- Start with an outline/compliance matrix. Format the outline as a document.
- Insert instructions for addressing RFP requirements.
- Add instructions for incorporating win strategies/themes, and to optimize the proposal against the evaluation criteria.
- Add instructions for incorporating your customer, opportunity, and competitive intelligence.
- Add instructions for incorporating the key processes, steps, or components of your solution or offering. Also add any project citations, references, or data that can enhance your response.
- Add instructions for the use of graphics, tables, relevance boxes, examples, etc.
- Add instructions regarding any assumptions, limits, boundaries, or issues that must be resolved.
- Add any boilerplate or re-use material that is relevant to the instructions, noting any deviations for correction.
A Content Plan is built through an iterative process. With each pass, you focus on different aspects of a winning proposal. Everything that goes into a Content Plan is in the form of instructions to the proposal writers. When you are done it should read like a recipe for the proposal. When you complete the last pass, you have confidence that you have considered everything that should go into your proposal.
Working Ahead or Out of Sequence is Okay
When creating a Content Plan:
- You are encouraged to include instructions from any iteration cycle whenever they occur to you
- The iterative process ensures that nothing gets overlooked
What matters is capturing the instructions and not necessarily the sequence followed to capture them. If you think of something that should go in your proposal or that the Proposal Writers should know, put it in when you think about (so you don’t forget to add it later). It is also okay to go back and expand prior iterations, or to combine statements from different iterations. What matters is that you arrive at clear guidance for everything that should go into the proposal.