Striking a Balance Between Proposal Process & Content Leadership Proposal Managers and boxing coaches have something in common: if you want to be in the champ’s corner, you have to be able to assess who you’re working with, create a plan to remedy their weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths, and then do whatever’s necessary Read More
I am working on the new material for my upcoming free webinar on June 3, 2013, on the subject of Top 10 Proposal Management Challenges and How to Overcome Them, and am looking for your feedback. I have my idea as to what these are from my observations – but would love to hear from Read More
With all the stress throughout the year, even when success is in the air,
It’s nice to take a break, and relax without a care.
So, take some time to clear your mind of burdens and pollution,
With a warm Happy Holidays from OST Global Solutions
It seems that the tides have turned in the Government contracting world firmly in the direction of IDIQs and GSA/VA schedules. If you are the Government, it is hard to imagine why it would not be the case. Instead of a lengthy 12-18 months procurement process, the Government can award a contract in two to four months, reducing risk of protest. In addition, the budget approval and end of the fiscal year window shrinking, it is hard to imagine that anything will change any time soon.
We are holding a free 3-hour morning seminar on December 13, 2011 on the finer points of what it takes to win task orders, hosted by OST and Prince William Chamber of Commerce. This educational seminar is for business owners to learn the keys to success in today’s government contracting world, and for those in charge of winning Task Orders and would like to become a number one contractor on each IDIQ you hold. It covers the techniques on how get all the business that you possibly could, and to dominate the competition, regardless of whether you are a sub or a prime.
Just a last minute reminder, we will be having our last class of the year, “Capture Management: How to Position to Win Before an RFP Issuance”, on December 8th and 9th.
I am in foggy San Jose in Silicon Valley, teaching a course for Stevens at NASA Ames. It is an intense, inquisitive, and exceedingly bright group of students. Some of their questions got me to remember some truths in the proposal profession that I began to take for granted – so I am sharing them with you after quickly jotting them down at 4 am (I am still on the East Coast time).
OST has some exciting new initiatives coming up in 2012. Among them is a complete revamp of our training program. We are splitting many of our classes into core and advanced courses. This is your last chance to take our classes the way they are now – with all the advanced methodologies blended with core techniques. This is the last time we will offer our highly acclaimed cost strategy for proposal managers, proposal management, and capture management classes the way they were originally designed.
Confidently compete against any government contractors, including the top five. In our two-day training Capture Management: How to Position to Win Before an RFP Issuance on December 8-9 you will master basic and advanced techniques for customer engagement, intelligence gathering, win strategy development, competitive analysis, teaming, proposal solution development, price to win, and more.
Get to the top evaluation scores by applying OST’s lean and highly effective proposal management process. Our two-day seminar Proposal Management: How to Write Less and Win More training on December 6-7 provides exact “how to” techniques for bid-no-bid decisions, RFP analysis, proposal planning, building and managing proposal teams, developing proposal section content, persuasion, brainstorming, graphics, editing, proposal reviews, debriefs, lessons learned, and more.
Picture a daunted proposal evaluator who has yours and a pile of other proposals to read. Visualize hundreds of pages of boring technical text with sparse graphics, until lines turn into ants running through a page. What will this evaluator remember about your proposal by the time he or she reads the next proposal, and the next?
I often get this question: “What to do when you have no time for capture?” These situations happen more often than we prefer: our management tells us we have to bid on something, NOW; or we are in a situation like a fast and furious task order environment and the window of communication with the Read More
We at OST are getting the year started in high gear by releasing our training schedule for the next three months that includes some of our most popular classes on capture and proposal management, and also brand new programs: Cost Strategy for Proposal Managers, How to Develop and Coach Winning Oral Proposals, How to Win Multiple Award and Task Order Proposals, and a webinar series for those who consider proposal consulting or those who are already consulting and are looking to make their jobs less stressful, increase their revenues, and get better clients.
Would you rather listen to this article? Here it is Proposal Lessons from an Aerial Forest Adventure Park, read by Olessia. A week ago I invited a very fit and adventurous girlfriend of mine (whom my husband says reminds him of Angelina Jolie) to join me in climbing in the largest aerial forest adventure park Read More
This capture training course covers six steps of OST’s lean but highly effective Capture Process, with exact “how to” techniques to position to you win proposals in advance of RFP issuance.
The proposal training covers the six phases of OST’s lean and highly effective Proposal Management Process, with exact “how to” techniques to prepare winning government proposals.
Finding Rock Star Government Proposal Managers is Tough – Attributes of a Proposal Manager who Continuously Wins Government Proposals
It is a known fact that people tend to work harder and more intelligently for the people they like and care about. This is why building a team putting names to faces and faces to names, so to speak, and adding personal spin to make people real and likable on your proposal team goes a Read More
Plan better for proposal emergencies such as having three methods of proposal delivery (one main and two alternates) in the winter, and backup your files religiously.
Executive Summary Secrets self-study course – workbook and audio CD
Have you ever agonized over what to write in your Executive Summary? And when it was finally finished, it was bland and full of fluff? Did you know that it is up to the contracting officers discretion whether any other evaluator sees your executive summary (if it is not required by the RFP)? The contracting Read More
Do you want to win government proposals more often and wonder how to use the Executive Summary, which is the top persuasion tool, to your advantage? Do you want to transform your bland and boring executive summaries into cut and paste verbatim material for award justification memos? There is a catch. Written by Olessia Smotrova-Taylor, Read More
I had a very interesting comment from a friend via Facebook to my blog. I thought I’d share it with you because it brings up a neat perspective and enables me to clarify an important point. This comment is for my blog post yesterday announcing the new title to my workbook/CD “Executive Summary Secrets” coming Read More
I am subscribed to the Monday Morning Memos by Alan Weiss – he is considered “the consultants’ consultant.” I like him because he is incredibly insightful, and also has quite a zest for life. His point in today’s Monday memo resonated with me so much that I wanted to share it with you. It is Read More
When you are meeting with a government representative, your purpose is NOT ” to sell” them – especially during your first visits to this customer. Your purpose is TO LISTEN. Dale Carnegie said that you can get a reputation as an extremely engaging conversationalist by mostly listening – and it holds true in working with Read More
Here’s part 2 of my latest blog at the APMP Interational Conference with Mike Parkinson. Written by Olessia Smotrova-Taylor, CF. APMP Fellow and President/CEO of OST Global Solutions, Inc., a business development, capture, and proposal management company that helps businesses grow in the federal market. Over the course of her career, Olessia has won a Read More
Here’s my latest video blog on the last day of the APMP conference. If you are not ready to resource your proposal to win, you really should not bid. Written by Olessia Smotrova-Taylor, CF. APMP Fellow and President/CEO of OST Global Solutions, Inc., a business development, capture, and proposal management company that helps businesses grow Read More
I got a question yesterday – “Could I benefit from your ‘How to Win Government Proposals’ webinar if I have been writing proposals for five years?” I am realizing that I may have wrongfully presented my upcoming webinar as too basic. It is true that the process is meant for even a beginner to pick Read More
This is an interview with virtual proposal expert, Ben Rowland, on proposal manager’s secrets that include tools, process changes, and tips for running successful virtual proposals
There are trends and drivers in government proposals that companies need to know about to acquire and maintain a winning edge. People have to either keep up with the trends in the fast-changing government contracting market, or get out of the game altogether because their chances of winning go down exponentially. I put together a Read More
As a practicing capture and proposal consultant, I often get to review past proposals that companies keep on file. I get to see all kinds of “masterpieces” that should have never made it out the door. Usually, it is not only the content, but also the language that makes me cringe. Here is a typical Read More
Here is the article I have written a while back that you may find helpful. ___________ You submitted your proposal, and then waited anxiously to hear whether you won or lost. You had your hopes up, and maybe got exactly what you were wishing for: the contract is awarded to your company. You have millions Read More
When you write your proposals, you need to make it very simple for the evaluators to give you the highest score. The burden is on you to make your proposal clear, compelling, compliant, and easy to evaluate. Here is the reality of what’s going on with the evaluation. Very few proposals, which are usually high Read More
Post on common proposal blunders that may confuse evaluators and cause them to say “no” to an otherwise solid proposal.
Ah, back to the intense proposal season, when I am starting at 5 am and not done until midnight. There is always just too much to do, no matter how large is the team, and how well I delegate. Fast turn-around, page-limited proposals are quite a trend these days â€“ they make it easier for Read More
As everyone knows, an overworked handful of proposal managers, a production shop crew that logged more hours in the past year then most people work in three, and a set of processes posted in the company intranet, is NOT a bid engine. There is a lot that a well-functioning proposal department, proposal center, bid desk, Read More
Like many type-As that are drawn to the business development profession, I have been feeling frustrated at the end of the day because I chronically didnt get enough done. I studied at least five different time management techniques before and dabbled in all kinds of technology, but nothing helped. All of a sudden, I discovered Read More