“Why bother with all of this storyboarding?” an account manager asked me recently. “I much prefer just to get on with things.”
Have you ever bought a set of shelves as a kit from a home furnishings store, ready for self-assembly, I wondered in return? You certainly can build something if you unpack boxes and start bolting stuff together. With good luck, it might even resemble the pristine bookcase you so admired in the store. Sure, it may look a little unsteady on its feet; there may be a few parts left over (”I never quite worked out where that piece was supposed to fit”). You may need to de-construct some sections once you realise that you’ve used the wrong materials. It’ll take you much longer overall. And I certainly wouldn’t recommend that once you’ve finished, you line up your most precious and fragile ornaments on the shelf below your heaviest books.
That’s why they include a set of plans showing how everything should fit together. The same approach applies to proposals. You can just start typing. But it’s really worth mapping out a high-level answer to each RFP question first.
Just don’t take the analogy too far – there’s an art to developing good storyboards that make the team’s life easier, whereas some furniture shop construction plans seem to be designed for use by those with doctorates in engineering. Make your process and documentation too complicated, cumbersome or confusing and your content contributions may just ignore your good work and make things up from scratch anyway!