1) Information: “What the proposal says”
2) Presentation: “How the information is presented.”
On the list of criteria under Information is ‘appropriately weighed’.* That is, the amount of information provided is of an appropriate length. The appropriateness being based on the importance of the topic to the client. There’s also the matter of balance as no one topic should be covered in such length as to over-shadow and eclipse the other topics presented.
At last month’s APMP Bid & Proposal Con, many of the sessions were panels**. I was on the panel for “Metrics That Mean Something”. (Thanks to Helene Courard for a great job as moderator). My fellow panelists and I each had a chance to express our views on what we felt were the appropriate measurement criteria for proposals. The panelists*** having respect for one another, as well as Helene having a great set of questions to guide the conversation, ensured the amount of time and information offered by each panelist was - as is the case in a high-scoring proposal - evenly and appropriately weighed.
In one panel this was not the case. In that particular session the moderator was less skilled and one of the panelists dominated the session. This was commented on by many of the attendees. They said they would have preferred to hear less from that one panelist and that they were disappointed they didn’t get to hear more from the others. They commented that it appeared the panelist dominating the session showed a lack of respect for the other panelists and the session felt unbalanced.
It is the same within a proposal. If one topic is covered in great detail, while other topics, equally important to the client, are covered in significantly less detail, the client will be left wanting less information on one topic and more on others. The proposal will feel unbalanced and will ultimately likely receive a lower score because of it.
*The other criteria under ‘Information’ are:
- Client/customer centric
- Compliant (to instructions)
- Complete (addresses all requirements, answers all questions [all parts])
- Appropriately weighted
** The majority of the sessions at this year’s conference were panels, which was a change from previous conferences. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many attendees with whom I spoke, the pendulum perhaps had swung a bit too far and there were too many panels.
*** My fellow panelists included Erin Andersen, Nigel Denis (all the way from Australia!) and Howard Nutt. Nice job all!
Posted by BJ