeting – for assigning of roles, discussions with different departments and external Consultants on schedules, and approach and the basic vision of the Proposal. You’re looking at a time frame of about 5-6 days to get the teams together to draw up a detailed structure and plan and to get the teams to adjust their schedules to fit in the work on the proposal.
XaitPorter: You don’t have to get the whole team in one location to get dates and required info in place. Working as Virtual Teams is a walk in the park with XaitPorter. Ready templates also give a definite structure to how the proposal should eventually look like, reducing time spent.
2) Template Creation
Now Template Creation is something else that will take up quite a bit of your time. Sure, you can throw in all the info on to a WORD doc – it’s the meat that matters and not the presentation after all. Well, hate to correct you but that’s just not true. The right presentation and structure really do matter, so you’re going to have your Graphics Team and your Project Manager on the task of creating and finalizing a template and sorting out the skeleton structure of the proposal. 3 days easily.
XaitPorter: Ready-made templates on XaitPorter. You have no idea how much you save when you eliminate the need for a graphics team to be working on your template. Time and money saved with XaitPorter.
3) People Resources
Writing up a proposal isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Even if you have a few writers that you use regularly, you need to find out if they are suited to the particular task in hand? Is their skill level, area of expertise and quality suitable for this proposal? Can you get some writers out of the database who are best suited for this job or would you have to look for new ones? Selection and assigning does take time. Then there are the editors too. 2 days, maybe?
XaitPorter: Pull out info on time tested writers and editors on the database based system of XaitPorter in a jiffy; Indexing gives you a more specified search capability so you don’t have to sift through all of them.
So once the Research is done, the material is collated from various department heads, the writing completed, and the initial draft approved by the Project Manager, the Editors get to work hacking out inconsistencies; identifying Serious Risks/Weaknesses in strategy; checking the completeness of the draft, adherence to RFP compliance and cohesiveness of the content. Once the changes are made, back it goes to the Project Manager and the Team Leads. They make further changes if need be and send it back to the Editors. Let’s give it 5-6 days.
XaitPorter: The Editors don’t have to wait till the entire draft is composed to start on the Editing; XaitPorter allows them to start off on the process as the different sections get completed.
Now to the Subject Matter experts and External Consultants. Non availability and inevitable delays will throw the schedule haywire. In a perfect world, this step would take 2-3 days.
XaitPorter: Experts can start off on checking their designated sections as they get completed; they don’t have to wait till the entire draft is composed.
Getting all those stubborn tables to sit straight, composing the images and graphs, adjusting the Table of contents, checking the bulleting and numbering. Ask a DTP expert, it’s a pain. And you can be sure they are going to charge you for every one of those painful moments.
XaitPorter: Automatic Formatting, bulleting, table of contents.
7) Approvals and Finalization
Back to the Project Manager, and again back to Editors and Writers if need be. IF the Project Manager gives the go ahead the finalized draft goes to the Proposal Board for Review and Approvals. Red Tape takes a while to cut through. If the pricing etc. isn’t approved, then it’s back to the PM, then back to the Pricing Team and back. 1-2 days hopefully. After all approvals are sought, PM finally verifies scope, theme, structure and checks overall suitability of the proposal.
XaitPorter: Master Content Management in XaitPorter gives the Project Manager and the Board members access and control over the entire process so approvals can be sought much earlier.