As is so often the case, a recent Dilbert comic (June 19, 2013), presents a situation in which many proposal support folks find themselves.
In the first panel of the strip our good buddy and ambassador for common sense explains to his boss, “You’ve given me so many projects that I have two ways to fail.”
In the second panel he further explains, “I can either miss all of my deadlines or I can reduce the quality of my work to rubbish.” He then asks, quite logically in my opinion, “Which do you prefer.”
His boss, as ever completely oblivious to what has been said, replies, “The class I took in non-listening is really paying off.” He then hands Dilbert another assignment with a casual, “I need this by Tuesday.”
A key learning to this strip is that Dilbert, rather than saying something along the lines of “I can’t or won’t do this”, gives his manager a choice. In this case it’s a choice between two bad options but it is still a choice and it is put back on the manager.
We suggest to our client that they to give their management a choice: That choice being between consistent high-quality and unlimited output. We then provide support to help our clients define demand and capacity and to develop associated appropriate staffing.