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The Capture-Proposal Process

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The Process Defined

     "Process is defined as a systematic series of actions or steps directed toward a specific end.  Effective business development process consists of systematic actions that result in new business. Organizations exhibiting business development best practices systematically repeat the same steps across the entire organization." **

     As simple as it sounds, a good process is the key to winning more business at less cost than any other single thing a bidder can do.  It can also be hard to follow the discipline and easy to shortcut when faced with a super interesting target and a limited budget.  That shortcut normally ends with poor results.

     As VP of Planning and Business Development at Raytheon Service Company I asked a group of proposal center professionals to document our processes in a form that we could use as a guide.  We decided that assistance from Shipley Associates would significantly enhance the guide's quality and infusion of industry “Best Practices”.  Later, after the acquisition of Hughes, as a member of the Raytheon Corporate Capture-Proposal Process Team, we again asked Shipley Associates to assist with the writing of a guide for use corporate wide .

     The process I generally try to follow is based on my experience and the Best Practices that are outlined in guides developed over many years and many successful procurements.  While each business and each opportunity has attributes that may modify a traditional process, I believe Business Development organizations that lack structure and process are doomed to lack respectable win records as well.

     A typical Capture Proposal or Business Development process normally starts with strategic planning for the company and extends through a number of phases and steps to customer debriefings and phase-in support after an award.  The process typically includes activities and milestones for both the company and the customer.

     The following is representative sample of some of the activities and actions that one would normally expect to find in a company's Business Development process. Typically one would expect to find far more steps, each fully described by the company according to its industry, organization, and policies. 

Representative Sample of a Typical Business Development Process  

Process Phase

Customer Activities Company Capture Activities Proposal Activities
Planning a Program Planning
Budgets
a Strategic Planning
a
Market Assessment
a Understand Strategic Plan
a
Develop Marketing Plan
Target Assessment a Develop Acquisition Plan
a
Assign SSA and SSAC
a Gather Intelligence
a Understand Requirement
a Customer Interface
a
Establish Marketing Budget
a Initial Pursue Decision
a Identify Capture Manager
a
Identify Program Manager
 
Capture Planning a Draft RFP Planning
 
a Continue Gathering Intelligence
a Extend Customer Contact
a Develop Capture Strategy
a Blue Team Review of Strategy
a Grey Beard Review of Approach and Strategy
a Review and Approve Strategy
a Initiate Teaming and
Subcontract Discussions
a
Establish Bid  & Proposal Budget
a Develop Capture Plan
a Preliminary Bid/No-Bid Decision
a Identify Proposal Manager
a Identify Proposal Team
a
Proposal Team Training
Pre-Proposal a Meet with Bidders
a Release DRFP
a Answer Questions
a Revise RFP
a
Release Final RFP
a Draft Executive Summary
a
Complete Teaming Agreements and Major Subcontracts

 
a Develop Proposal Outline and Compliance Matrix
a Black Hat Review of Competition
a Develop Storyboards
a Pink Team Review of Message, Strategy and Compliance
a
Final Bid/No-Bid Decision
 
Proposal a Bidders Conference
a Finalize Evaluation Procedures
a
Prepare for Evaluation

a Commit Company Resources to Proposal
a Attend Bidders Conference
a Determine and Freeze Final Approach or Design
a
Management Reviews

 

a Prepare Proposal
a Red Team Review
a Respond to Red Team
a Gold Team Review
a
Production and Delivery
Post Proposal a Evaluate Proposals
a
Discussions and Fact Finding
 
a Phase-in Planning
a Lessons Learned
a
Negotiations
a Oral Presentation
a Answer Evaluation Notices
a
Submit Final Proposal Revision (FPR)
Award a Debrief Bidders a Activate Phase-In Team a Victory Party
a
Thank You Letters, (Maybe even a bonus or two)

**  Larry Newman, Shipley Associate, Proposal Guide for Business Development and Sales Professionals, Second Edition