Clear Thinking

Learn how to improve your proposals and win more business.

 

Pre-building content

 December 19, 2017
by Paul Heron

Nearly every RFP seeks details of the bidders’ relevant project experience and proposed team resumes.

Both project experience and resumes should be customized for each prospect. Despite this, there’s a lot you can do to get project sheets and team resumes ready for the next RFP.

NOTE: This post is intended mainly for internal bid teams. Consortiums responding to RFQs for large infrastructure projects typically create custom project sheets and resumes for maximum alignment, responsiveness and positioning. If you participate in RFQs as part of a consortium or joint venture, please see an earlier set of posts beginning with RFQ Basics

Challenges in presenting project sheets and resumes

Inserting several project description pages or team resumes into the narrative can bog down evaluators. These pages also eat up precious space in page-limited responses.

There’s another issue with inserting project pages and resumes. Often, they contain more detail than the evaluator needs for scoring, detracting from message clarity.   

So how do you avoid having to create fresh project pages and resumes for each opportunity? We recommend a two-step approach.

1. Pre-build pages to include in an appendix

Using standard templates, develop project descriptions and key person resumes outside the pressure of an impending deadline. Store these in a content library.

A two-column format works well in both cases. Use the left column for labels and right for details. Figure 1. shows a project sheet example.

Figure 1 Develop a Standard Project Description Format: Use two columns and create a placeholder for an optional opportunity-specific message
  • For project pages, include a photo and a short overview paragraph, and then identify key features and capabilities. Include optional placeholder text for a one-sentence statement that delivers the experience/capability selling points for this project.
  • For resumes, follow the guidelines in this earlier post.

These can be included with minimal editing in a proposal appendix (which are generally not included in the page limitation).   

2. Include summaries in your narrative

Always respond to all RFP requirements in the proposal narrative. Don’t simply refer evaluators to an appendix, because some won’t make the effort to find it. Instead include highlights of each resume and project. There are two common ways to do this:

In every case, be sure to also reference the supporting appendix detail.

 

Looking for ways to work smart and win more?

Contact Complex2Clear

 

Photo credit


Paul Heron, MBA, is the founder and managing partner of Complex2Clear, and leads our bid response practice. LinkedIn 

 

 


  

 

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