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The best of the proposal articles we published in 2018

Possibly the best of all time...

We've been at this since 2001 and have published over 867 articles and 532 proposal recipes. But the articles we wrote in 2018 include some of the most useful and insightful that we've ever published. That is, if you look past the titles. The titles don't do the practical value of the content the justice it deserves. That's something I'm going to have to work on in 2019. 

In 2018, we had over 210,000 visitors. That's a lot of people interested in winning proposals. Thank you for all that attention. Feel free to spread the love and use the social media buttons to share your favorites.

Best free articles of 2018

  1. How to write an Executive Summary for a proposal from the customer’s perspective
  2. 29 techniques for dealing with uncooperative proposal contributors
  3. Do this one thing and win all your proposals
  4. Why the customer does not care about the story you are telling in your proposal
  5. Proposal writing for people who are not writers
  6. Winning government contracts like you’re trying to get good at it
  7. Everything I needed to know about proposal writing I learned from writing the introduction paragraph
  8. How to explain to your customer why you should win the proposal
  9. Succeeding with a high volume of proposals
  10. Why proposal professionals are better than proposal heroes

Best premium articles of 2018

In addition to the articles above, we've prepared a list of the best additions to our premium content library for PropLIBRARY Subscribers. While we publish free articles that explain the theory and foundations supporting our recommendations, our paying subscribers get far more detail, including all the checklists, templates, forms, and process guidance needed to immediately implement our recommendations. Here are the best premium content items we published in 2018:

  1. Proposal risks, issues, and quality validation
  2. Focusing on self-assessment for proposal quality instead of reviews
  3. How detailed should your proposal quality criteria be?
  4. Conducting proposal reviews based on quality criteria
  5. What are proposal quality criteria and how do you create them?
  6. How to turn Proposal Quality Validation into a checklist and forms driven process
  7. How many proposal reviewers do you need?
  8. How many proposal reviews should you have?
  9. Management models for Proposal Content Planning implementation
  10. Quality criteria for assessing whether an RFP compliance matrix has been completed correctly

2019 will bring a lot more goodies

We've started working on what we think of as Version 2 of the MustWin Process as part of the premium content for PropLIBRARY Subscribers. The biggest changes are that

  • The MustWin Process is becoming explicitly goal-based and all tasks are measured by their desired outcomes. It not only covers what to do, but how you know when you've done things correctly.
  • The MustWin Process will provide multiple options that support achieving the goals you need in order to win. It provides examples of what you can do to achieve your goals instead of mandating that you do things a particular way. This will help capture and proposal managers apply the process to their particular environments and solve the problems they face. It also makes it easier to execute the process.
  • The new approach to providing options is especially useful for expanding support for pre-RFP pursuit. Before the only option provided was Readiness Reviews. The new version starts with the goal of arriving at RFP release prepared to win with an information advantage, and uses Readiness Reviews as one way to achieve this. Other options will address getting ready to win from the lead qualification, capture, and proposal input perspectives. Your needs will determine the best way to achieve the goal in your organization.
  • Proposal Content Planning and quality criteria development are being explained in much more detail while simultaneously being made much more flexible.
  • A new layer of risk management and issue tracking is being added and integrated with Proposal Content Planning and Proposal Quality Validation.
  • Miscellaneous changes include some reformatting and reorganization to make the navigation easier. And a ton of miscellaneous improvements are also being made along the way, based on the new material we've published since the MustWin Process was first released in 2010. The concepts are already there in the articles we've published. We're just integrating them, streamlining the user interface, filling some gaps, and making sure the explanations are clear and practical. But what we're really doing is turning all that content into something even more useful during proposal development.

We're also continuing to enhance the online proposal tool we've built for PropLIBRARY Subscribers. In 2018 we released the first version of the MustWin Performance Support Tool. We think of it as comparable to Windows v1.0. In 2019 we have a bunch of updates planned. It will not only expand to cover the pre-RFP phase of pursuit, but will also gain functionality for cross-referencing basically everything and evolve into what one tester described as a "proposal prototyping" tool. We're also expanding customization and content saving that will provide you with several new options for proposal re-use. What we're finding is that the platform lets you function as if your process is more mature than it really is. The MustWin Process is built in, but it's more like you just don't have to think about process so much. It points the way to what you need to do and shows you how to do it. You end up with better information to work with and better use of that information, leading to a much better quality proposal that's easier to produce. It still doesn't do the proposal for you. But if your priority is winning, it has some serious advantages over paper-based processes.



Let's discuss your challenges with preparing proposals and winning new business...

Access to premium content items is limited to PropLIBRARY Subscribers

A subscription to PropLIBRARY unlocks hundreds of premium content items including recipes, forms, checklists, and more to make it easy to turn our recommendations into winning proposals. Subscribers can also use MustWin Now, our online proposal content planning tool.

Carl Dickson

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

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a 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.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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