27 Feb How to save time and be more effective in your bid process
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
– J.R.R Tolkein, The Fellowship of the Ring.
And, therein lies the rub. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. There is such a huge swathe of helpful (and some, not so helpful) resources around time management, productivity and smart working. We spend our waking hours dealing with multiple deadlines, complex business models and the hopes and dreams of our clients who put their all into winning tenders. Over that time, we have assembled some of our own top tips and pointers specific to managing time effectively in a bid environment.
First, select your opportunities wisely – see our to bid or not blog for a full breakdown of how to make sure you are spending quality time on the most fruitful opportunities. Once you have fine-tuned tender selection to suit your own circumstances, apply the following strategies to power up your tender success.
- Engage relevant team members early on to get full buy in. Players focus on the wins and the losses. Builders focus on the team and future of the vision. Encourage the team to be builders
- Allocate responsibility accordingly to expertise, time and availability of your team
- Invite Senior Management in on these conversations and planning sessions, so they can input right up front. If you don’t, you may end up spending time rewriting and unpicking the first few drafts
- Set out a clear Bid Plan so everyone knows what to do and by when, integrating the key dates set by the client. For example, Questions and Clarifications usually close a week or so before the deadline
- Call for a ‘Kick Off’ meeting face to face or remotely. This will set the tone and help to cement the buy in needed to meaningfully discuss key messages, themes and ideas upfront before the bid-writing commences
- Build and maintain a good library of core documents, information and data to form key pieces of information. Make them easy to find and shareable as appropriate as you plan your bid response
- Appoint a central coordinator/bid manager so all content is controlled, reviewed and finalised by them. This is essential for meeting the deadlines, ensuring consistency and making sure all documentation speaks with one voice
- When reviewing bids, share the evaluation criteria with each reviewer so they are basing their review on actual requirements and not their own Collate all feedback and then implement changes as some may be the same. This will save you time by not having to make changes backwards and forwards
- Give yourself time to plan and research your response against your client’s Based on experience, you may feel you have the perfect solution but is it perfect for this client and their unique culture and needs?
Following these tips won’t make you a wizard, or the leader of the Fellowship of the Ring, but they will help you to calmly and efficiently manage your tender process with time to spare.