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Proposal writers and subject matter experts

Sometimes proposal writing is done by a specialist, and sometimes it's done by a subject matter expert.

A Proposal Writer:

  • Writes finished copy.
  • Helps plan the contents of your sections before actually writing them.
  • Incorporates detailed instructions into your writing.
  • Delivers your sections by their deadlines.

A Subject Matter Expert:

  • Describes approaches and provide technical details.
  • Delivers information and details instead of finished copy.
  • Makes sure the proposal is technically accurate and complete.
  • Makes sure the solution is executable and best-in-class.

Proposal Writers create the proposal under the leadership of the Capture Manager and Proposal Manager, in much the same way that musicians create the music under the direction of a composer and a conductor.  Proposal Writers are generally responsible for creating the text, with formatting being performed by Production Staff.

See also:
Role and responsibilities

Subject Matter Experts bring knowledge to the proposal.  They may write to deliver that knowledge, but are not responsible for providing finished copy.  Instead they are responsible for providing complete, accurate technical details that another Writer can incorporate into a finished proposal section.

People are depending on you to deliver finished sections of the proposal, according to the instructions of your assignment, and to deliver it by the assignment deadline. In order to complete your assignment, you may have to invent some or all of the approaches to fulfilling the project.  If you cannot fulfill any part of your assignments by the deadline it is vital that you say so loudly, clearly, and early so there’s a chance they can find someone to fill the gap.

Writers may also be Subject Matter Experts.  It’s a special bonus when that’s the case.  However, not all Subject Matter Experts can prepare finished copy.  Sometimes a Subject Matter Expert can be paired up with a Writer in order to get the right combination of knowledge and writing skills.

The MustWin process is designed to identify everything that should be included in a proposal section and check it to make sure it’s complete and correct prior to its being written.  For some Writers, this will be a tremendous help.  You will not have to work from a blank page, and will be able to easily check what you’ve written to see if it fulfills what you were asked to do.  For some Writers, this will seem like adding extra steps when you could just write it.  Those extra steps are needed to objectively define whether a completed section fulfills the assignment and to prevent Writers from having to do extensive rework.

Book Bosses/Volume Leads.  Large proposal efforts with multiple contributors per section are often organized with a leader for each section.  These leaders are commonly referred to as a Book Boss or Volume Lead.  They are typically responsible for developing the solution as well as overseeing the writing.

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