Production consists of the final assembly of the document, both electronic and hard copy.
- Because most submissions require binding and multiple copies, reproduction and assembly are also required.
- Production ends with the packaging and delivery of the finished proposals.
Ideally, final production should not start until after the writing is complete and there are no more changes to be made to the document. While some changes may be accommodated after production starts, it makes the completion of the proposal a bit like trying to hit a moving target and adds to the risk of proposal failure. While some formatting may take place during the development of the proposal, there are usually some formatting steps that cannot take place until after the writing and related changes are complete. In addition, there are activities such as Table of Contents generation and the assembly of sections and attachments into volumes that take place during final production.
Because there are so many opportunities for simple assembly mistakes to happen, quality assurance and configuration management are important aspects of production. Comparing the finished proposal to the Production Plan is a firm requirement. In addition, the use of checklists is encouraged to ensure that everything is double checked after it is produced.
If simply reading a large proposal can take most of a day, then consider what a detailed proofreading editorial cycle will require. Typically, final production will require anywhere from 1-5 days depending on the size and complexity of the proposal. When deadlines slip and the time allocated to final production is reduced, the first thing that typically happens is that quality assurance is reduced or skipped. This should not be allowed to happen on a MustWin proposal.