In previous blogs, we’ve touted the importance of establishing tools and systems, including a must-have Proposal Content Library, to help your proposal department run more efficiently.
But proposal departments are consistently busy. How do we find time to stay organized? While it may be challenging, especially with an overload of concurrent deadlines and multiple 500-hour proposals, spending one to two hours now will save significant time and resources in the future.
Avoid spending hours searching hundreds of files and parsing through old information.
You want to maximize efficiency with previously created organizational charts, project descriptions, resumes, and management plan narratives. But you also want to avoid spending hours searching hundreds of files and parsing through old information. How do you make sure that the new content developed or data collected is not only fully captured in the centralized proposal repository, but is also readily available for future proposal teams to use? Follow these tips to build, update, and maintain your collection.
1. Develop a system to track the items that need to be filed post proposal completion.
Often during the proposal process, we learn of new data that should be captured in the library, but we’re in the middle of fast approaching proposal deadlines. Key data to capture could include updated project completion dates, self-performance percentages and scope, past performance ratings, new strategic or tailored content, or customer hot buttons. One solution is to save documents and notes in a shared folder titled “File Me”. Once the proposal has been submitted, we go through the documents and notes, and log the data or save the narratives in the content library. The goal is to ensure valuable information gets filed and that it is well organized and easy to locate for future use.
2. Assign Accountability and Apply Deadlines for Cataloguing and Archiving in the Proposal Closeout Process.
An important part of our process is the assignment of accountability for collecting and curating content and data. The assigned Proposal Lead is the best person to fill this role and ensure that all new data is filed and old data is appropriately archived. Establishing this process and accountability as a standard part of the proposal process ensures the library’s growth into an invaluable resource for the proposal team.
Following proposal turnover, the Proposal Lead takes time to break down the proposal components and catalogue each written piece and graphic in the appropriate folder in the content repository, depending on whether it is related to Resumes, Project Descriptions, Quality Control, Time and Cost Controls, Design-Build Coordination, Healthcare Construction, etc. Outdated versions of the newly updated content should be archived. Keep the folder structure clean and organized to allow easy navigation.