Better RFP Responses & Management
Red Team: Reason for Being

Red Team: Reason for Being

What’s the primary point of Red Team?

Is it to improve the proposal with the superior insight that comes from the elevated status and greater wisdom of seniors, organization-wise?

Is it to harass the proposal team by repeatedly pointing out the same obvious flaw in the document?

Is it to force the proposal team to finish their sections to the stage that they can be reviewed?

I’ll take Door #3, Alex.

In 30 years in this business, I have heard maybe 10 ideas from Red Team that I couldn’t have come up with on my own, given the time to breathe. Ten ideas: risk-management approaches, presentation enhancements, document organization improvements, creative presentation tricks, out-of-the-box ways of looking at questions. Ten.

But if I hadn’t had to get my sections ready for review, I wouldn’t have forced myself to conclusion on a hundred or a thousand times that many items. I wouldn’t have got around to thinking about the document from an outsider’s point of view. I wouldn’t have finished, likely.

Is it really only 10 new ideas from all those Red Teams? Could it be even fewer? Maybe. Could it be a few more? Sure.  Dunno and don’t care, really. Nothing hinges on the exact number: the order-of-magnitude is right. The point is this: Red Teams add the bulk of their value simply by existing as a hurdle for the proposal team. Any truly bright ideas they come up with are a bonus.

That’s good for proposal teams to remember. It’s even better for Red Team to remember it.