Business proposal management and RFP response- Part 1

Part 1: Expectation Setting and Disclaimers

One question I am often asked is how to write a business proposal (or a business case or a RFP response as the case may be). Especially, there are quite a few really smart young folks at office, who have entrepreneurial aspirations, who have asked me if I can give them a primer on this topic.

Well, I am not a proposal writer but rather a solution architect. In truth, I am a solution design expert rather than an RFP response expert. However, I have reviewed hundreds of RFPs during my stint as a sourcing consultant, and have responded to a fair few too, as a solution architect and as a proposal manager. Thus, the standard primer that I share with these youngsters (or younger-than-me-sters if I may, I am definitely in the youngster bracket as a professional), is more of a business discussion and a series of tasks as a project manager, than a ‘way to write well’ kind of a discussion. And this is what I plan to discuss in the next few articles.

Please do note, none of this stuff is invented or discovered by me; and none of this is compiled from one book or one training session. Lots of the proposal project management concepts are from the PM Book of Knowledge. Most of the ideas discussed are from my personal experience with IT / BPO outsourcing project proposals, therefore please expect industry variations. And lastly and most importantly, if you can see any points you don’t agree with, or points you think could be embellished – please, please comment.