Our next panel topic - where we challenge our friendly team of proposal professionals from around the world – asked what value (if any) they derived from APMP – the Association of Proposal Management Professionals.
For Robin, APMP was instrumental in moving her organisation from perceiving proposals as a “clerical” role.
My first APMP conference in 2003 changed my whole perspective. I walked away with the understanding that this is a “profession” – a bonafide career choice (albeit crazy)… I had a renewed sense of purpose, confidence and drive to establish a top-notch proposals unit inside my organization.
Knowing that there were people out there that spoke the same language, were experiencing the same pains and had ideas I hadn’t even thought of, was encouraging. I felt like I had a team behind me supporting my theories, thoughts and the direction I was about to head in.
[At APMP's annual conference] I learn so much about what others are doing and then adopt, tweak and implement similar processes in my own organization. Today, I have grown to a team to 10 people. Our processes work, they are successful and the team is highly respected as value drivers within the organization.
Through the APMP and the contacts I have made through its annual conference, I have grown by leaps and bounds in this profession. Each year I give at least one proposal developer the opportunity to attend the conference and I routinely see significant improvement in their performance post-conference. I couldn’t ask for more than that!
I find my membership in APMP to be very useful primarily for networking and continuing education. It is nice to know there is a whole association of folks worldwide who are involved in the same processes that I am.
Not quite “misery loves company” (although that is the case sometimes), but through the APMP I know at any time I can get in touch with someone who’s gone/is going/or will go through what I am. I know it’s a buzz word, but sharing best practices is great…just picking each others’ brains whether in person at the conferences or via phone/email is an awesome resource.
I’ve attended five or six of the last annual conferences and I’ve always found a wide range of relevant topics at each one…not to mention broadened my network of colleagues and even made a new friend here and there. I’ve been able to bring back what I’ve learned at the conferences to share with my team, as well as other business partners at my company – even Sales!)
“my original reason for joining was to receive the APMP journal. I figured the publication alone was worth the annual dues. I rarely save magazines, but I just looked in my office magazine bin, which I regularly cull, and found issues dating back to 2003 with articles I still found relevant enough to keep.”
“didn’t originally think that I would find the APMP that useful, as there wasn’t a local chapter in my area at the time”.
I have found the APMP more useful than I ever expected over the years.
Just as with the quality of the journal articles, I am always impressed with the quality of the speakers at the national and chapter conferences. This is a profession where quality is extremely important and I feel APMP is very much a reflection of that. They also continue to evolve and add value with the BD-KnowledgeBase and their professional accreditation program.
If I were evaluating several candidates for a position, the one with APMP accreditation would be first on my list, and if I were one of those candidates, I would be expecting a higher salary.”
“I lacked guidance, and more importantly, support. Arriving to sit my Foundation exam, I was terrified that I would be shown up to be a novice, someone who was making it up as I went along. I was relieved, however, to be introduced to a group of people who were just like me.
And that’s how it continues. For me, the APMP provides a network of informed individuals who are working on the same basic principles. Yes, we all have different interpretations of those principles based upon our organisations and working environments, but it is a real gift to have that network of people at the end of a phone or an email, when I need advice, or simply a second opinion.
Sitting my APMP exam also increased my credibility in the working environment. Finally – I have a piece of paper that proves that what I do is a bona fide profession, and not simply ‘spellchecking’, as it was once described to me. It has also given me faith in my work – I am now a fierce advocate of best practice, and have the confidence to implement it.