Better RFP Responses & Management
Term: Rules of Engagement

Term: Rules of Engagement

The expected behaviours within a proposal team setting or meeting; for example:

  • Limiting the scope of a review (for example, “Don’t check spelling; review the content.”)
  • Defining the style of allowable personal interactions (for example, “No yelling. Well, except at Joe.”)
  • Establishing rules for version control

Acronymized as ROE; pronounced by spelling it out. R-O-E.

Comes from military usage, in which application it defines how a fighting force may “contact” the enemy (that is, whether lethal force may be used). Note that proposal ROE never extend to lethal force, although it is often tempting.


  1. Jim Taylor

    Are the ROE formally stated? Or taken for granted (until someone violates them, usually)? And I wonder what would happen if ROE were written into marriage vows.
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – <> Sometimes – but verging on rarely, in my experience. The folks most likely to make them explicit seem to be those with what I call an operational background: Those who have been responsible for managing teams/crowds of employees to deliver something and to manage the associated budget. The least likely? People with sales/marketing backgrounds. As for working them into marriage vows (or even the thinking thereon): It couldn’t hurt. A wise old friend used to say that the things that tripped-up couples weren’t the things they thought to discuss (children yes or no, for example) but the things they took for granted (Of course we have [every!] Sunday dinner at my parents’ house.).

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