Proposal team: the group of people assigned to produce a proposal in response to a specific RFP.
Always overworked; often overwhelmed; frequently underappreciated.
Hahaha. True, but missing a few salient points. Here’s one.
Proposal teams are just like families:
They’re all dysfunctional.
Proposal teams are usually (always, in my experience) ad hoc teams of people lacking established group norms and accepted reporting/supervisory structures. By any reasonable measure, the work of the response is more than can be accomplished in the time available: Creating a functional team is way more than a bridge too far.
As a result, the behaviour that emerges is either the natural behaviour of the individuals or the corporate culture of smaller sub-groups on the team. Is the team task- or status-focused? Welcoming or hostile to new people? Cooperative or snippy? Open to new ways of doing things or entrenched in previous processes? Interested in new approaches or dismissive thereof? Good communicators or idiots?
Oh, sorry, that last was my outside voice.
As a manager, it’s worth some time (preferably between proposals) to identify what dysfunctions your teams are exhibiting and how to minimize their impact. Training? Coaching? Supervision? Threats? Reassignments? Firings?
As a proposal conscript, it’s worth some time (preferably at the start of a proposal) to think about what behaviours you want to model, what contribution you can make and want to make to a happy, healthy, and effective team.
Good teamwork doesn’t fall from Heaven: It’s built, bit by bit, from the ground up. And many hands make light work.