Readiness Reviews are a methodology we invented to ensure that the pre-RFP process delivers the information you need to write the winning proposal. They do this by making better use of the time available (whatever that ends up being) between when you identify a lead and when the RFP will come out. Readiness Reviews prompt people with what to do and provide a means to track progress and even measure effectiveness. They make the pre-RFP pursuit less of some kind of mysterious art and more of a science.
The way they work is to first divide the time available into four equal stages. During each stage you try to find answers and take actions that are guided by a list of goals. Each stage ends with a review.
The reviews are conducted against a standard. The standard is whether progress is sufficient to be in position to win at RFP release. Each question, goal, and action item gets graded on a scale that can be easily quantified. This enables you to see whether over time the trend is toward being ready, or moving away from being ready.
Each of the Readiness Reviews is a bid/no bid decision. Each review considers whether it’s worth investing more to get to the next review. In addition to stopping low probability leads sooner, they make it easier to pull the plug on valid leads that were not adequately pursued and are no longer competitive.
Each review has a separate list of questions, goals, and action items. They build on each other over time. For example, identification of incumbents becomes identification of all possible competitors, which becomes competitive assessments and teaming considerations.
Readiness Reviews ensure that nothing gets overlooked and that the information you gather adds up to what you need to write a winning proposal. Readiness Reviews address the problem of getting to the proposal stage and having questions that you can no longer get answers to by bring up those questions earlier.
Over the four reviews Readiness Reviews also change from gathering information to assessing information and finally to articulating win strategies and themes. They guide the flow of information from raw data to the things you need to say in your proposal.
Because the way we approach proposals measures everything against what it will take to win, Readiness Reviews also guide people from gathering data to using it to identify what it will take to win. It even itemizes this information to form the basis for creating the criteria that will guide Proposal Quality Validation. The result ensures that the proposal reflects what you learned about the opportunity, customer, and competitive environment.
It sounds complicated because we get a lot of mileage out of a few lists and reviews by setting them up in an innovative way. The result is fairly simple to implement, highly efficient in terms of the effort it takes, and produces a huge return for that effort.
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