First things first, we here at Privia hope this finds you well, safe, and continuing to advance your business objectives. It’s been a wild quarter; in response to uncertainties presented by Covid-19, companies sent their employees home to work remotely and they jumped right-in, leveraging what tools they had on hand to connect with their teams and try to keep their business rhythm vital.
While many organizations will embrace this new way of working, many more will recall their employees to the office to continue business as usual. The question is, were things with capture and proposal management ever “business as usual” when it comes to proposal productivity?
Our sources tell us the business of proposals continues at a brisk pace, presenting a quality problem, to be sure, in these uncertain times. So it’s a good time to take a step back, look at how you develop proposals, and reinvent proposal productivity for your in-house as well as your virtual teams.
A More Productive Content Dialogue
Whether you employ writers or rely on your subject matter experts for content, we all know it takes a team to write a winning proposal. There are requirements to consider, win strategies to convey, competition to ghost, and benefits to demonstrate, just to name a few.
Experience shows that the more efficient your proposal process, the more time your team has to focus on the writing that makes your proposal stand-out. The same is true for your content dialogue and collaboration; the more efficiently your team can collaborate on content, the more productive your team and the better the result.
Whether you’re working in-house or remote, email can be a “killer app” when it comes to communicating information to the team. But as much as a “killer app” email is, it is a form of one-way communication. A productive content dialogue is distinct from one-way communication exchanges, such as with email and generic document management, in that it promotes a conversation with a center, rather than from all sides which can lead to confusion. Using email as the way to collaborate on the creation of a document can definitely be a “killer!” A killer of efficiency, that is.
Instead of relying on email, centralize and secure the content and team conversation. Here, writers and subject matter experts write to their tasks, skip version control and serial renumbering issues, and automatically notify the team when they're done.
Bottom line: Skip the email confusion and delays and save time - start promoting your team and content collaboration from the secure center.
Know Who is Working and When They are Done
Whether you’re working in-house or remote, it’s getting harder and harder to catch up on a proposal task status. Business developers are on the road, subject matter experts are on client site, executives have speaking engagements, and proposal managers and their direct teams are often left to an island unto themselves.
Instead of wondering who is working, what they are working on, and when they are done, centralize your task assignments and deadlines with an online proposal specific calendar. An online proposal-specific calendar, accessible from Microsoft Outlook, means teams spend less time searching email, trying to figure out what to work on, and more time working on your proposal. In addition, add any number of proposal process workflows and you’ll recover coordination time with automatic team notifications and alerts that keep the team in sync and on deadline.
Bottom line: Skip the email and embrace Content Management “Notifications” and a centralized Proposal Workspace Calendar to know who is working and when they are done – as well as where and when you need to re-balance resources to avoid bottlenecks that become delays.
Drive More Productive Review Team Feedback
Your review team is your gate keeper; they provide feedback on where the team may have blinded themselves to certain compliant issues and solution or strategy weaknesses. While each review team meeting may have a different focus, and each reviewer a different goal, they all have one thing in common: quality feedback.
It’s rare, however, to find a review team sitting in a room together anymore. But that doesn’t mean you cannot still have a productive review team process.
Instead of emailing out reviews copies, and facing the inevitable confusion, differing opinions, and frustrating merge step, centralize your review feedback loop and save time.
At the center, where your content lives, review teams come together, synchronously or asynchronously, to review documents and graphics, and come to consensus on their feedback. They can even toggle to back and forth between file versions to refresh their memories on previous comments and what happened to them. Meanwhile, when they’re done, the team skips the time-consuming merge document step and jumps right back in to revising.
Bottom line: Productive team reviews boil down to two key factors; version control and consensus. Start reviewing at the center for faster, more productive reviews without the version control issues.
As things improve, things likely won’t be the same as before. In fact, prior to the pandemic, FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics reported: “Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working remotely. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4% of the population.”
Instead of spending time doing more of the same, consider embracing these simple changes and reinvent proposal productivity for you and your team.