Superbowl Lessons 101
Team Capture2 recognizes that the capture and proposal process is a team sport. As such, we have built tools to enhance one of the most fundamental aspects of the process; communication. There was plenty of it taking place during Super Bowl LIII just as there needs to be for each of your capture and proposal efforts. Take for example the huddle between each play at the Super Bowl. The quarterback wants to make sure that the line knows what he plans to do. Does he need protection to give time for setting up the pass? Or does he need them to create a hole so that he can make the one yard needed for a first down? If the communication is not there, certainly there will not be a Super Bowl ring to carry home.
Communication is no less critical in the world of capture and proposals. Your business development strategy must be relayed to the entire team (aka stakeholders). If not, at some point in the capture and proposal process, you will be in a room and that famous line from Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,” will come to mind. Team Capture2 understands the role of the various stakeholders in the capture and proposal process – the players that need to be part of your Super Bowl huddle. Capture2Proposal (C2P) provides effective tools for them to clearly understand how the next play will unfold.
First on the list is the Business Development (BD) Manager, Director, VP, and alike roles. Think of this person as the quarterback. In the world of BD, he is the one that finds the opportunities, makes contacts with customers and, with the help of the rest of the team, will identify teammates. He is the person that is responsible for the pipeline development and pipeline management. The quarterback needs to know the strengths and weaknesses of the team, something that changes with each new opponent.
Just as every football game has its own dynamics, so does every capture and proposal effort. In the world of Navy ship design, your company may be at the top of the heap, but with the Coast Guard, which uses a different set of standards, someone else knows the game better. The BD Manager must understand these things. This comprehensive understanding is accomplished by communication – communication that he or she must take charge of.
BD is not just the BD Manager’s responsibility. Remember, capture and proposal efforts are a team sport. VPs, Directors, Managers, and individual employees have a responsibility. Those who perform the work have a responsibility to make sure that the BD Manager knows the type of work to look for, customers that make sense and teaming partners that are necessary. They also must participate in preparing BD presentations and writing/reviewing proposals. It’s not enough just to show up and do the work; everyone must be part of winning it. If not, pink penalty markers may litter the playing field. So, just as the quarterback will let his line know that he plans to go down the middle and will need them to create a hole, the BD Manager has to communicate to people who do the work what is needed from them before the ball is hiked (read: the RFP is released).
Contracts is a group that is often left out of the huddle in the early part of the capture and proposal game. That can be a huge mistake. Make sure that your Contracts Manager is aware of the pursuit. They are good at identifying concerns that the rest of us mortals would never think about. Things like:
- Whether you meet all the approved accounting, purchasing, and property management system requirements
- The fact that the contract will require an approved Earned Value Management System that perhaps you don’t have
- The contract will fall under the Davis-Bacon Act and you don’t bid that work
The Proposal Management Team needs to understand early on what work is being pursued. They need to be part of the capture and proposal process from beginning to end. This will require:
- Qualified subject matter experts (SMEs) to write the technical approach
- Make sure the company can support the staffing requirements
- Identify qualified key personnel that can be bid in the proposal
- Vet past performance to support the Section L requirements
So, what does a business development team management huddle look like? It looks like a Gate Review. This is the opportunity for each stakeholder in the capture and proposal process to provide input. In the Big Game, communication is not limited to the huddle. Signals are also passed back and forth. Your capture and proposal team will need to communicate continually.
A company needs the right capture and proposal management tools. Capture2Proposal (C2P) has built this important capability into its features. First, we give you the ability to assign roles so that members of your team have permissions to perform necessary functions. Keeping the team in the loop is the other important part. C2P has designed notifications that go out to the pertinent stakeholders, letting them know when either the Government or a team member has done something with the opportunity. This automatic communication makes pipeline management easier and more effective. Here is an example of the type of notification that we’re talking about:
Keep your entire capture and proposal team informed with timely huddles (Gate Reviews) and signals (Notifications) during the capture lifecycle. Don’t find yourself sitting at the table with your Chief Operating Officer when she/he says, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.