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How many proposal reviewers do you need?

Too many or not enough?

You need enough reviewers to cover your quality criteria. Some reviewers can be specialized. For example, one or more reviewers to focus on whether your proposal is RFP compliant, whether the technical offering is the best your organization can offer, whether you have the right bid strategies, and whether your positioning reflects your company’s strategic plan. They might all be validated by different people. Or combined into one review by a single person with the right background.

You can have reviews that consist of one person validating a single quality criterion that is performed remotely while proposal development continues in parallel. Or you can have a formal assessment against a list of quality criteria by a team of reviewers. 

See also:
PQV implementation

Start by allocating quality criteria to reviews. Then look at the scope of quality criteria required for each review and determine whether you have one or more reviewers with the knowledge and skills to cover all of your quality criteria. If the scope of the quality criteria is too broad for one person, then split it up among multiple reviewers. Along the way, you’ll also need to decide whether you need second, third, or more opinions on certain quality criteria. For example, in some companies you may need several people to validate bid strategies.

In addition to grouping the proposal quality criteria that can be reviewed at the same time, you can also group the quality criteria that can be validated by the same reviewer. This enables you to allocate your criteria to the fewest number of reviewers as possible. Be careful though, you don’t want to overload any single reviewer. Keeping track of who has been assigned which quality criteria can alert you when you need to engage an additional reviewer. It also gives you flexibility when a reviewer is unexpectedly not available, and it can help you assess the impact of engaging additional reviewers as backups or for second opinions.

Finally, consider what your organization needs in terms of consensus and approval. It is not enough to validate to your personal satisfaction that all quality criteria have been fulfilled. Others need to accept that the quality of the proposal is valid. You may even have team members from other companies who need to be involved. Which stakeholders need to be on review teams in order to achieve necessary buy-in will vary by company and impacts the number of reviewers you will need to participate, as well as who they should be.

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