Better RFP Responses & Management
Two Things

Two Things

To do great and important tasks,
two things are necessary:
a plan and not quite enough time.
Wish I’d Said That, John Robson Online

Hahaha, eh? Every proposal team knows about the “not quite enough time” part. Not every team seems to know about the “plan” part.

Sorry. Had to do it.

Yes, in addition to not-quite-enough time, you also need da plan. Something like this:

  • Scope the work of responding to the RFP.
  • Schedule the work.
  • Assign resources.
  • Assign more resources, including technically conversant people who can supervise/support the work of others but not do any writing themselves. (This step is often missed).
  • Reduce the work by simplifying/standardizing the response before anyone starts writing. (This step is almost always missed.)
  • Go forth and do great and important tasks without damaging any staff.



  1. Jim Taylor

    Now I feel incompetent, or perhaps just guilty — I have never followed the steps you outline above. At least, not in any formal way. But I think perhaps you’re assuming a team working together, and I have more usually been a solo working alone. So I may have done some or all of those steps as a mental exercise.
    As a solo operation, though, some of “da plan” emerges in the process. When I discover that a hidden bolt somewhere inside the entabulator requires a socket wrench I don’t have. That this task requires some understanding of Ugaritic grammar. That the recipe calls for tarragon….
    Oops. Interrupt the project flow and remedy the flaw. Then proceed.

    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – Yes, I *am* assuming a team or, at least, a couple. Not a solo effort, in any case. Even with a plan there are lots of “What? We need tarragon?” moments. Without one, the fun never stops.

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