The race is finally over! You followed your lead, had the best teammates, set an achievable pace, communicated, prepared and trained, fully committed, adjusted, and improved throughout the race – and now it is over! Win or lose, you made it to the finish line. You accomplished your goals. And your fate is in the hands of the evaluators. Now, it is time for Post-Race Recovery Actions!
Recognize the Team
It is not difficult for Capture Managers, Business Development Managers, and the BD Leadership Team to receive recognition for a job well done. The positions in the company that have revenue expectations tied to their successful performance are usually very aware of the value of contracts, win rate, and revenue projections.
While every team member has a part to play, do not overlook those who contributed all they could to the effort. Many times, the Proposal Manager has already moved on to another bid and is often forgotten. The graphic artist who designed the cover to appeal to the customer’s personality, the editor who ensured that every word of the proposal was in alignment with the RFP terminology, and the technical writer who made the mix of technical, business, and sales writers sing in one beautiful unison voice: these are the often forgotten ‘staff’, the under-appreciated.
After a proposal is submitted, you should make certain that the entire Business Development team is recognized by their company for their hard work. For teammates, send an email to the BD Manager or other corporate executive that oversees the personnel who supported your proposal. Make the email personal to individual contributions and express your gratitude to the manager for providing personnel to support the prime contractor’s bid. Do the same within your own company. Your proposal and capture team should be thanked for their continued support to the company’s growth. Now is a good time to relax and recoup before the next race!
Win or lose, it is always good to know how to improve before the next race. Lessons learned should not be a formality – but a tool. Use this tool to unemotionally assess what happened, pros and cons of the process. Identify hurdles that were not expected, and determine improvements for the team to be better prepared for future opportunities. It can be stressful and emotional all the way from capture planning to the proposal process and post-submittal. But take the emotion out of it, and honestly strive to see where improvements can be made. This will help to make the entire process go more smoothly, to better determine status, and to motivate the team to meet the schedule.
Allow all team members to provide inputs, making sure to record their responses. Remember to look for solutions together, as a team. Teamwork is important to get any job completed on time. The point of lessons learned is not to make the Proposal Manager’s job easier – it is to improve the process, remove the pain points, and to win government contracts. Incorporating lessons learned into the process will:
- Reduce stress and reworks
- Ensure team members are trained for upcoming events
- Create better proposals that score higher
- Improve team member participation
- Identify weaknesses that need to be addressed
- Guard against making the same mistakes
- Leverage best practices to conserve time and resources
- Move toward more proposal process improvement and proposal automation
Rest and Reset
BD teams need to rest and reset, especially if this proposal involved long hours at work. We are better able to perform our daily work tasks if we are well-rested and ready to work. It may be an afternoon off or a week’s vacation. Whatever it is, allow team members time to recover. If you have a small team and another bid is underway, then find a way to schedule downtime. This may mean a schedule change or bringing in additional support. In the end, you do not want to let the team get burned out during the proposal process.
This is the 11th in a 12-part series Get More from 24 Hours. This series is based on the eBook Get More From 24 Hours in a Day and Win More Government Contracts, which contains the entire series with additional bonus content and tutorials. The eBook is evolved from a presentation at APMP's International Bid & Proposal Con 2021, given by OneTeam's Product Manager, Donna Hamby. Download your free copy of the eBook.
OneTeam is a complete, secure, cloud-based collaboration platform for GovCons to track, qualify, capture, propose and win more contracts with fewer resources by streamlining and automating processes. OneTeam was designed and developed by a federal government contractor to address the lack of resources and time, as well as the pain associated with winning government contracts.