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  • Red Team Proposal Reviews and Proposal Quality Validation

    Proposal Red Team reviews are a tool used by Proposal Managers to ensure quality proposals. In addition to Red Teams, a host of other color team reviews are also sometimes used (Pink Team, Blue Team, Green Team, Gold Team, etc.). Most proposal reviews are not effective. Some of the things you can do to improve your proposal reviews are listed below. We are developing a new process for reviewing proposals that focuses on validating specific aspects of the proposal. Proposal Quality Validation is an alternative to Red Team reviews that can add more value and lead to better proposals.
    • Better proposal management often starts with fixing your red team review process. Most Red Team reviews are flawed to the point of being nearly worthless. Your's probably is too. Here are 50 signs that your Red Team is broken.
    • Here are some specific things a proposal manager can do to get more out of your Red Team reviews, so that you can increase the effectiveness of your proposal reviews and increase your chances of winning.
    • Proposal management has evolved to where it is universally accepted that every proposal should have a Red Team. While this was a major step, it's not enough. It's time to evolve past the "Red Team."
    • Do you have a written definition for "proposal quality?" And for those who want to say "anything that wins," let's limit the definition to a pre-submission proposal. How do you define "proposal quality" prior to its submission? If you can't define it, then you can't measure it. And if you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
    • The quality of every proposal should be explicitly validated. Proposal Quality Validation explicitly identifies what should be validated, allows for flexibility in how individual items get validated, and provides a mechanism to ensure that the items chosen and methods for validation are sufficient to achieve the quality desired.
    • Tips that can help you manage the burden of having proposal reviews so that you can better focus on getting more value out of having proposal reviews and better use them to improve the quality of your proposals.
    • The way we review proposals today is not very different from the way we did it 20 years ago when my career was just getting started. If in that time, no one in the entire industry has ever come up with an approach that is consistently effective, then there is something inherently wrong with the way we approach proposal reviews.
    • People have tried to overcome the limitations of the Red Team by inventing a host of other "Color Teams". Unfortunately, color team labels mean so many things to different people that they have become meaningless.
    • The color team model does not add up to a completely validated proposal, because it was not designed to do that. Color Teams cannot be made to work because you cannot define the scope of the reviews in such a way that they meet the need of the proposal for validation.
    • Traditional proposal processes treat the review phase as something that comes after writing and before production. With Proposal Quality Validation it is easy to extend the "review phase" much earlier into the process. Proposal Quality Validation isn't just for the review phase, it's for the entire effort.
    • Possibly the most important tool that helps a proposal win the contract is a good Red Team review. With a good process and the right people, the Red Team can turn a loser into a winner. However, the review process can be cumbersome, confusing to writers, and highly ineffective if not handled appropriately for the situation.
    • Reviewing a proposal involves a lot more than assessing compliance, style, and checking for typos. Here is a list of questions that reviewers should consider.
    • The name itself sounds mysterious. Because it is. It sounds like it might involve espionage. And it might. But just what is it and how can one increase your chances of winning a business opportunity?
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