An Effective Reviews Process
Guidance notes to support your bid writing training for the module on An Effective Reviews Process.
This module is designed to help you make your answers easy-to-evaluate.
Always remember that an evaluator has to read, and make sense of, your answers. I have talked with a number of proposal evaluators, and they all said that the quality of the writing has a strong bearing on how they score it.
When you are baking a cake, if you leave out one or two important ingredients, you are unlikely to end up with a perfect cake. You will have a cake, but it won’t be a great experience eating it.
In the same way, when it comes to writing a winning proposal, if you leave out conducting reviews of the answer outlines (Pink Team), and reviews of the final drafts (Red Team), then you are unlikely to end up with the best possible proposal for the evaluators to consume.
Yet how many bid teams do any reviews of the drafts, let alone two?
To raise your game and produce your best possible proposal, you must conduct a pink and red team reviews as part of the bid production process.
This module provides a quick overview of what constitutes pink and red team reviews.
The sections covered below are:
- Raising Your Game – implementing reviews process
- Pink Team – review compliance & the answer structure
- Red Team – standing In the client’s shoes
- Example: Review Timings – always enough time to do the reviews
1. Raising Your Game
2. Pink Team
- Suggestions for improvement
- Assistance for the proposal team to create a winning proposal
- Confirmation that the correct placeholders are there for all the requested information
- Confirmation that each answer has the best strategy for gaining a high score
- All the question points have been correctly identified – and each point has a place in the answer structure where they will be answered
- The proposed answers are correct – at this stage shown as bullet points of the points to be covered, and indicating what graphics and supporting evidence will be provided
- Where appropriate, key SWOT points have been included in the answer
- Indications of what points the author will cover to answer the question
- Description the specifications that will be supplied
3. Red Team
- Is the answer credible?
- Do I believe what they are saying?
- How well does it answer the question?
- Does it read well?
- Is this an exceptional, high scoring answer or just a middle of the road, pedestrian effort?
- Key points of the ITT
- Scoring guidelines
- Proposal strategy to win this opportunity
- Question text
- Scoring guideline for the question
- 4 part scoring: content, evidence, risk(if appropriate), credibility
- Checklist of things to review
- Feedback : comments, weaknesses
- Actions for improvement
- Further discussion are needed
- The author can disregard the red team comments on that technical point
4. Example: Review Timings
It might seem that, with lots of questions to answer within a very short time scale, it is not possible to find the time to conduct pink and red team reviews.
My experience has been it is not only possible, but in fact essential, to ensure you are reviewing your answer outlines and final drafts for each and every bid you submit.
You must make time for this, if you want to ensure you are submitting a high quality, error-free bid.
Below is an example of the timings for a major bid with:
- 9 weeks to provide response that required technical innovations during response
- 80 answer outlines being reviewed
- Over 200 answers in the final draft
- Pink team review – one week after authors receive their outlines
- First red team review – a week and half after the pink team
- Second red team review – after final version of the ITT’s solution design was released
- Proof reading – one week later of the final text