When review team feedback is in conflict or non-compliant, a “hot wash,” or debrief, provides the proposal manager with an opportunity to evaluate, clarify, and prioritize exactly what is incorporated into your proposal before the team takes action. Unfortunately, this takes time. How do you balance the benefits of “hot washing” on a tight proposal schedule? Here are three ways to “hot wash” your next proposal review in record time.
Skip the Review Document “Merge” Step
A typical “hot wash” begins with two categories; what went well and areas for improvement. In other words, what did the reviewers like and want to strengthen vs. what they didn’t like and how to correct it. Here’s the challenge; four people review but before you prioritize feedback and begin revisions, first you have to “merge” the review documents.
When you centralize your review process, you automatically centralize reviewer feedback into a single document. That means you skip the time-consuming “merge” step and eliminate any version control issues. Centralizing also means the proposal manager has greater control over the review process. For example, they can can sort and filter feedback and quickly ferret out unhelpful comments, like “this is weak." Or clarify feedback like “this needs more.”
The result is a more focused, quality revision that keeps your team on schedule.
Arbitrate and Prioritize Feedback
Email out four review copies, and the odds are you’ll receive three copies back. The odds are also that two reviewers will have conflicting feedback. Perhaps they disagree on how to strengthen an important point in the Executive Summary, or worse, they disagree on a point of compliance or solution. This leaves the team asking, “What do I do now?”
Proposal reviews are all about consensus; identifying and agreeing on what needs to be fixed and what needs to be strengthened in the proposal. When feedback conflicts, the team struggles with how, or if, to incorporate. As a proposal that most likely means endless revisions that cost the team time.
In addition to eliminating the “merge” step, centralizing your review process also aids the “hot wash” or prioritizing process. For example, you can sort review feedback by subject or location to quickly identify where the conflicts are, reject feedback that is out of compliance, and eliminate any confusion among the team before the next revision begins.
Not all Review Feedback is Created Equal
Proposal reviews are an essential proposal management tool, but not all review feedback is created equal. For example, learning a requirement response is “weak” is good to know, but what action should be taken to correct it? When you “hot wash” and sort and filter review feedback you can also clarify instructions for incorporating into the next revision cycle.
For example, one reviewer might focus feedback on win strategy while another reviewer focuses on how evaluators score your proposal. If you’re early in the review stage, you can easily prioritize feedback on win themes and discriminators. But if you’re late in the reviewing stage, and time is short, you can prioritize feedback on compliance and scoring, tasks that would otherwise negatively impact your submission.
Whether you call it a “hot wash” or a debrief, post-review is a crossroad for your team. Evaluating review feedback before revisions begin will save time, avoid endless revision cycles, and better focus your team’s time on strengthening your proposal for the win.
Are you ready for a faster, more productive way to review that cuts your review time in half?