Using the content plan as a recipe
A Content Plan enables writing to become a process of elimination instead of an open-ended exercise.
- With the MustWin Process, authors don’t start with a blank page.
- Instead you start from a Content Plan that has already been validated to ensure that it includes all of the ingredients that should go into your section.
- All you have to do is follow the recipe.
The Content Plan contains instructions for what to write. Authors simply replace the instructions with what needs to be written. Writing becomes a process of elimination instead of an open-ended exercise. The Content Plan provides the recipe that will guide the preparation of the proposal. Once validated, the Content Plan also becomes a blueprint, as well as a baseline your drafts will be reviewed against.
Do not change the headings without consulting the Proposal Manager because they are defined by the RFP and have been validated. Even if they are awkward or could be better organized, you should leave them the way they are. If they are redundant, you should either carefully consider the context (sometimes the same thing can be presented differently in different contexts) or refer the reader to the other section.
You may (unless otherwise instructed) add subheadings. You may (unless otherwise instructed) organize the individual requirements under the headings in a way that makes the most sense.
Your goals should be to:
- Comply with the RFP requirements
- Score high against any published evaluation criteria
- Provide the information the customer needs to make a selection
- Articulate why the customer should select you
- Substantiate the reasons why the customer should select you
It is also a good idea to identify any graphics that could help communicate what you are presenting in your sections. See the Graphics topic for an easy approach to doing this.
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