Just-in-time (JIT) learning is a key success factor for RFP responses. As I have noted elsewhere, just-in-time learning is priceless, helping us avoid the trudgery of learning endless fundamentals, seemingly without purpose, while also dodging the smack upside the head that comes from not knowing something you really should already have known.
So – how does it apply on bids?
For proposal or bid managers, think about your team – How experienced are they? What will they need to know, and when? How can your schedule and processes push the right information at the right time? Don’t assume everyone already knows what they’re doing, and what you expect. The “shared assumptions/expectations” model that characterizes long-standing teams has little or no place on proposal efforts.
For proposal team members, think about your own needs – Has anyone explained the schedule, laid out the expectations, identified the key pressure points? Don’t assume that training will magically appear. The “training as an investment” model that characterizes (most?) successful companies has, regrettably, little counterpart on RFP responses. With people drawn from across several divisions or departments, and with a higher-than-average proportion of contract workers, RFP responses do not seem to warrant training, and yet few activities could use it more.