A tender or RFP always has a deadline. A hard date by which the response must be turned in to the inquirer. That deadline is always too tight. Whether you have six weeks or three months at your disposal, the amount of information requested is too much for that time. With good bid planning, you know earlier what is feasible and avoid night work.
10 bid planning tips:
|1.||Make the schedule specific: What documents will you provide? Who answers which question when? What depends on what? When do you deliver the answers?
The more specific the better.
|2.||Time distribution is 33% planning & strategy, 33% answering, and 33% monitoring and improvements. If you have three weeks, that last week is entirely for control.|
|3.||Schedule ample time for control rounds. Engage additional readers during these control rounds. Often the final check slips in. And that while there, new insights emerge, or the last mistakes are ironed out. Only someone who has not been directly involved in the process can do that.|
|4.||Plan all steps hard in everyone’s calendar.|
|5.||Schedule interim updates and consultation sessions immediately. Preferably at a set time during the week. And if you want to do it entirely right, also at a set time on that day.|
|6.||Encourage partial delivery. Often people are inclined to save up all the parts they need to deliver until the deadline. Encourage people to deliver earlier. That way, you can do partial checks and see if the response is moving in the right direction.|
|7.||Formatting deserves its chapter in planning. Whether you work with Microsoft Word or use a specific tool. You’re not the first to start crying because, at 11:25 p.m., a document goes entirely to shit because there’s one more picture to put in.|
|8.||Get a commitment to everyone’s planning. And be keen on people who say they will do their best. Ask through what can come between. This says it’s all about priorities. If you want to win without night work, you need commitment.|
|9.||Create a shadow planning schedule. If you have a few notorious late deliverers on your bid team, take the draconian measure of creating a shadow schedule. This, then is your favorite schedule. The schedule you communicate is at least 15% tighter. Know your paps…|
|10.||Hit the gas at the beginning. Go full throttle if you still have more than enough time. Most people don’t start working hard until the deadline approaches. Apply a lot of pressure at the beginning to keep space at the end. This goes completely against the usual behavior in projects, but you will sleep like a baby. Also, the last few days before the deadline.|
Want to learn more about bids? Below each links to articles: