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Proposal quality validation

The quality of every proposal should be explicitly validated

  • This means you should confirm that the key aspects of the proposal are what the company wants them to be.
  • Proposal Quality Validation confirms that what you have in the proposal meets your needs and expectations.
  • It avoids disasters that result from teams that work in isolation, creating a proposal that is not what the company wants to submit, and is only discovered when it is too late to do anything about it.
  • You should validate each decision and approach, the thoroughness of the information you have incorporated, your compliance with and fulfillment of the requirements, your message, and your score.
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Proposal Quality Validation

Validating proposal quality means reviewing it to confirm that reflects your definition of proposal quality. Proposal Quality Validation goes beyond making sure everything in your proposal is “right” and helps increase your win probability. It is based on defining proposal quality criteria to the specific elements of your proposal that should be validated. It separates consideration about what needs to be validated from the methods you use to perform the validation.

Proposal Quality Validation overcomes the problems inherent in traditional approaches to reviewing proposals. Traditional approaches to proposal review that are based on milestones where people are handed a draft and asked to read it and comment do not:

  • Produce consistently effective results because they are inherently subjective.
  • Focus on specific quality criteria which in turn are based on a written definition of proposal quality.
  • Provide a mechanism to ensure that reviewers pay attention to the right things.

Proposal Quality Validation resembles Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V). It is different from other methods of proposal review because it:

  • It is organized around what you need to validate instead of being organized around colors or milestones. As a result, it achieves better traceability and accountability. The document is compared to your quality criteria, which in turn is based on what it will take to win, which is based on the RFP and the customer, opportunity, and competitive intelligence you have gathered. 
  • It accommodates validation of any type, giving you the flexibility to adapt to the needs of the opportunity and your organization. It can be tailored to reflect what it takes to win based on the nature of what you are offering and your customer's concerns.
  • It is based on a definition for proposal quality that can be turned into review criteria to enable the content of the proposal to be validated.
  • It can accommodate different methods of review and levels of formality, while providing a mechanism to ensure that the planned amount and methods of validation are sufficient to meet the needs of the proposal and your organization. 
  • It provides a method for documenting your validation plan to properly set expectations, while streamlining the process to keep it from becoming burdensome.
  • It inherently provides more guidance to participants and reviewers, helping to ensure that reviews are focused and effective.
  • It gives you the means to change how people conduct proposal reviews based on lessons learned and strategic goals for increasing win probability.
     

Premium Content for PropLIBRARY Subscribers

It amazes us that companies create proposals without ever having a written definition of proposal quality. So we've defined proposal quality for you and built our proposal quality validation process around it. 

Here are some more items from our MustWin Process library related to proposal quality validation:

 

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Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing. The materials he has published have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a prolific author, frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

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