How To Incorporate Agile Proposal Management Color Team Review
Proposal management can be expensive, so cost-effective proposal management is a must. One key way to increase effectiveness is to minimize time lost to color team reviews. With the right proposal management approach, highly effective reviews can be done with less schedule impact. Color team reviews are significant milestones in the proposal management process. They are an inconvenient necessity in the world of proposal management. Inconvenient, because they take precious time away from writing. Necessary, because every proposal needs a critical review at certain milestones. Below, we’ve compiled our personal lessons-learned that can help you to minimize lost time due to color team reviews. The arrangement and organization of color teams vary slightly among companies, but regardless of how you apply them, most have Pink/Blue team, Red team, Gold team, Green team, and a final White-Glove team.
So, how can you streamline your color team reviews? Here are some ideas:
- Ditch paper copies – Paper copies have two significant drawbacks. Both steal hours from your writers:
- It is often difficult to read the reviewer’s handwritten notes. Attempts to edit get really messy. It takes time to track down the reviewer if you can’t read the handwriting.
- It takes time for someone to compile everyone’s review into a single master document. Taking time to compile everyone’s review notes keeps the proposal writers waiting. Your writing time is precious; don’t spend it waiting.
- Keep the period between ‘pens down’ to review, to recovery at a minimum. You can do this by:
- Construct your sections so that they can easily be copied and pasted into the master document(s). Agile document collaboration is a must in today’s proposal management process.
- Give your reviewers ample time to review, but also give them a deadline. Many reviewers have operational responsibilities. It is often very effective to go pens down late morning or early afternoon. That provides time to put the master documents together for the review. Send them out before close of business (COB). This works well for many operational managers who prefer to conduct the review in the evening away from their work environment.
- Turn on Track Changes and save the review documents before sending them out. If you don’t, someone will forget to turn on Track Changes.
To shorten the color team review cycle, you should seek a secure proposal management tool. Capture2Proposal (C2P) provides NIST/DFARS compliant tools for effective proposal management and will significantly minimize ’pens down’ time, with industry’s only state-of-the-art Document Merge tool. Here’s a real-life example of how Document Merge made all the difference with one of our customers.
The C2P user went to Red Team with a large proposal that was 87 MB and had 12 reviewers. That is a lot of reviewers. However, the proposal was complex and a ‘must win’ for the company. It can take hours to compile everyone’s comments and edits in a scenario like this. A review of this size puts proposal management to the test. The reviewers’ Red Team documents were loaded into C2P, then it took just slightly over three minutes to merge all the reviews into a single master document. That allows the recovery process to begin much quicker.
A proposal of that size would take about eight hours to compile the reviews. Using Document Merge in C2P, the reviewer’s input was not only ready to be reviewed during the Red Team Out Brief, but it also gave the proposal management team time to make PowerPoint slides of significant findings for the Out Brief.
If you take one thing away from these ideas, know that it is important to maximize writing time on a proposal without compromising effective color team reviews. There are effective proposal management approaches and tools to accomplish this. These include ditching paper copies and minimizing pens downtime using unique tools like Capture2Proposal’s Document Merge.
Proposals and capture cost money. Invest in the right tools to work smarter and win more business.