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What are the differences between large and small proposals?

Sometimes what distinguishes different types of proposals isn’t their market, but other characteristics. For example, proposals produced by a single author are very different from proposals that require multiple authors. A large proposal might have over thirty people involved (a proposal manager, production manager, coordinator, several section leaders, a half-dozen subject matter experts, illustrators, layout/production staff, team members, several outside reviewers, contracts/legal specialists, pricing/accounting specialists, executive sponsor, etc.). The processes and planning required for a proposal with thirty people are completely different from what might do on your own. If you are doing your proposal on your own, you must be capable of doing all of the research, writing, and production. If you have multiple authors helping you, you must be capable of managing the collaboration.

CharacteristicSingle AuithorMultiple Authors
ProcessesYou’re in control.Multiple hand-offs, notifications, and approvals. Configuration management is necessary.
CommunicationsThere’s no one to communicate with.Everyone must be kept “in the loop” and up to date.
WritingYou write. You decide.Collaborative.
ProductionAfter you write, you illustrate, format, and prepare the final copy.After you write, you hand off to illustrators, desktop publishers, copy, and production staff.
SupportWhat support? You’re it.Support may be available, but must be managed.
Bottom LineStreamlined, but you’re on your own. You develop the proposal.The management level of effort goes up as the availability of resources goes up. The process develops the proposal.

The number of authors has a significant affect on how the proposal is developed

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By Carl Dickson,
Founder of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY



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